#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, August 30 Edition

Mech Cadet Yu by Greg Pak, Illustrations by Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
ISBN: 978-1684151950

Stanford Yu was a handy janitor at the elite Sky Corps Academy, cleaning up after all the students and cadets. After leaving the bonding ceremony, Stanford runs into one of the alien robots and was surprisingly chosen by the robot to bond with, an honor usually given to trained Mech Cadets. Now, Stanford Yu is the newest Mech Cadet, and the only things standing in his way, are his mother and the other cadets. In order to prove himself, he must train hard, learn to trust the other cadets and fight as a team in order to save the planet from the Sharg.

Reminiscent of classic robot science fiction, Mech Cadet Yu has a fresh story and world brought to life with colorful art work that heightens the action through its vibrancy. Readers will be excited for what happens next. With young, diverse characters, it’s easy for readers to relate to being the new kid in school who doesn’t quite fit in. This is a great choice for teens who are new to Mecha type graphic novels or seasoned sci fi fans looking for a new adventure.

Give to fans Pacific Rim, Linebarrels of Iron, and Iron Giant. Mecha fans will enjoy this exciting new tale of a boy and robot.

—Jennifer Siron


Luisa – Now and Then by Carole Maurel and Mariko Tamaki
Publisher: Humanoids
Publication Date: June 20, 2018
ISBN: 978-1594656439

32 year-old Luisa is single with a string of bad relationships behind her, a lackluster career as a food photographer and a strained relationship with her mother. 15 year-old Luisa just kissed her friend Lucy “accidentally” and has mixed feelings about it. Her mother forbids her from spending time with Lucy, and her friends dislike Lucy as well. Magically 15 year-old Luisa ends up in 2013 Paris and meets 32 year-old Luisa. After getting over the shock of realizing they are in fact the same person, they come to understand they have to get 15 year-old Luisa back to her time period. As they try, they work on reconciling their past aspirations with reality, discover their sexuality and work towards fixing their relationship with their mother.

Luisa is a moving story about self-discovery, both as teenager and adult. Life doesn’t always turn out exactly how you expect it to when you are 15 years-old, but you can still be a happy adult regardless. Both younger and older versions of Luisa learn something about themselves and their faults through their magical meet-up. Beautiful illustrations add depth to the story, and help carry the reader back and forth through time.

Fans of Mariko Tamaki’s other graphic novels and Tillie Walden’s Spinning, as well as teens who love a good coming-of-age story, will enjoy Luisa.

Loren Spector


The Strange by Jérôme Ruillier
Drawn & Quarterly
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
ISBN: 978-1770463172

We meet a character who is strange. He looks different than us, he speaks a different language than ours, and he wants to emigrate to our country. To do so, he must pay to have someone make him a forged ID and he must be smuggled to his new home. Once there, he will struggle to blend in, but must survive at all costs to establish a new life for his wife and children.

The Strange is an immigration and asylum story as seen through the eyes of many characters: The Crow who watches as the The Strange gets off the train, The Neighbor who eyes him suspiciously, The Boss who picks him up in his truck to bring him to a day’s work, and many more. Telling the story this way allows many perspectives of how undocumented migrants workers and asylum seekers are viewed, both positively and negatively, as well as the perspective of The Strange themselves. This format allows the reader to be in many characters’ shoes, and would work well in a classroom discussion setting. The sketched artwork compliments the simplicity of the story and dialogue. The characters take animal forms lending to the idea that this story could be about anybody in any country.

This is a must for readers who wish to delve deep into the humanity surrounding the politics of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers.

Amanda Cain

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

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