Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

2 New GNs Coming Your Way, and a look at Scholastic’s GRAPHIX imprint

This is how things go at my house . . .

Me: Whacha doing?
The Tween: Reading
Me: Oh, you’re reading SMILE again.
The Tween: Yep

So when news came out that there might be ARCs of SISTERS by Raina Telgemeier at TLA, I tweeted Christie: “Our one mission is to get ARCs of SISTERS at TLA and be heroes.” We did not get ARCs of said book. We are not heroes. The tween just keeps her copy of SMILE on the floor by her bed, and occasionally she will say to me, with those puppy dog eyes, I really can’t wait to read the next one.

There’s not a lot out there yet about SISTERS. Goodreads doesn’t even list a release date or ISBN at this point. Another source, however, says 8/26/14 with the ISBN: 9780545540599. So just in case you need to be someone’s hero, I want to make sure this is on your radar. And if you haven’t read SMILE yet, the Tween really recommends you pick it up. It is, after all, a Will Eisner Award winner.

Graphic novels have long been popular in my YA area. And more and more I am getting requests from Middle Grader readers for GNs. Scholastic has the GRAPHIX imprint to help fulfill this need. There is even a fun Create Your Own Comic activity there you can share with your tweens and teens. BONE by Jeff Smith is perhaps the most popular; I have readers come in almost weekly and ask for this series by name. Some other popular titles include Amulet, Cardboard, Chickenhare and Pandemonium.

And here’s a new one coming your way . . .

Cleopatra in Space: Book One, Target Practice
by Mike Maihack

Actually, this title came out in April, so it is brand spanking new.  Here’s the publisher’s description:

“When a young Cleopatra (yes, THAT Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, REALLY far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian. She enrolls in Yasiro Academy, a high-tech school with classes like algebra, biology, and alien languages (which Cleo could do without), and combat training (which is more Cleo’s style). With help from her teacher Khensu, Cleo learns what it takes to be a great leader, while trying to figure out how she’s going to get her homework done, make friends, and avoid detention!

It was a pretty fun read. I mean, of course Cleopatra belongs in space. If you ask me, everything is better in space. We are big Doctor Who fans, and it was kind of fun to read this after watching the episode Dinosaurs on a Space Ship which guest stars – you guessed it – Cleopatra. This is book 1 and we are looking forward to reading more in the series.

And I want to end by talking for a moment about reading and re-reading books. As I mentioned above, the Tween reads SMILE a lot. And last summer she kept reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books a lot. This drove The Mr. crazy. At one point he started to storm into her room and tell her she needed to read something different, anything, just something different. So we talked about it and I said things like this:

1. It’s okay to read books over and over again, don’t worry. Each time she’ll pick up something new.
2. She’ll read something different when she is ready.
3. Don’t turn reading into a war between you and her. Don’t fight about it. Don’t put your rules and expectations on it; if she enjoys reading books multiple times then let her do that, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Don’t take the joy of it away from her. If you make reading become a battleground, you will lose this war and she will lose because she will lose her love of reading.

I personally am not a huge re-reader. Except that I have read The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin probably once a year every year since the 5th grade. I really love that book. But every time she reads Smile it makes her happy, I just can’t find anything bad about that.