Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Hollow by Watters, Boyer-White, & Nelle

  • Hollow
  • by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, and Berenice Nelle (Illustrator)
  • Publisher: Boom Box!
  • Publication Date: October 4, 2022
  • ISBN-13: 9781684158522

Izzy Crane is the new kid in the titular town of Sleepy Hollow. There is no relation between her and Ichabod Crane of the famous tale, but there is a relation between Vicky Van Tassel and the female character of that story. Izzy soon discovers that this town takes the legend very seriously, that she’s moved here just in time for all the annual festivities, and that the Headless Horseman is making another appearance! But has he been misunderstood all this time? Is he there to protect Vicky or harm her? And why does Izzy feel like her new friendship with Vicky could be more than she thought? The clock is ticking and Halloween is right around the corner! Will Izzy and her new friends be able to solve the mystery and keep Vicky safe?

Hollow is a fun and spooky story that plays on an older legend, but knowledge of it is not necessary to enjoy this title. The artwork is enjoyable to look at and the coloring of the fall landscape is vibrant without stealing the show. The characters are well-defined and multi-faceted as well as being likable and funny. There is great diversity in the characters’ backgrounds as well as queer representation that is part of the story but not the basis for it.

Hollow will appeal to readers who enjoy not-too-spooky stories, beginning relationships and friendships, being a new kid in school when everyone knows everyone else, and even stories set in the fall. Hand this to readers who are fans of Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, and The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag.

-Mariela Siegert

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 6, 2022
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Release Date: October 18, 2022

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.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Radium Girls by Cy.

Radium Girls by Cy.
Iron Circus Comics
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
ISBN: 9781945820991

In 1918, lucky young women looking for work might be hired at the watch factories, where they were taught to use their lips to moisten the brush they used to paint the radium on watch faces to make them glow. They became “ghost girls”, glowing about town as the life of the party,  but unknowingly ruining their health to the point of death with the radium infused paint they were using.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Radium Girls by Cy.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 12 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Lumberjanes, vol. 11: Time After Crime by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Ayme Sotuyo
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
ISBN: 978-1684153251

After the adventures of Parent’s Day, Molly realizes that the summer will soon come to an end, and she will have to return home to judgmental and unaccepting parents without the support of her fellow Lumberjanes. Trying to find any way to stay just a little longer, Molly thinks that Jo’s new device will locate the source of the camp’s time anomalies, and maybe the key to making summer last just a little longer. Locating a mysterious voice in the forest, Molly strikes a deal to make her dreams a reality. However, when camp suddenly turns into an apocalyptic-like treehouse world, Molly realizes she may have accidentally made everything worse instead.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 12 Edition

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, August 8 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Lumberjanes, vol. 10: Parents Day by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Ayme Sotuyo
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
ISBN: 978-1684152780

It’s Parent’s Day at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and the Lumberjanes are ready to tell their parents all about their camp adventures—but maybe leave out the supernatural stuff, just in case. Camp leader, Rosie, has a supernatural creature-free scavenger hunt planned for their campers and their families. However, a local trickster creature has other plans. The Lumberjanes must figure out how to foil the trickster’s plans, keep their families safe, and somehow try not to let their parents figure out the stranger side of camp in the process.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, August 8 Edition

#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, September 13 Edition

Forgiveness is Really Strange by Masi Noor, Marina Cantacuzino, and Sophie Standing
Singing Dragon
Publication Date: February 21, 2018
ISBN: 978-1785921247

In this short graphic novel, social physiologist Dr. Masi Noor and The Forgiveness Project Founder, Marina Cantacuzino, explore the concept of forgiveness by summarizing the most recent research and exploring personal stories of forgiveness in extreme situations. The authors present the intricacies of forgiveness in a clear balanced manner, demonstrating the personal and social ramifications of choosing retribution over forgiveness, yet also the harm of forgiving in situations like domestic abuse when forgiveness only gives more power to the perpetrator. The quotations and interviews of individuals who chose forgiveness in extremely challenging situations make the otherwise scientific presentation personal and emotional. The moving stories showcase those such as South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, parents who lost children in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and both victims and perpetrators of racial and sectarian violence.

Continue reading #GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, September 13 Edition

#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, April 5 Edition

The Aeneid: A Graphic Novel by Diego Agrimbau
Stone Arch Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2018
ISBN: 978-1496561138

This is a graphic novel retelling of Virgil’s ancient classic, The Aeneid. After the Trojan War ends with the fall of Troy, Aeneas and his men wander the Mediterranean where they fight monsters and enemy soldiers. They find romance and tragedy, culminating in the founding of Rome.
Continue reading #GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, April 5 Edition

2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #10

Not signed up for YALSA’s 2016 Hub Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. Anything you’ve read since the awards were announced counts, and the challenge runs until 11:59pm on June 23, so sign up now!

the hub 2016 reading challenge

My Challenge reading has slowed down in recent weeks due to other titles demanding my attention (book club picks, adult nonfiction, and recommendations from patrons), but we’ve got over two months still to read, so I’m feeling good about my progress. The most recent titles I’ve finished are Mike Mullin’s Ashfall, and Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max. Continue reading 2016 Hub Challenge Check-in #10

2015 Young Adult Services Symposium Preconference: Panels & Pages

YALSA’s 2015 Young Adult Services Symposium included a pre-conference session on using graphic novels to inspire programming, recommended titles, a discussion with comics creators Terry Blas, Faith Erin Hicks, Mariko Tamaki, Gene Luen Yang, Leila del Duca, Joe Keatinge, and a discussion with teachers who use graphic novels in classroom instruction.


Robin Brennar, Teen Librarian and runs No Flying No Tights website, was our moderator.

First, librarians Cara and Emily talked about graphic novel readers advisory and using graphic novels in teen programming:

Who is your Batman?

Comic books always change. Your Batman may be different from your teens’ Batman. Lego Batman may be the Batman that resonates most with your teens! Keep this in mind when you do readers advisory and programming, your ideas and tastes may not match theirs. Continue reading 2015 Young Adult Services Symposium Preconference: Panels & Pages

Gone Camping: Novels Set At Summer Camp

Image from photos/26316553@N07/2896539401/.

Summer camp.  For many teens, those two words evoke all sorts of powerful memories and emotions.  As someone who attended and later worked at a few different kinds of summer camps, I too associate summertime with that special otherworld of camp life.  Whether it’s an academic summer program on an unfamiliar college campus, an wilderness adventure in the woods, or some other uniquely themed summer-only community experience, camp life often seems to be an escape from teens’ everyday lives.

Camp can be the rare place where you suddenly fit in and find others who share your passions.  Camp can be a dependable community where you feel the freedom to be a different–and perhaps more authentic–version of yourself.  Camp can also be the time and place when you discover new interests or new aspects of your identity.  Like all tightly knit and highly organized communities, camp can also be a place that reinforces certain expectations or ideals, making it a trap rather than an escape.  In all cases, summer camp also seems to be one of the best settings for diverse and strong coming of age tales.  Just check out a few of the fabulous young adult novels set at summer camp!

the summer i wasn't meThe Summer I Wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi

Lexi will do almost anything to maintain her relationship with her mother, especially since her dad’s recent death.  But when she figures out that Lexi’s in love with a girl, her mom plunges even deeper into depression and anxiety.  Desperate to preserve her family, Lexi agrees to attend New Horizons, a Christian summer camp that promises to teach her how to fight off her SSA–same sex attraction. Lexi’s determined to change–but she wasn’t counting on meeting Carolyn.

Wildlife – Fiona Wood (2015 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults)

wildlifeSince her aunt used her as a model in local billboard, Sibylla’s fairly mediocre social life has started to shift in unexpected ways.  Suddenly, she’s not entirely sure what to expect from the upcoming wilderness term.  Handsome Ben kissed her at a party over the holidays but hasn’t said much since and her longtime best friend Holly seems intensely invested in Sib & Ben’s potential romance.  Meanwhile, new girl Lou simply wants to muddle through this strange first term without having to discuss her dead boyfriend or her still crushing grief.  But in this unfamiliar environment, relationships of all kinds undergo unforeseen transformations. Continue reading Gone Camping: Novels Set At Summer Camp

Women in Comics: 2015 Eisner Award Nominations

eisnerawards_logo_13This month, I thought I would take a look at some of the great works by women that are nominated for this year’s Eisner Award. The Eisner Awards, or more correctly, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, recognize the best achievements in American comics on an annual basis. The award nominations are typically announced in April with the awards being presented at San Diego Comic Con in July. This year, some wonderful works by women are nominated and it seems like a great time to consider both those that I have previously written about and some new gems. This post won’t look at the work of all of the Eisner nominated women, but will instead focus on those that will appeal to teens and fans of young adult literature.

Ms. MarvelMs. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona, Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, and Bandette by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover are three of only four titles to have received three or more nominations which doesn’t surprise me at all. Ms. Marvel has been extremely popular for the way that it has reimagined the Ms. Marvel character as a teen Pakistani-American named Kamala Khan who is a huge fan of Carol Danver and ultimately ends up stepping into her shoes as Ms. Marvel. The series received a lot of publicity for the fact that Kamala Khan is the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel series and the story has helped to keep it popular. It earned not only Eisner nominations in the categories of Best New Series, Best Writer (for G. Willow Wilson), Best Penciller/Inker (for Adrian Alphona), Best Cover Artist (for Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson), and Best Lettering (for Joe Caramagna), but also a Hugo nomination and a spot on YALSA’s 2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. Continue reading Women in Comics: 2015 Eisner Award Nominations