by Holly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm, and Jamie Green
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
Twelfth Grade Night is a graphic retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, set as a modern fantasy. Vi is starting high school at Arden High after attending private school for years with her twin brother. Arden High is located in the fairy realm where there are both magical creatures and mortals who attend. Vi feels lost without her twin brother at her side, but she quickly makes friends. She develops a crush on Orsino, a cute poet she befriends. Orisino wants Vi to ask Olivia, the most popular girl in school, to the big Twelfth Grade Night dance.
Twelfth Grade Night is a humorous take on a classic Shakespeare story. The art captures the fairy high school perfectly, with beautiful, sparkling color and characters. There is plenty of diversity and LGBTQ+ representation in this story. Vi missing her brother protrays authentic feelings siblings have when they grow apart.
Twelfth Grade Night will appeal to readers who enjoy graphic novels set within a fantasy world, such asOther Ever Afters and The Montague Twins. Librarians should recommend this graphic novel to readers who are fans of fantasy authors such as Holly Black or Melissa Marr. Hand this to readers who are looking for positive LGBTQ+ characters, or even fans of modern Shakespeare movie adaptations such as Ten Things I Hate About You. Twelfth Grade Night is the first book in the Arden High series, with King Cheer expected later this year.
Other Nominated Titles
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson, Kwame Alexander, and Dawud Anyabwile (illustrator) Jimmy Patterson Books / Little, Brown and Company Publication Date: October 5, 2020 ISBN: 978-0399547966
Cassius Clay Jr. was always the greatest—even if everyone didn’t know it yet. Before the world knew him as Muhammad Ali, Cassius hung out with friends, loved his family, and struggled with school, all against the backdrop of 1950s Louisville, Kentucky. In this fictionalized biography, writers James Patterson and Kwame Alexander show the reader Cassius’ life with a mix of prose and poetry.
The book is engaging and full of heart, with fully realized characters and a well-paced plot. The cover draws you in, and Dawud Anyabwile’s art throughout adds to the book’s appeal. The mix of prose and poetry adds interest. Students will be able to see themselves in Cassius and his best friend, Lucky.
Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Skyward, vol. 3: Fix the World by Joe Henderson, Illustrated by Lee Garbett Image Comics Publication Date: September 3, 2019 ISBN: 978-1534312432
Willa and Edison have split up in order to try to save the world. Edison is back in Chicago to warn everyone about the farmer/bug invasion headed their way and to come up with a plan to stop them. Willa is in Kansas City following her father’s last words to fix gravity, but Barrow is right behind her—trying to stop her. What neither of them realizes is that the “big red button” doesn’t actually fix gravity, it opens the path to the safe underground town, Crystal Springs, that Willa’s father built as a prototype city to protect people when gravity failed. Only gravity failed earlier than anticipated and the only people in the town are the ones who worked there previously. Now Willa is trapped in Crystal Springs and can’t get out to help Edison save Chicago.