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Review of Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir

Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir by Julie Bertagna; illus. by William Goldsmith Intermediate, Middle School    Yosemite Conservancy    128 pp. 3/19    978-1-930238-94-7    $17.99 This creatively rendered biography-in-comics-format of John Muir (1838–1914) is filled with the naturalist’s adventures, from his childhood in Scotland to his pioneering conservation work and formation of America’s National Parks. Muir’s […]

Peep show…or how, nevertheless, the Little Red Hen persisted

Spring has sprung around Boston! Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, and our library is hosting a “Peep Literary Diorama Exhibition.” This year, my family got in on the fun with our own entry. I’m using family and our loosely. I thought my kids would be excited about the idea of making a shoe-box diorama […]

Graphic biographies and memoirs

Agrimbau, Diego  Anne Frank Illustrated by Fabián Mezquita. Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Capstone Agrimbau, Diego  Leonardo da Vinci Illustrated by Diego Aballay. Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Capstone Graphic Library: Graphic Lives series. These graphic novels detail the lives of the titular historical figures, with emphasis on events that garnered each the most notoriety. The comic-book […]

Review of Max & the Midknights

Max & the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce; illus. by the author Intermediate    Crown    280 pp.    g 1/19    978-1-101-93108-0    $13.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93109-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93110-3    $8.99 It’s the Middle Ages, and redheaded Max is Uncle Budrick’s troubadour apprentice. Max longs to become a knight, but there’s just one problem: Max is a girl, a […]

Review of Older than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth

Older than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth by Don Brown and Mike Perfit; illus. by Don Brown Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    104 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-544-80503-3    $18.99 An extended conversation between a science-savvy groundhog and a new-to-Earth’s-history worm features a comprehensive overview of the geological past of our planet. The graphic format, […]

Graphic-novel biographies and memoirs

Chandler, Matt  Outrunning the Nazis: The Brave Escape of Resistance Fighter Sven Somme Illustrated by Daniele Nicotra. Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Capstone/Graphic Library Yomtov, Nel  Death Camp Uprising: The Escape from Sobibor Concentration Camp Illustrated by Wilson Tortosa. Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Capstone/Graphic Library Great Escapes of World War II series. […]

Review of Where’s Halmoni?

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim; illus. by the author Primary     Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch     96 pp. 10/17     978-1-63217-077-4     $19.99 Gentle and humorous, this graphic novel for younger readers is told exclusively through dialogue, sound effects, and visual narrative. Siblings Noona and Joon smell the wafting aroma of (their grandmother) Halmoni’s red bean soup, […]

Parenting inspiration from Kazu Kibuishi and other graphic novelists at the MICE expo

“What is the hardest character for you to draw?” my second-grade son, Miles, asked Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of his favorite graphic novels series, Amulet. Kibuishi had just finished an inspiring talk and demonstration for a group of children and adults at MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Exposition) at Lesley University on October 21 and […]

Crossing Literacy Thresholds: When Kids Are “Stuck” Reading the Same Things

I take a democratic spirit with regard to my children’s reading. In my view, if I take them to the library every weekend and they’re reading something — anything! — then we’re good, right? Maybe not. Lately, my nine year-old has been apathetic about our library trips, preferring to wait in the car. When in […]

Reading Without Walls: A Conversation with Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist and the Library of Congress’s 2016–2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has initiated a challenge to us all. Its rules are simple: read one book whose main character “doesn’t look like you or live like you”; OR read one book “about a topic you don’t know much about”; OR […]