El Deafo

eldeafo

This week, I was lucky enough to have a thirty-minute window when I could pop into my favorite independent bookstore in Los Angeles. They have a large children’s section on the second floor that I love perusing because they do an excellent job at getting new books. On one of their displays sat El Deafo […]

A visual life

Andre the Giant

Whether you are teaching history, English, or nonfiction writing, biographies and memoirs can be great tools. They can create a personal connection to and a deeper understanding of a period in history, or illustrate specific types of writing techniques, or showcase a person’s unique perspective. Unfortunately, some students think these books are dry or unappealing. […]

Review of This One Summer

tamaki_this one summer

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Jillian Tamaki Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    320 pp. 5/14    978-1-59643-774-6    $17.99 Rose Wallace and her parents go to Awago Beach every summer. Rose collects rocks on the beach, swims in the lake, and goes on bike rides with her younger “summer cottage friend,” Windy. But this […]

Graphic novels for middle schoolers

faulkner_gaijin

From poignant historical fiction to introspective coming-of-age tale, hilarious space caper to action-packed superhero story, four new graphic novels for middle schoolers showcase the range of the graphic novel format. In Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, thirteen-year-old Koji Miyamoto is living in San Francisco with his (white) mother when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. Despite being […]

‘Til death do we part? The Undertaking of Lily Chen

novgorodoff_undertaking of lily chen

The Undertaking of Lily Chen (First Second, March 2014), Danica Novgorodoff’s latest graphic novel, begins with an excerpt from an article published by The Economist in 2007: Parts of rural China are seeing a burgeoning market for female corpses, the result of the reappearance of a strange custom called “ghost marriages.” Chinese tradition demands that […]

Graphic novels

Wonderstruck

I am a college professor working with students who are aspiring teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students at the University of Tulsa, and this year I have launched, with the support of my colleagues and students, a free reading clinic for deaf and hard of hearing students in the Tulsa area. The clinic […]

Gene Luen Yang on Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Sam Bloom asked Gene Luen Yang about the process of creating the two volumes of Boxers & Saints. Read the starred review here. Sam Bloom: Did you write both volumes at the same time, or did one come before the other? How did you decide to split […]

Review of Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

Boxers & Saints Boxers by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     328 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-359-5     $18.99 Saints by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     172 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-689-3     $15.99 Boxed set […]

Evaluating nonfiction: At War with the Empire

at war with the empire

To better understand the criteria for judging children’s books, I started reading frequent Horn Book Magazine contributor Kathleen T. Horning‘s From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books. In the second chapter, Horning considers “books of information.” Around the same time, author Gerry Hunt and illustrator Matthew Griffin’s graphic novel At War With the […]

A whole bunch of questions for Lucy Knisley

relish

In her adult graphic-novel memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (First Second, April 2013), Lucy Knisley portrays specific periods of her life and their associated “taste-memories” in a series of witty, touching vignettes. Relish begins with Lucy’s early childhood in New York City, growing up in a family of foodies with great faith in […]