Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico
Ten Speed Press / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists examines the long history of women and activism through an intersectional lens, highlighting the women integral to progressive movements like abolition, labor, and LGBTQ+ rights. The story begins with women’s rights in antiquity and moves expansively through past centuries into present day. The framing device of a hologram instructor/narrator helps move the story along and connect the chapters, serving as an useful entry point for teen audiences.
The drawings are in full color throughout, often centered on portraits of notable women. The biographical context is offered in bite-sized segments that can occasionally feel too light, but are effective in creating a larger picture without getting too mired in one particular moment. Teen readers will find this an informative, enjoyable read that, hopefully, will also empower their own fights for change.
Readers looking for similar graphic anthologies will enjoy Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World. Those looking for YA fiction featuring complex and compelling female protagonists will enjoy The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, and This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sigiura.
Miles Morales, vol. 2: Bring on the Bad Guys by Saladin Ahmed, Tom Taylor, Alitha Martinez, Javier Garrón, Vanesa Del Rey, Ron Ackins, and Cory Smith
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Miles takes a break from superheroing after the events of volume one. When he finds that the city needs him, Miles channels his inner altruist and puts the suit back on. Unfortunately, this move results in serious consequences: Miles is kidnapped and tortured. His father, a former Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., comes to his rescue, and a strong nemesis reenters the picture, but can Miles get in a good headspace to take down the threat?
As a character, Miles continues to read like a real kid and that will boost the teen appeal. This volume centers Miles’s experience with PTSD. Teens love to see their superheroes as strong figures, but vulnerability makes them seem human. Some readers may need some time to process the heaviness of this book, but it’s another great installment of Gen Z’s beloved Spider-Man.
Miles Morales will appeal to teen readers, younger and older alike. Suggest to younger teens who have enjoyed the Marvel series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and the Newbery-Medal-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Older teens who have enjoyed Al Ewing’s The Immortal Hulk, Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward books, and Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley will take interest in Miles Morales.