Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin Illustrated by Giovanni Rigano Sourcebooks / Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Publication Date: August 7, 2018 ISBN: 9781492665823
Ebo and his older brother, Kwame, leave Northern Africa, seeking refuge and their sister in Europe. Crossing the blazing desert by foot and rough Mediterranean seas on an inflatable boat, there is no guarantee of their survival.
The gloomy cover image of a boat crossing a choppy sea by only the light of the moon sets the tone for this graphic novel, with the title grabbing attention in bright yellow. The ripped from the headlines topic of immigrants and refugees prevails daily on televised and internet news. Ebo and Kwame are a relatable character duo and readers will empathize with their plight. Told in alternating “then” and “now” chapters, the challenges of both the desert and the sea are depicted candidly, with devastating authenticity. The illustrator uses light, setting, and facial expressions often to reinforce the atmosphere the boys are experiencing. Readers will no doubt keep turning pages quickly to find out what happens to these courageous brothers.
If there has been one feature of every book that I have discussed in this series of posts, it is a focus on artwork. Even the one non-comic work included in these posts focused a significant amount of text on the artwork of Wonder Woman. But, this month, I am branching out from volumes focused on artwork to discuss an emerging trend – prose novels that are based on comic book characters.
While this concept is hardly a new one, recently DC and Marvel have greatly expanded their offerings in this regard to include new adult (albeit not promoted by that name) and young adult novels. These novels can serve the dual purpose of introducing comic book characters and storylines to readers who aren’t comfortable with comics and graphic novels and encouraging comics fans to read works by leading young adult authors. Even more importantly, these novels are just a lot of fun! Right now, there are only a limited number available, but many more are appearing on the publishing horizon. Continue reading Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels
For the uninitiated, those phrases and words mean little to nothing. To the Whovian Fandom, fans of the British television series Doctor Who, they mean a whole lot. Doctor Who (never Dr. Who!) has been a phenomenon for over fifty years, and with each new Doctor a whole new generation of fans is born. To date there have been 13 different Doctors (if you include the War Doctor, who only appeared in the 50th anniversary special in 2013 and was played by Sir John Hurt). They are all the same person, though- a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who regenerates every few seasons instead of dying. Though he keeps the memories of his past incarnations, every Doctor is a slightly different man, with a different way of dressing, connecting to his companions, and even reacting to the universe around him, and every Whovian has their favorite.
Chances are, if you’re a Whovian, you did just that!
Last weekend the Avengers returned to save the world and entertain us with their witty banter. We last saw them battle against Loki and the Chitauri he brought to Earth via a wormhole in New York City. Now they are facing Ultron, an artificial intelligence bent on ridding Earth of humanity. It’s been three years since the Avengers had to assemble to fight another big bad. Obviously they must have had some serious down time to focus on their reading. Last time the Avengers fought evil, The Hub provided a reading list for the Avengers. I think it’s only right to give them a few more choices to peruse before they are called again to fight.
Captain America/Steve Rogers: Let’s start at the beginning with the first Avenger, Captain America. Captain America first started fighting evil back in the time of World War II. Since then he has tried to acquaint himself with the events that have occurred, particularly in pop culture as Tony Stark is quick to fire off a reference or two. In order for Cap to find some kind of camaraderie in his predicament, I would recommend Eoin Colfer’s W.A.R.P. series, starting with book one, The Reluctant Assassin. In this book, Riley is pulled from his home in Victorian London along with his mentor Garrick, a dangerous assassin, to help the modern-day FBI capture Garrick before he finds his way back to his own time. While Cap and Riley come from different time periods, Cap can definitely relate to the out of place feeling.
Ironman/Tony Stark: Tony Stark can be a bit obvious regarding his personality. He loves being the best, he loves the ladies, and he loves his ability to buy everything. As we know from the first Ironman movie, his interests expanded when he was captured in Afghanistan. This is why I decided to give Stark The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith. This is a fairly new book which tells three different stories. The first story belongs to Ariel, a Middle Eastern teenage boy who is adopted by an American scientist and his wife. The second story is Ariel and his adopted brother Max at summer camp. The third story tells of the ill-fated crew of a ship called The Alex Crow which was sailing in the Arctic Ocean. The three stories eventually intertwine in a way that Stark would find quite intriguing. I’ll leave the discovery of the connection to you..no spoilers! Continue reading What Would They Read?: Avengers Assemble!
As a follow-up to Hannah GÃ³mez’s post #DiversityatALA about the current movement to be vocal about the need for more diversity in YA literature (#weneeddiversebooks), and Kelly Dickinson’s post featuring LGBTQ titles, I’m here to list some upcoming YA books that contain non-white, non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered or differently-abled characters that you should be on the lookout for. If you are attending the ALA Annual Conference this weekend in Vegas, ask the publishers about ARCs for many of these. Not all of them will be available as ARCs because some aren’t being published until 2015, but publishers’ reps should still be able give you the scoop on them.
To start, I’m including a few recent notable books that you probably know about and a few that aren’t as obvious because the reviews might not have mentioned their diverse content, or you can’t tell from their jacket flaps.
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark (2014 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) is a novel about a transgendered boy while a strong pick for a nonfiction book about transgendered teens is Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.
I wasn’t aware that the main character Chevron “Chevie” is descended from the Shawnee Native American tribe in Eoin Colfer’s Warp: Book 1 the Reluctant Assassin until I started reading it. The second book in the series, Hangman’s Revolution is coming out today. Park in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2014 Printz Honor book) is half-Korean.
In Stick by Andrew Smith the main character â€œStickâ€ is differently-abled because he was born without an ear & his older brother is gay. Chasing Shadows by Swati Avashi has a main character of Indian descent and there’s a lot about Hindu mythology in the book.
Padma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance is about a classical Indian dance prodigy whose life seems to be over after she becomes a below-the knee amputee.
Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot is a fantasy flavored by Native American cultures and Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore features a lesbian character.
Now that you’re up to speed on recently-published diverse titles, here are some upcoming books with diverse content to keep an eye out for at ALA Annual and other conferences:
Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks, August 2014) is a ghost story about Okiko, whose spirit has wandered the world for centuries delivering punishment to monsters who hurt children, but when she meets teenaged Tark, she tries to free him from the demon that invaded him.
Blind by Rachel DeWoskin (Penguin, August 2014) A 15-year-old teen girl loses her eyesight the summer before high school after a firecracker misfires into a crowd.
Positive: a Memoir by Paige Rawl (HarperCollins, August 2014) (NF). Memoir of Paige Rawl, HIV positive since birth, who was bullied in school once she disclosed her HIV-positive status and from that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Continue reading Diverse YA Titles to Look for at ALA Annual