#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, September 27 Edition

Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
ISBN: 978-1449489625

It took Julia years to understand herself as a trans individual and that she needed to transition in order to be happy. As a way to help herself and others, she decided to create a graphic diary of the first year of her transition and openly share her experiences. From exhilarating moments where sales people happily help her with discovering new body care products to a family member who will no longer acknowledge her, Julia chronicles the complexity of her everyday feelings in these straightforward yet powerful comic strips.

Super Late Bloomer is a much needed addition to graphic novel memoirs. By using a graphic diary format, Kaye is able to effectively show the social and emotional intricacies of her transition including the cyclical nature of struggling with and triumphing over gender dysphoria; the compounded effects of microagressions from family, friends, and strangers; and the long road to self-acceptance. The simple, mostly three panel drawings prove to be an exceptional method for presenting readers with complex feelings and issues in an easy to relate to format. An eye opening read for young adult readers in general, but highly recommended for trans teens and anyone trying to be a better trans ally.

Amanda Melilli


Flying Witch, vols. 3-6 by Chihiro Ishizuka
Vertical Comics
Publication Date & ISBNs:
Vol. 3 – September 26, 2017 – 978-1945054112
Vol. 4 – December 19, 2017 – 978-1945054129
Vol. 5 – March 20, 2018 – 978-1945054679
Vol. 6 – June 8, 2018 – 978-1947194045

For Makoto, her profession and transition to country life is anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s quite magical! Flying Witch follows Makoto as she learns to be a witch by trade, navigates high school, and enjoys the simple pleasures of everyday life alongside her cousins, Chinatsu and Kei. From ghostly cafes to magical beach bunnies, each volume celebrates the simple zakka style of living, but spiced with a dash of magic.

In this fast-paced world of multitasking, it’s easy to be swept up in the hustle and bustle, but Ishizuka’s sweet illustrations and warm-hearted characters will make even the biggest workaholics want to embrace a more ambling pace.

Flying Witch invites readers to slow down and linger on the meaningful happenings in life that we often overlook by highlighting their formative power and simple elegance. Each snippet of Makoto’s life, be it sharing a meal prepared with friends, mastering a new skill, or landing a job, all work towards her goal of being a successful witch. While her trials might lack the sensationalism we often see in manga, Ishizuka has chosen to craft a truer glimpse of the teen experience within the realm of fantasy. The result is a gentle reminder that it is not only good, but necessary to stop and smell the roses… or harvest the occasional mandrake root.

Place in the hands of those looking for a mental breather and fans of series such as Harry Potter, School Live!, and Girls Last Tour.

—Silence Bourn


Wires and Nerves Vol. 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer, Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
ISBN: 978-1250078285

Iko and Kinney are back and ready to finish their mission to take down Alpha Steele. Alpha Steele and his pack are closing in on Cinder’s inner circle. No one is safe. The Lunar soldiers will stop at nothing to capture Cinder or those close to her. They are trying to force her hand in returning the mutated Lunar soldiers to their human form. Meanwhile, on Luna, Cinder has gone through with her plans to abdicate her throne, leaving the planet’s citizens devastated and wondering who will rule over Luna? Iko and the rest of the Cinder’s friends will do whatever it takes to stop Steele and save the planets from bloodshed.

Although the illustrator has changed, the artwork remains similar and simple, using shades of blue giving the book an almost moonlit vibe. This only adds to the mysterious vibe of the story, which is what this series is all about; Iko’s journey and her adventure to save Cinder. We get to see some of the character’s relationships grow more, and some fan favorites not so much. Iko has the opportunity to learn about herself, like why she was created and why she is unlike other androids.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will be satisfied with this last installment, yet sad to see the series end. Give to fans of Marissa Meyer and awesome fairy tale retellings.

—Jennifer Siron

Published by

Great Graphic Novels for Teens

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