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Crash Course: Graphic novels for younger readers

Earlier this month, I shared a bunch of recent picture books that focus on community, caring, inclusivity, and connections. Today, I’m looking at graphic novels that are popular in the elementary library where I work. Just like I firmly believe picture books are for people of all ages, and have value and usefulness for people beyond the “recommended” age group, graphic novels also have wider appeal than their suggested ages may indicate. Even if you just work with older teens, it’s useful to know about these books that may be more widely read by younger readers, but will certainly find older audiences.

The graphic novel returns from just one class.

I did a recent post with mini-reviews of a bunch of graphic novels (they’re kind of my go-to read when my brain feels super overwhelmed). Karen has also posted quite a bit about graphic novels, and Ally often does comics and graphic novel roundups, too. Pop “graphic novels” into our search bar and check out some of these other great resources!

As with every post, we always want to hear from you. If you work with younger readers or have younger kids in your life, what graphic novels are they loving? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter!

We recently moved the graphic novel section, so now it’s right around the corner from my desk. Saves me a lot of walking!

I ran a report at work to see what our top 50 books of the past year looked like. I did a post at the end of the school year that showed our top 25, if you’re interested. Of our top 50 for the past year, there were six Dog Man titles, four Amulet books, and three Raina Telgemeier books. The graphic novel look at school is FIERCE. I have lots of conversations with adults that are like this one:

And a lot of conversations with kids that are like this one:

Whether you’re looking to learn a bit more yourself, searching for a new book or series to hand to a young person in your life, or hoping to do some collection development, let’s dive in!

Compass South: A Graphic Novel (Four Points Series #1) by Hope Larson, Rebecca Mock (Illustrator)

Pirates pursue 12-year-old twins in the 1860s. Lots of action and adventure. The sequel, Knife’s Edge, offers up further danger and possible treasure.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

So good. Russian American Vera hopes she’ll fit in at camp more than her school, but camp isn’t as great as she’d hoped. Shows how complex the social dynamics of childhood can be. Muted colors work well for the general feeling of misery.

The Mystery Boxes (Explorer Series #1) by Kazu Kibuishi (Editor)

What’s inside the mystery box? A group of great graphic novelists offer up their answers in these short comics. Series also includes The Hidden Door and The Lost Islands.

New Kid by Jerry Craft

SO enjoyable. We definitely need more graphic novels featuring black kids. Fantastic full-color art enhances this story of racism, privilege, day-to-day middle school issues, and fitting in.

March Grand Prix series by Kean Soo

Animal racecar drivers? Yes, please!

Secret Coders series by Gene Luen Yang, Mike Holmes (Illustrator)

Clues, puzzles, and mysteries all just waiting to be solved by smart kids and coding!

Mega Princess series by Kelly Thompson

Princess Max (with the help of her jerk pony) would rather be a detective than a princess who has all of the powers of all princesses ever.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series by Dana Simpson

Friendship and hijinks in the vein of Calvin and Hobbes. Phoebe’s reluctant new best friend, unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, helps her feel less lonely.

And speaking of Calvin and Hobbes….

… these still circulate like mad at school. This makes me happy! In elementary school, my own kiddo went through a HARDCORE Calvin and Hobbes phase, even going as Stuependous Man for superhero day at school!

Lucy and Andy Neanderthal Series #1 by Jeffrey Brown

Stone Age kids and plenty of humor.

Click by Kayla Miller

Absolutely charming and great. A really heartfelt and positive exploration of friendship, fitting in, and standing out. Fortunately, it looks like this is the first in a series about Olive’s adventures. Sequel called Camp!

Q and Ray series by Trisha Speed Shaskan, Stephen Shaskan (Illustrator)

Adorable animal detectives are on the case! Great for lower grades.

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

Emmie and Friends series. Middle school look at friendship, popularity, confidence, and embarrassment. Heartfelt and relatable.

Narwhal and Jelly Series by Ben Clanton

Silly and cute, this series focuses on friendship.

Lowriders series by by Cathy Camper, Raúl the Third (Illustrator)

A bunch of pals who love working on cars have wild adventures in space and (in the sequel) the underworld.

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell and friends

I love the emphasis on creativity, imagination, and working together as well as the creative play that allows you to imagine yourself however you’d like to be—or to show the world how you really are.

Hilo series by Judd Winick

Hilo’s not from around here—he fell from the sky! He and his new friends uncover all kinds of creatures and have lots of adventures.

Cleopatra in Space series by Mike Maihack

Cleopatra is zapped far into the future, where (no pressure) she has to save the galaxy. VERY popular at my school.

Bird & Squirrel series by James Burks

A scared squirrel and bold bird make for unlikely friends, but together they can face anything!

I could keep going, but WHEW, that’s already a lot of books. Happy reading!

Collecting Comics: Middle Grade Novels that a Middle Grade Reader Really Loves

I’ve shared with you before the struggles that Thing 2, now almost 11, has had with reading. From being diagnosed with dyslexia to the ways in which school reading assignments have made her hate reading, I’ve been working overtime as both a mom and a librarian to try and ignite that love for reading. Do you know what’s helping? Graphic Novels!! So today while regular C2 blogger Ally Watkins is on sabbatical – it’s summer reading program time! – Thing 2 and I are here to share with you some graphic novels read by and recommended by a middle grade reader.

Now if you know anything about me, I have often proclaimed that graphic novels are my archnemesis. Not because I don’t respect or value them, because I do, but because I don’t personally enjoy them as a reader and have found them over the years to be hard to evaluate and collect. Thankfully, I now have resident comics and graphic novel expert Ally Watkins saved into my phone and I talk to her regularly about GNs. In fact, she kindly gives me a lot of recommendations for my very favorite middle grade graphic novel reader. I have a long list of recommended titles we’re working through.

Here’s a look at some of the GNs Thing 2 is currently reading and loving.

Like most middle grade kids, Thing 2 LOVES Raina Telgemeier. I was very fortunate to attend BEA and got an advanced copy of Guts, which she loved. The Teen also read this book because she grew up reading Telgemeier and she also was a fan. One of the things we really liked about this book is that it talks openly and honestly about having anxiety, which several people in our house struggle with. This ARC has already been read several times by multiple people in our house and is highly recommended.

The Cardboard Kingdom is a super fun book about a group of kids who make a play kingdom out of cardboard. It’s about friendship and creativity. It’s inspiring and joyful. As a librarian, I love that it has built in fun activities that require nothing more than creativity and cardboard, something that libraries have in spades as we get shipments of books in large cardboard boxes. This book is a delight and is another title that she has read multiple times.

YA authors Meg Cabot and Kami Garcia have both joined the DC graphic novel line. Meg Cabot wrote the Black Canary graphic novel that you see pictured above. Kami Garcia wrote the origin story for Raven, from Teen Titans. We watch a lot of comic book movies in our house and we are regular Teen Titans Go watchers so both of these GNs were awesome!

I did a random search for middle grade grade novels and came across The Breakaways which I purchased with almost no information because it’s about a group of friends who play soccer. Thing 2 also plays soccer so I thought tying reading in with something she already loves might help. It came when I was at work and by the time I had gotten home she had already read it. It is a great coming of age novel in which a variety of characters explore things like their sexuality, friendships, and features a wide variety of middle schoolers who are just trying to figure out who they are.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale is another graphic novel that is popular with Thing 2 and all of her friends. The companion novel, Best Friends, comes out in August and we already have our copy pre-ordered.

I have a long list of GNs to try from Ally and they include series like Amulet, Zita the Spacegirl, Cleopatra in Space, Princeless and Roller Girl. Be Prepared is on its way to our house as we speak. Graphic novels are very popular and growing in popularity, especially among middle grade readers. Several publishing houses have started or have announced that they are starting graphic novel imprints this year and next. I’m calling a truce with graphic novels, they are my archnemesis no more!

Remember, reading graphic novels is reading! And I am thankful that they are helping my kid develop a love of reading after so many struggles.

Here are some other great recommended reading lists that we’re currently working our way through

7 Awesome New Middle Grade Graphic Novels 

Get Real with Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Best Middle Grade Graphic Novels of 2018

50 Must Read Graphic Novels

Middle Grade Graphic Novel Publishers

Oni Press

DC Press

Scholastic Graphix

And Here are Some General Resources About the Rising Popularity of Graphic Novels Among Middle Grade Readers

Going Graphic: Why Graphic Novels are the New Frontier in Middle Grade

PW: An Ever Growing Demand for Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Collecting Comics: November and December 2018 Edition, featuring a Spider-man, a Squirrel Girl, fierce females and some polar bears, by Ally Watkins

Here are comics titles your teens and tweens will be clamoring for in November and December!

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation by Gary Whitta, illustrated by Michael Welsh (Marvel, November 6). In this adaptation of the film, the Resistance has located Luke Skywalker, but the First Order isn’t going down without a fight. Collects #1-#6 of the comic book series.

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Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by J.P. Stassen (First Second, November 6). A thought-provoking nonfiction graphic tale set in Rwanda before and after the genocide of the Tutsi people.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume 9: Squirrels Fall Like Dominoes by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson (Marvel, November 27). In this ninth volume of Doreen Green’s squirrel-related antics continue. She and her best friend Nancy Whitehead decide to do an escape room adventure with their friends. Except this escape room might actually be lethal. Squirrel Girl to the rescue! Collects issues #32-#36 of the comic book series.

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Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Serena Blasco, based on the novel by Nancy Springer (IDW Publishing, November 27).  In this adaptation of Springer’s novel, Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister Enola wakes up on her 14th birthday to discover that her mother has disappeared. Determined not to be caught and packed off to boarding school, she escapes to London, determined to crack the case and make it on her own.

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Spidey: School’s Out by John Barber and Todd Nauck (Marvel, December 4). In this original graphic novel, Peter Parker has survived a year of being Spiderman and another year of high school. So obviously for his summer vacation he’s going to Camp Stark! He’s got to keep his camp and his identity safe while navigating the social and technological demands of camp: are both Spidey and Peter Parker up to the task?

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Lumberjanes Volume 10: Parents’ Day by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo (BOOM! Box, December 11). It’s parents’ day at the Lumberjanes camp and everyone is excited! Well…almost everyone. The Roanoke cabin wants to express to their families how much fun they’ve been having even though they might not understand the more supernatural elements of it. Soon they find themselves having to protect their parents from that very element. Collects issues #37-#40 of the comic book series.

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Giant Days: Early Registration by John Allison (BOOM! Box, December 18). Flashback to freshman year with Daisy, Esther, and Susan in these collected Giant Days bonus stories. Discover how they get to know one another and become friends!

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Science Comics: Polar Bears: Survival on Ice by Jason Viola, illustrated by by Zack Giallongo (First Second, December 31). In this latest installment of the nonfiction Science Comics series, we join two polar bear cubs as they hunt, play, and survive on the ice. With facts about polar bear biology and ecology, this fact-filled book will be a must for your nonfiction readers.

Collecting Comics: Comics take on addiction, STEM, space and more in October, by Ally Watkins

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Here are some great October comics your teens and tweens will be clamoring for!

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Secret Coders: Monsters and Modules by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes (First Second, October 2). In this sixth and final volume of the wildly popular Secret Coders series, the coders must travel to another dimension to save humanity! They must write their most complicated code yet to save the day.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (First Second, October 2). Tillie Walden’s latest graphic novel is about a girl on a crew in the deepest reaches of space, working to rebuild the broken down past. The newest member of the crew, Mia, might just have an ulterior motive for being there. Told in alternating timelines and flashing back to Mia’s years in boarding school where she fell in love with another student, this epic love story will enthrall your readers.

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Graphic Memoirist Grapples With Family Addiction In ‘Hey, Kiddo’ : NPR

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix, October 9). This powerful graphic memoir from popular cartoonist and children’s author Krosoczka has already been longlisted for the National Book Award. It tells the story of young Jarrett, who dealt with a drug addicted mother and was raised by grandparents with larger than life personalities. As he grows up, he finds solace in his art.

Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash (Candlewick, October 9). In this follow-up to Thrash’s acclaimed graphic novel Honor Girl, she returns to her teenage life a year and a half after the summer that changed her life. Young Maggie is grappling with depression and parents that don’t understand, and she only cares about her cat, who then disappears somewhere in the walls of her house. This story writes about depression and families with brutal honesty.

Lafayette! (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #8) by Nathan Hale (Amulet, October 16). The latest Hazardous Tale from Nathan Hale takes on the story of the Maquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who became an American Revolutionary War hero, fighting alongside Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.

Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine by Tony Woollcott, illustrated by Alex Graudins (First Second, October 16). The newest work of nonfiction in the Science Comics series takes on the human brain. In it, young Fahama must learn about the brain as quickly as possible in order to escape from the clutches of a mad scientist and his zombie assistant! Your young readers will learn about the brain along with Fahama!

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Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 16). O’Neill’s two previous graphic novels, Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society have been award-winning and very popular. In her next book, she dives into a story about the responsibility of being a guardian to who and what you love. When Lana and her father return to their hometown to help with cleanup after a big storm, Lana grows closer to her aunt and finds something magical: a colony of Aquicorns, magical seahorse-like creatures that live on the reef. Lana and her aunt slowly begins to realize that for the humans and the sea life to coexist together, something must change.

Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass by Lilah Sturgess, illustrated by Polterink (BOOM! Box, October 23). This is the first original graphic novel set in the world of the Lumberjanes made wildly popular by the comic book series. In this story, the girls of Roanoke cabin get separated during orienteering thanks to a mysterious compass, and Molly is becoming more and more insecure about her relationship with Mal and the other girls.

Runaways Volume 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Kris Anka (Marvel, October 30). Your fans of Rainbow Rowell will be thrilled to read the next collected trade editions of Runaways. In this arc, the team welcomes a new friend, Gert tinkers with technology that may be over her head, Karolina’s celebrity past catches up with her, and everyone tries to be a family again! (Collects issues #7-#12 of the comic book series).

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Crush by Svetlana Chmakova (JY, October 30). This book, the follow-up to the popular Awkward and Brave, Jorge has it all together…until he encounters his crush. He’s great when he’s with his group of friends…until those dynamics start to shift. Will he be able to balance expectations versus what he really wants?

The Hidden Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix, October 30). This follow-up to the popular The Witch Boy, shows Aster and his family adjusting to his new life working in witchcraft, unlike the other shapeshifter males in his family. Meanwhile, Aster’s nonmagical friend, Charlie, is having trouble–a curse has tried to attach itself to her. Now they must find the source of the curse before magical and nonmagical people start to get hurt!

BONUS NONCOMIC: Lumberjanes: The Good Egg by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Amulet, October 30). This third in the series of Lumberjanes novelizations follows fan favorite Ripley, who finds an abandoned egg. She’s determined to take care of it until the parents return, but will she be foiled by poachers, who want the egg for themselves?


Collecting Comics: September 2018 edition with Ally Watkins

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Here are some great September comics your teens and tweens will enjoy!

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SLAM! The Next Jam by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Marina Julia with Brittany Peer and Veronica Fish (BOOM! Box, September 11). Knockout and Can Can have broken one of the biggest rules in roller derby…not to mention some actual bones. When they get back to practice, can their teammates trust them? Collects all four issues of the limited run series.

Star Wars: A New Hope Graphic Novel Adaptation by Alessandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, September 18). Faithfully bringing the film to the page, this graphic novel adaptation of Episode IV will thrill both your comics fans and your star wars fans. This volume is the first in a planned trilogy of adaptations of the original Star Wars series.

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The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, September 18). In this full-color, nonfiction graphic work, Brown explores the realities of the Syrian refugee crisis and the life the Syrian people live while living in and fleeing a war zone.

Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Jon Chad (First Second, September 18). The wildly popular Science Comics series is back, this time exploring Earth and its neighbors in our solar system. Your nonfiction readers will love the art and the facts!

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Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second, September 18). The extraordinarily popular webcomic comes to print!  Eric is a former figure skater who scored a spot on the Samwell University hockey team his freshman year, but nothing could prepare him for the experience he’s about to have–or for Jack, his moody and attractive team captain.

Supernova (Amulet #8) by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix, September 25). Kabuishi’s thrilling Amulet graphic novel series continues! In this installment, Emily has lost control of her amulet and must find a way to fight back.  Meanwhile, Navin is having his own problems as the Resistance prepares to do battle. Both siblings must fight their hardest to save themselves and planet Alledia.

 

Collecting Comics: March 2018 with Ally Watkins

Check out these March-releasing comics that your teens and tweens will love!

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Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Steenz (Oni Press, March 6). Cel starts working as an archivist at the Logan Museum, but the job may not be everything she’s hoping for. Cel starts to dream of a woman she’s never met, and as she tries to learn more about her, strange things start happening–misplacing things, losing time–but she can’t seem to let go. Who’s the mysterious woman and why is Cel so drawn to her?

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The Altered History of Willow Sparks by Tara O’Connor (Oni Press, March 6). Willow is just about as low on the popularity scale of her high school as you can be. Until she finds a mysterious book that has the power to literally change her life. With each entry in the book, she becomes more popular, but her old life and friendships get farther and farther away. Willow is starting to discover that every action has a reaction and that this social experiment might not turn out the way she thinks it will.

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu (First Second, March 6). Bagieu compiles a comic biography of a variety of women who have rebelled and changed the world in various ways. Some of the women are well known, and some aren’t, but all are rebels. Great nonfiction title for teens!

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart: Volume 1: Riri Williams by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Stefano Caselli (Marvel, March 6). Riri Williams has her own Iron Man suit and the newest, best technology, and she’s ready to try her hand at this superhero thing. But she’s got a lot to deal with: super villains, super-teams trying hard to recruit her, and her adventures going viral. Is she ready for this? Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love the introduction of a new teenage superhero character!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 7: I’ve Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson (Marvel, March 13). Doreen and Nancy enter a programming contest and they don’t expect the prize to be a trip to The Savage Land. Will Squirrel Girl get to fight a dinosaur?? Collects issues #22-#26 of the comic book series.

The Unstoppable Wasp, Volume 2: Agents of G.I.R.L. by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Elsa Charretier (Marvel, March 13). The Red Room wants Nadia back, and they’re gunning to get her there. This means the geniuses of G.I.R.L. are taking on their first real science challenge! Can they outsmart the Red Room, or will Nadia be forced back into captivity? Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic book series.

Giant Days Volume 7 by John Allison, illustrated by and Max Sarin and Liz Fleming (BOOM! Studios, March 27). Susan, Daisy, and Esther continue their second year at university and this semester includes: protests, family reunions, and an MMORPG wedding. Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series.

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Secret Coders: Potions and Parameters by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Mike Holmes (First Second, March 27). In the fifth Secret Coders book, The Coders have found Hopper’s dad–but he’s not the same. He’s had some of Professor One-Zero’s “green pop” concoction that makes him obsessed with the color green. The Professor won’t stop until the whole town is in a green stupor! Can the Coders stop him? Your younger comics readers will love this series!

BONUS NON-COMIC:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy 2 Furious by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Marvel Press, March 6). Doreen Green, age 14, also happens to be Squirrel Girl, a middle school superhero! In this next installment of her adventures, a new mall is opening up between two neighboring towns, and everyone gets to vote on the mascot! But soon the two towns are at war over the election, and Doreen begins to wonder if there isn’t something shady going on in Shady Oaks.

Collecting Comics: February 2018 by Ally Watkins

Happy February! Here are some comics and graphic novels that your teens and tweens will be asking for this month.

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Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 6). This is a graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda is working through something that happened to her over the summer, but no one will talk to her, much less listen to her after she got a party busted up by the cops. Through her work on an art project, she starts to come to terms with what happened to her. Carroll is an Eisner-award winning illustrator.

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Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw by Sebastian Girner, illustrated by Galaad (Image, February 13). Treasure hunter Luvander is tired of being a penniless adventurer, so she sets off on a journey to a fabled labyrinth of a dungeon, at the end of which is rumored to have endless wealth…or certain doom. Along the way, she collects a merry band of companions, each of whom have their own motives and secrets. Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic series.

The Backstagers, Vol. 2 by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Ryan Sygh (BOOM! Box, February 13). Jory and the rest of the Backstagers only want to put on the best show possible, but that’s hard when weird things are happening backstage. When an actor goes missing, the Backstagers must band together and keep the balance of the theatre! Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic series.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second, February 13). Frances is a dressmaker pulled into a dazzling world–making dresses for the Crown Prince Sebastian of Belgium as he spends his nights dazzling Paris as Lady Crystallia! But Frances is Sebastian’s secret, which means she can’t pursue her own dreams. Will they ever be realized?

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 4: Two Ships in the Night by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Xenia Pamfil (Action Lab Entertainment, February 20).  A night of revelry takes a sharp turn and Raven and her crew are taken off guard. Can they fight off invaders and keep their ship on course?

Lumberjanes, Vol. 8 by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo (BOOM! Box, February 20). The Roanoke cabin Lumberjanes are distressed to find that their Zodiac cabin pals have all been turned to stone! Can they find out what caused it without looking the wrong thing in the eye and turning to stone themselves?

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom by Gigi D.G. (First Second, February 27). After a surprise attack at sea, Cucumber finds himself in the Ripple Kingdom, where a giant terrible squid monster is holding his friends hostage! Can he save them?

Collecting Comics: January 2018, by Ally Watkins

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Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Collecting Comics! Here are some comics to put in your collection for your teens and tweens for the New Year!

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Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, Volume 2: Masks by Kelly Thompson, illustrated by Leonard Romero (Marvel, January 2). Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye (not that Hawkeye) finally gets a lead on the case that brought her out to LA in the first place, but to solve it, she’ll have to take a good, hard look at who she is and where she came from. Is she ready for that? Collects issues #7-#12 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love this one.

Gwenpool, the Unbelievable, Volume 4: Beyond the Fourth Wall by Christopher Hastings, illustrated by Gurihuru (Marvel, January 2). Gwen Poole is everyone’s favorite character from the “real” world. But the longer she’s in the Marvel Universe, the more her powers seem to fade. Maybe she needs a trip back to her world to recharge–but if she does that, will she be able to make it back to the MU? Collects issues #16-#20 of the comic book series. Give this to your patrons that are a fan of meta storytelling and humor.

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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Volume 4: Girl-Moon by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, illustrated by Natacha Bustos (Marvel, January 9). It’s Lunella Lafayette’s biggest adventure ever as she and Devil Dinosaur venture through the cosmos. And if they make it back, they may find their Earth a little bit..changed? Who are Devil Girl and Moon Dinosaur and what have they done to her neighborhood??? Collects issues #19-#24 of the comic book series. Lunella is great for a wide variety of readers!

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Elsewhere, Volume 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin (Image Comics, January 9). The thrilling story of what really happened to Amelia Earhart. Transported to a mysterious new world filled with alien creatures and flying animals, Amelia tries desperately to return home! Along the way she makes friends and finds herself in the middle of a rebellion against an alien warlord. Collects issues #1-#4 of the comic book series.

BOOM! Box Mix Tape (BOOM! Box, January 9). A collection of short comics from fan favorites and BOOM! Box stars. Inludes both original comics and new stories from BOOM! favorites like Lumberjanes, Goldie Vance, Giant Days and The Backstagers.

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Dream of the Butterfly, Volume 1: Rabbits on the Moon by Richard Marazano, illustrated by Luo Yin (Lion Forge, January 23). Tutu is blown away from her home by a giant blizzard, and she finds herself in a strange village filled with talking animals. It’s always winter here and the rabbits of the secret police find her guilty of a horrible crime: being a little girl! Nominated for the Angoulême Festival Youth Prize.

Olympians: Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O’Connor (First Second, January 30). O’Connor is back again with another installment of his wildly popular series based on Greek mythology. In this tenth volume, he delves into the myth of the trickster god Hermes who bewitches animals to bend them to his will, steals herds of animals, and generally causes chaos wherever he goes. Your patrons that like mythology, wit, and great storytelling will eat this one up!

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Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (Feiwel and Friends, January 30). The second installment of Wires and Nerves picks up where the Lunar Chronicles left off as Iko, Cinder, and the gang fight against rogue soldiers to try and unite Earth and Luna. Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will be delighted that there’s more to the story! These books will especially delight fans of Iko.

BONUS NON COMICS:

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Black Panther: The Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith (Marvel Press, January 2). T’Challa is the young prince of the nation of Wakanda and he likes nothing more than getting into trouble with his best friend M’Baku. But as conflict brews in Wakanda, his father the king announces he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in the United States. Will they be able to survive both the ins and outs of middle school and also solve the strange things that start happening all while hiding T’Challa’s true identity?

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Runaways: An Original Novel by Christopher Golden (Marvel Press, January 2). Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, and Molly are on the run again, hiding out and trying not to get killed. But kids with superpowers and abilities don’t get to have normal lives.

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Random House Books for Young Readers, January 2). Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. And he makes some bad mistakes. Sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, he meets a girl. Who will only talk to him. Who has a strange connection to the nightwalkers terrorizing the city. Is he convincing her to help him, or is she just using him to destroy the city’s elite? And is he next on her list?

Collecting Comics: December 2017 Edition, by Ally Watkins

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Welcome to the December 2017 edition of Collecting Comics! Here are a few suggestions of things coming out this month that your teens and tweens will enjoy!

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Gotham Academy, Second Semester, Volume 2: The Ballad of Olive Silverlock by Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl, illustrated by Adam Archer (DC Comics, December 5). In this final volume of the popular Gotham Academy series, we learn the fate of Olive, who has been possessed by her ancestor, Amity Arkham, who wants nothing more than to destroy Gotham City. Will the rest of the Detective Club be able to save her? Collects issues #9-#12 and #4 of the comic book series. This one features a lot of Gotham references, so give it to your Batman fans.

I Am Groot by Chris Hastings, illustrated by Flaviano (Marvel, December 5). When the Guardians of the Galaxy get stuck in a wormhole, a small Groot finds himself on his own in an alien world where no one can understand him. He must make a journey to the center of the world if he wants to find his family again! Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series.

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Star Wars: Rogue One Graphic Novel Adaptation by Allesandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, December 12). This graphic adaptation of the popular Rogue One film features Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star’s creator, who is trying to save her father from Imperial control and steal the plans for the Death Star. Leads directly into the opening scene of Episode IV. All of your young Star Wars fans will be lining up for this one.

Lumberjanes Volume 7: A Bird’s-Eye View by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Carey Pietsch, Ayme Sotuyo, and Maarta Laiho (BOOM! Box, December 12). The High Council is coming to camp for inspection and everyone is trying to make everything perfect, even though there’s a storm brewing and kittens from the boy’s camp are manifesting magic powers. The multiple Eisner-award winning series is back with a new trade volume! Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series. Lumberjanes is perfect for fans of summer camp adventures and friendship stories.

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Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes, illustrated by Selina Espiritu (BOOM! Studios, December 12). Brianna has big cooking dreams. She wants to open her own restaurant. But the only place she can afford to do it is in Monster City…where she’s the only human. Will her restaurant succeed?? Collects the entire limited series.

Misfit City Volume 1 by Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, illustrated by Naomi Franquiz (BOOM! Box, December 19).  Nothing fun has happened in Wilder’s hometown since they filmed a cult classic movie there in the 80s. But then she and her friends happen upon a centuries-old pirate map…and they discover their town might not be so boring after all! Collects issues #1-#4 of the comic book series. Give this one to your adventure readers.

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Ms. Marvel Volume 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel, December 26). An old enemy resurfaces and begins to target those closest to intrepid teenage hero Kamala Khan. She begins to suspect that something even more sinister is at work. Collects issues #19-#24 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love Ms. Marvel, the Pakistani-American teen trying to balance family, friends, and superhero-ing in her hometown of Jersey City.

See you in 2018!

C2: Collecting Comics for September and October 2017 with Ally Watkins

Today, librarian extraordinaire Ally Watkins begins her new monthly feature where she talks to us about comics and graphic novels to help us all with our collection development. Thanks Ally!

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Do your young students and patrons love comics? Are you constantly on the hunt for more? Here are some suggestions for comics and graphic novels coming out in September and October that your tween and teen friendos will inhale!

September

Older Than Dirt by Don Brown and Michael Perfit (HMH Book for Young Readers, September 5) A one of a kind, wild, nonfiction history of the earth by Sibert Honor medalist Don Brown and scientist Dr. Michael Perfit. Booklist’s starred review says: “Brown and scientific consultant Perfit provide an astonishingly comprehensive overview and manage to humanize it with witty asides from the woodchuck and worm who serve as surrogate teacher and student.” Your middle school nonfiction readers will check this one out instantly.

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All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books, September 5) From the author/illustrator of the widely loved and Newbery Honor book Roller Girl comes a new graphic novel! Impy has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire and she’s excited that she’s old enough to train as a squire herself. But first comes a new adventure: she’s going to school for the first time after being homeschooled her whole life. Her new friends seem really nice…until they don’t. How will Impy handle her new life? TLT’s review can be found here.

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice (First Second, September 12) Check out the steampunk adventure that Booklist calls “a rollicking good time”! What if the world developed space exploration in 1869 instead of 1969? A son on the hunt for his missing mother, spies, royal drama, and more!

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Spinning by Tillie Walden (First Second, September 12) For years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s entire life—practices for hours a day and on weekends, competitions, and more. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love for the first time, she began to question—was this what she really wanted? A moving teen graphic memoir, TLT’s review can be found here.

Jonesy Volume 3 by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Caitlin Rose Boyle (BOOM! Box, September 19) Jonesy is back at it again in the third trade paperback of her comic adventures. Jonesy is a normal teen except for one thing: she has the power to make people fall in love! The catch is, it doesn’t work on herself. Collects issues #9-12 of the comic book series.

October

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Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (First Second, October 3) Priyanka Das has a lot of unanswered questions, about her mother’s former life in India, about her father, and about her own identity. All Pri’s questions might be answered when she finds a magical pashmina scarf that transports her to the India of her dreams. But is it the real thing? And can it be as good as it seems? Check out the graphic novel that SLJ called a “dazzling blend of realistic fiction and fantasy.”

Cucumber Quest: The Donut Kingdom by Gigi D.G (First Second, October 10) A pun-filled MG graphic novel about, well, mostly bunnies. Cucumber the magician and his little sister Almond, a knight-in-training, set out to find the Dream Sword, the only thing powerful enough to defeat the Evil Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight! Give this to your kids who love adventure, humor, and fantasy.

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I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings (Tu Books, October 15) In this YA graphic novel, Alfonso Jones is killed by an off-duty police officer. This story is about his afterlife, where he meets other victims of shootings, and also his family, who are fighting for justice. Kirkus calls it “painfully important.”

Giant Days Volume 6 by John Allison, illustrated by Max Sarin, inked by Liz Fleming (BOOM! Box, October 24) Giant Days is an excellent crossover title that your older teens will love. Esther, Susan, and Daisy have started their second year of university and they’re now living in their own off-campus housing! But does that really make them grownups? Collects issues #21-24 of the comic book series.

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña (Getty Publications, October 24) A personal graphic memoir of the life of renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, written by award winning YA author Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña. Gorgeous black and white illustrations help tell the story of Iturbide, whose career has taken her all over her native Mexico and the world. May be of special interest to the budding artists in your classrooms and libraries.

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 31) The author/illustrator of the adorable Princess Princess Ever After is back with The Tea Dragon Society. After discovering a lost tea dragon, Greta learns about the old art of caring for tea dragons. As she meets the owners of the tea dragon shop and the people in their lives, she begins to understand how lives can be enriched by these creatures. Gorgeous art will make your kids want their own tea dragons and might even inspire some fanart.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix, October 31)  A middle grade graphic novel about a world in which the boys become shapeshifters and the girls become witches. Period. Anyone who crosses these line is exiled. But Aster is 13 and still hasn’t shifted. And he’s fascinated by witchery. This story has already been optioned for feature film by Fox Animation.

Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by Alitha Martinez and Joe Eisma (Archie Comics, October 31) Not published specifically as YA, this comic will have a lot of crossover appeal for your young fans of the show. The first trade paperback collection of the comics that are set specifically in the universe of the popular CW show.

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BONUS NON COMIC: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Amulet Books, October 10). The Lumberjanes are crossing over into middle grade novels! The five Scouts of Roanoke Cabin–Molly, Jo, Ripley, Mal, and April–are ready for a new adventure climbing the tallest mountain they’ve ever seen! Of course, it doesn’t exactly go as planned. Hijinks ensue; also unicorns. Your Lumberjanes-loving readers will be so thrilled to see their faves in a new format!