Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of My Body in Pieces by Marie Noëlle Hébert

My Body in Pieces Cover Art

My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noëlle Hébert
Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
ISBN: 9781773064840

My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noëlle Hébert is a book that allows many to feel heard. Teenagers today are challenged with taboo issues that our society has finally come to address. This memoir allows one to feel connected by means of learning the importance of self-confidence. Through graphite images, the author shares her journey with low self-esteem along with her desire to have a “perfect” body.  

This book is ideal for a library’s graphic novel collection for young adults because any young adult can relate to the many messages that the author shares that center around loving yourself. While the story is intense and indirectly discusses suicide, this book can be read and discussed in the home, during support groups, or in therapy sessions as well. It is a great book to open up a conversation with teens about self-esteem and body image through the challenges of the author. Teens will be able to relate via the black-and-white drawings, and they will also be able to use this as a time to reflect about their own personal self-esteem challenges. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Great Graphic Novels Roundup Art
Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.


The Apothecary Diaries, v.1. By Natsu Hyuuga. Art by Nekokurage. 2020. Square Enix Manga, $10.99 (9781646090709). 

Maomao is a palace servant who was sold into service to the Emperor. After saving one of the Emperor’s heirs, she is promoted to food taster, where she is able to use her skills as an apothecary.

Artie and the Wolf Moon. By Olivia Stephens. Lerner Publishing Group / Graphic Universe, $16.99 (9781728420202). 

Artie discovers that her mother is a werewolf and that she has abilities of her own. While attempting to discover what happened to her missing father, she comes across other supernatural enemies.

Asadora, v.3. By Naoki Urasawa. VIZ Media / VIZ Signature, $14.99 (9781974720118). 

When she was young, Asa survived a devastating typhoon, but on the same day saw a mysterious footprint in the town where she lived with her family. Now older, Asa becomes involved in a mission to stop the creature who made the footprint.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley

My Last Summer with Cass Cover Art

My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
ISBN: 9780759555457

Childhood friends Megan and Cass, separated for years by a move, have reconnected for a summer adventure in New York City where Cass currently lives. Both are artists, but each have different ways of exploring and learning about art—rebellious Megan challenges Cass’s way of creative thinking and way of life. They collaborate on a personal art project that could bring them both to a new level of artistry, but is it too big of a step for them as artists and as friends?

A coming-of-age tale with an artistic flair, My Last Summer with Cass brushes all the right strokes of the challenge of growing up and sometimes growing apart. Going off to college always creates that complication, and the question of saving versus giving up on a childhood friendship is one that all teens can end up relating to. The soft and subtle coloring beautifully complements and elevates the expressive artwork. This is a heartfelt tale about standing up for yourself, even if sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Boys Run the Riot, v.1 by Keito Gaku

Boys Run the Riot Cover Art

Boys Run the Riot, v.1 by Keito Gaku
Kodansha Comics / Kodansha USA
Publication Dates: May 25, 2021
ISBN: 9781646512485

Ryo spends his days at school and at home without letting anyone know that he is transgender. In his free time, it is only the clothes he wears that make him feel like his true self. When Jin—a new cisgender student who has to repeat the grade Ryo is in—runs into him at a clothing shop, they find that they both have the desire to wear clothes that reflect themselves. Ryo confides in Jin about his gender identity, and the two decide to start their own clothes business with Ryo designing and Jin marketing. Rounding out the group is cisgender classmate Itsuka, who is bullied for his interest in photography. The three work together to create a business that makes clothes that defy people’s assumptions about them. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Juliet Takes a Breath: The Graphic Novel by Gabby Rivera and Celia Moscote

Juliet Takes a Breath Cover Art

Juliet Takes a Breath: The Graphic Novel by Gabby Rivera and Celia Moscote
BOOM! Box / BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
ISBN: 9781684156115

Meet Juliet, a queer Puerto Rican college student from the Bronx eager to begin her internship in Portland with white feminist author Harlowe Brisbane. Unfortunately, Juliet quickly feels overwhelmed and frustrated as she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about women’s history, feminism, or even her own identity. Compounding her misery are a break-up with her girlfriend Lainie and a fight with her mother, who refuses to accept that Juliet is a lesbian. When Harlowe uses Juliet’s internship to justify her own racism, Juliet is forced to look elsewhere for community. She finds love and support in her extended family, a writing group for queer women of color, and a very cute library intern named Kira.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of The Hazards of Love, v.1: Bright World by Stan Stanley

The Hazards of Love Cover Art

The Hazards of Love, v.1: Bright World by Stan Stanley 
Oni Press 
Publication: March 30, 2021 
ISBN: 9781620108574 

The Hazards of Love is a fantastical cautionary tale of why you should never make a deal with a magical cat. Amparo is a known delinquent and is facing suspension for pulling the fire alarm at their school. To make matters worse, they have a crush on lolanthe, a straitlaced and rule-abiding student. Enter a magical cat with a solution to their problem. Instead of fulfilling the promise of making Amparo a “good person,” the scheming cat takes over their body and then imprisons Amparo’s soul in a strange place called Bright World. Bright World is full of unusual, brutish, and dangerous human-animal crossbreeds that feed off human memories, slowly turning them into mindless zombies before finally eating their bodies. Amparo must use their quick wits to escape and return home but soon finds themselves in thrall to a black deer named El Ciervo. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart and Manuel Preitano

Whistle Cover Art

Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart and Manuel Preitano
DC Comics
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
ISBN: 9781401293222

Willow Zimmerman is a Gotham City teenager who is trying to make a difference in her spare time by protesting gentrification efforts in her neighborhood, Down River. She also needs money, and a job at a local job shelter is not enough to support her and her mom. When an old friend of the family offers Willow a job which allows her to use her smarts and pays well, she takes it, even though the job may technically be illegal. However, she begins to realize that the job is connected to a larger plan to take over her neighborhood, and while investigating, she is attacked. Things turn even stranger when she discovers she can communicate with the dog who saved her life. To stop things from getting worse, she decides to be the hero her neighborhood needs. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent by Isabella Rotman and Luke Howard

Quick and Easy Guide to Consent Cover Art

A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent by Isabella Rotman and Luke Howard
Limerence Press / Oni Press
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
ISBN: 9781620107942

The latest in the Quick and Easy Guide series, this volume covers the complicated concept of consent in an easily digestible comic book. The peppy narrator, Sergeant Yes Means Yes, or Sarge, takes readers through a variety of scenarios teens may find themselves in, discussing how to make the scenarios safer and more comfortable for everyone involved. The guide defines consent (complete with examples of what does and does not count as consent), and provides ways to discuss wants and needs with potential partners. The backmatter even includes helpful charts to help readers define their boundaries, interests, sexual activities, and STI risk reduction.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise

Cheer Up! Cover Art

Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
Oni Press
Publication Date: August 10, 2021
ISBN: 9781620109557

When brilliant but antisocial lesbian Annie joins the cheerleading team to round out her college applications, she rekindles her friendship with BeBe, the newly elected captain of the squad. While Annie’s outspokenness often alienates others, BeBe, a transgender girl, struggles to please everyone, especially her teammates and her parents. As BeBe learns to advocate for herself in the face of microaggressions, Annie discovers that opening herself up to others might not be so bad after all.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Jukebox Cover Art

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
ISBN: 9781250156365

Follow this enchanting time-traveling jolt through history with Shaheen and her cousin, Tannaz, as they search for Shaheen’s missing father. One moment, Shaheen is involved in an endless discussion with dad about his timeless vinyl collection (though partly tuning him out). The next moment, she is wondering when he will be home and why he isn’t answering calls. Shaheen and Tannaz decide to pretend they are solving a Nancy Drew case as they whisk through town visiting shops such as Otis Street Records. It is here that they are confronted with the “Jukebox.” Could this be the timeless classic involved in Shaheen’s dad’s missing case? Or could this be a dead end?

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