#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, June 14 Edition

The Unstoppable Wasp vol. 2: Agents of G.I.R.L by Jeremy Whitley, Elisa Charretier, Veronic Fish, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt
Marvel Comics
Publication Date: 3/13/18
ISBN: 978-1302906474

Nadia’s best and only friend from the Red Room, Ying, literally has a time bomb in head. It is up to Nadia and the other genius female teenage scientists of New York, recently recruited by Nadia for G.I.R. L. Labs, to figure out how to disarm and remove the bomb before it kills Ying and possibly everyone else in the room. Meanwhile, Ying and Nadia’s “mother,” their main captor from the Red Room, does not like that her two young genius assassin protégées have escaped, and she will do whatever it takes to get them back.

In this second volume of The Unstoppable Wasp, Whitley has once again managed to capture Nadia’s genius, kindness, and optimism. However, with her friends’ lives hanging in the balance, the pressure Nadia faces in keeping everyone safe begins to wear away at her. This pressure allows Whitman to better explore the developing relationship between Nadia and her step-mother, Janet Van Dyne. This volume beautifully shows the love the two develop for each other, as a girl who never met her birth mother, and woman who suddenly finds herself a mother despite originally not wanting to be one. The other wonderfully diverse and brilliant girls of G.I.R.L. bring a lightness and humor to the story. The bright vibrant artwork captures Nadia’s positive spirit while also excellently depicting the motion of the fight and action sequences.

Hand this to readers looking for strong, brilliant female protagonists, such as Lunella Lafayette from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, or fans of the original Ant-Man and Wasp series.

Lindsey Helfrich


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vol. 7: I’ve Been Waiting For A Squirrel Like You by Ryan North, art by Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, Jim Davis, and more
Marvel Comics
Publication Date: 3/13/18
ISBN: 978-1302906658

Doreen and Nancy just won a coding contest, and their prize is a trip to the Savage Land! Once they arrive in the incredible paradise hidden in Antarctica (where a bunch of actual dinosaurs still live), they discover that computer science students from all over the world have been gathered there to do one thing: save the Savage Land from a mysterious saboteur. Unfortunately, the person threatening the technology of the Savage Land is Ultron: after being defeated and sent to space, he crash-landed back on earth and rebuilt himself as a robotic T-Rex! Squirrel Girl will need all her powers (both super and computer-science-related) to defeat this foe–can she and her friends save all life on earth?

In addition to being a fantastic STEM title, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl continues to be one of Marvel’s funniest and most heartfelt titles. Though superpowers are great to have, friendship is even more important: more often than not, Doreen Green defeats evildoers through a combination of empathy, creativity, and teamwork involving both squirrel and human friends. Give this series to fans of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and The Unstoppable Wasp.

Emily Tobin


Fence vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat, Illustrated by Johanna the Mad
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
ISBN: 978-1684151929

Nicholas (who is the secret, illegitimate son of an Olympic athlete) yearns to be a great fencer. He worked in exchange for his training and is good, but doesn’t have the technique that the elite boarding school boys do. After losing his first tournament to a top seeded player, he is given a scholarship for a private school, but it’s contingent on him making the team. The competition is fierce, no freshman has ever made the team and his nemesis (the player that beat him) is not only also trying to make the team, but is his new roommate too.

This new graphic novel series features a variety of issues that are familiar to teens, including family drama, classism, romance, team sports and athletic rivalries. The cast is made up of a diverse group of boys of all races and sexualities, including a transgender character. The artwork really stands out, and is complementary to the story, which by the way, leaves you hanging and wanting more!

This title reads like manga in a graphic novel format, so fans of both manga and graphic novels will enjoy. Especially share this with fans of sports manga, like Haikyu!, Slam Dunk and New Prince of Tennis.

Loren Spector

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.