Thursday, June 29, 2017

ALA 2017 highlights: graphic novels coming this summer & fall (ages 8-14)

My students love reading graphic novels, and I always look forward to expanding our collection. Here are six new graphic novels I'm excited to read this summer and fall.
For my students who love Raina Telgemeier's Smile and Ghosts, I'm excited to share three new books that show regular kids coping with the daily dramas of life. It's definitely worth celebrating how girls' stories are finding great voices in comics, with outstanding authors and artists.

Swing It Sunny, by Jenni Holm, combines heartfelt humor and heartache as Sunny wrestles with her dysfunctional family and figures out middle school. I especially appreciate the conflict and resolution with her older brother Dale who struggles with drug and alcohol problems. I finished reading this with a feeling of holding Sunny's heart in my hands.

The Baby-Sitter's Club graphic novels, adapted by Raina Telgemeier, are perennial favorites. Kids are super excited that a new one in this series will come out this fall. Dawn and the Impossible Three adapts the 5th Baby-Sitter's Club, and is illustrated by debut artist Gale Galligan.

All's Faire in Middle School, by Victoria Jamieson (who wrote Roller Girl), is sure to resonate with many kids struggling with finding friends, being true to themselves and navigating social pressures. As one librarian friend said, "Might as well order two copies right now, because it will never be on the shelf."

Pashmina, by debut author/artist Nidhi Chanani, explores a young teen's identity and relationships through magical realism. Priyanka Das wonders why her mother abandoned her home in India years ago, leaving her father behind. But Pri's mother avoids all discussions about India, leaving Pri just to wonder. But when she discovers a mysterious pashmina, she is transported to a beautiful, amazing place -- but is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? Gene Luen Yang writes, “Colorful and deeply personal, Pashmina illuminates the experience of an Indian-American teenager and invites us to contemplate the power of our choices.”

In Making Scents, Mickey's parents are so crazy about dogs that they raise him with his "brothers and sisters", the dogs of their family. But when tragedy strikes, Mickey must move in with his aunt and uncle who hate dogs--and struggle to find acceptance for who he is. Kirkus describes this as "A heartfelt tale of acceptance, tolerance, and grief."

Nonfiction graphic novels that use humor and illustrations to draw readers into fascinating topics fascinate me. In Older Than Dirt, masterful graphic novelist Don Brown teams with geologist Mike Perfit to introduce young readers to earth science. According to the Kirkus review: "Readers will be entertained, informed, and inspired to learn more about whatever piques their curiosity, whether it is uranium, continental drift, glaciers, or one of the featured scientists, such as Marie Tharp... a grand and exciting adventure."

I'd love to hear about any upcoming releases that you're looking forward to reading! Many thanks to the publishers for sharing review copies. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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