The Hub Challenge 2021 – Amazing Debuts

The Hub Challenge 2021 is in full swing, and readers are taking advantage of all the ways to participate! Even if you didn’t sign up officially, you can always join the fun by keeping a copy of the Bingo Challenge board handy for inspiration.

2021 Hub Reading Challenge Bingo

Several of our Challenge participants have tackled that “Read an Amazing Debut” square, and others are curious about how to connect with those titles that might be Morris Award-contenders for 2022. To begin, some participants are using the 2021 Morris Award finalists to earn their Amazing Debut square.

Here is Leanna Chappell, Hub Challenge participant and Head of Youth Services at the Swanton Public Library in Ohio, describing her love of Christina Hammonds Reed’s tremendous debut The Black Kids:

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

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that 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.

Alienated. By Simon Spurrier. Art by Chris Wildgoose. 2020. BOOM! Studios. $19.99 (9781684155279). 

Three teenagers named Sam (Samuel, Samantha, and Samir) encounter an alien with incredible powers that bonds to them. But will they use those powers for good or for evil?

Asadora!, v.1. By Naoki Urasawa. VIZ Media / VIZ Signature. $14.99 (9781974717460). 

A storm sweeps into Nagoya, and young Asadora—with the help of unlikely friends—must find a way to rescue her family. But there’s more to the storm than just rain and wind as Asa soon discovers.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Odessa by Jonathan Hill

Cover Art

Odessa by Jonathan Hill
Oni Press
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
ISBN: 9781620107898

Eight years after Virgina (Ginny) Crane, her two brothers, and her father survived a massive earthquake that physically split their home state of California and left them in a post-apocalyptic America, Ginny prepares to venture out into the unknown to find their mother, Odessa, who left them years ago. To her surprise, frustration, and then relief, her younger brothers also join her on this journey. Safely navigating this questionable landscape of strangers, gangs, and less-than-helpful ferrymen will prove to challenge Ginny’s grit and desire to see how far she really will go to have family questions answered.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen by Matt Fraction & Steve Lieber

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 field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.

Cover Art

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber 
DC Comics
Publication Date: October 27, 2020 
ISBN: 9781779504623

Iconic sidekick Jimmy Olsen is the focus of this comedic limited series. Jimmy is a Pulitzer award-winning photographer, a member of one of the oldest and richest families in Metropolis, and also a goofy content creator for the Daily Planet‘s website whose antics keep the newspaper in the black. However, when one of his stunts ends up destroying a major landmark, he becomes embroiled in a mystery. After an assassin “kills” his decoy body, Jimmy goes into hiding to try and solve his own murder. 

This is an offbeat, fast-paced comic with a lot of laugh-out-loud moments anchored by an interesting mystery. It definitely helps for readers to have some familiarity with DC comics and the history of Superman, but Jimmy’s shenanigans both reference his classic stories with odd transformations and include more modern hijinks (especially acting as “irresponsible blogger Timmy Olsen” while undercover in Gotham). The artwork and coloring feels like a classic Silver Age comic and is accessible and full of visual humor.

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