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Uncommon graphic novels for beginners

Difficult to classify — and entertaining to read. Here are four new graphic novels for beginning readers and middle graders. See also “Five Questions for Sergio Ruzzier” about his Fox + Chick series (in this issue), “New for New Readers: An Easy Reader Renaissance,” and Brian Selznick and David Serlin’s Talks with Roger interview about […]

Review of The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jaime Hernandez; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    TOON    48 pp. 4/18    978-1-943145-28-7    $16.95 Paper ed.  978-1-943145-29-4    $9.99 Spanish ed.  978-1-943145-30-0    $16.95 Spanish paper ed.  978-1-943145-31-7    $9.99 Three amusing and enlightening folktales full of action, magic tricks, and fantasy are presented in a spirited and lively comic-book […]

Review of All Summer Long

All Summer Long by Hope Larson; illus. by the author Middle School    Farrar    172 pp. 5/18    978-0-374-30485-0    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-0-374-31071-4    $12.99 This sensitive, realistic coming-of-age graphic novel by Eisner winner (most recently, for her Wrinkle in Time graphic novel adaptation) Larson beautifully captures the experiences of finding one’s own rhythm and place in a […]

Review of Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author; 

color by Alec Longstreth Intermediate    First Second/Roaring Brook    256 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-444-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-445-7    $12.99 “This book is a true story. And also made up.” Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11; Leave Me Alone, rev. 9/16) fictionalized graphic memoir captures the ups and downs (let’s […]

Review of Speak: The Graphic Novel

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illus. by Emily Carroll High School    Farrar    376 pp. 2/18    978-0-374-30028-9    $19.99 In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99) — a powerful narrative of a high school freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault — artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s […]

Review of The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    282 pp. 2/18    978-1-250-15985-4    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-363-4    $16.99 With a setting and palette reminiscent of Disney’s Cinderella and a setup involving a royal ball, this graphic novel has all the trappings of a rags-to-riches romance. […]

Fantastic (graphic-novel) voyages

These engaging new graphic-novel adventures draw intermediate and middle-school readers in to fantastical worlds that are variously beautiful and bizarre. The Sand Warrior kicks off the 5 Worlds series, a sweeping, sci-fi/fantasy graphic-novel saga written by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun. Three kids from very […]

New books for new readers

From limited word banks to graphic-novel elements, these books have plenty of tools to support emerging readers — and entertaining stories that are worth the effort. For more on easy readers, see the upcoming March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine article “An Easy Reader Renaissance.” Witty wordplay, snappy dialogue, and rich watercolor and collage illustrations combine […]

Review of Spinning

Spinning by Tillie Walden; illus. by the author High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    396 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-772-4    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-940-7    $17.99 In a graphic memoir, former competitive figure skater and synchronized skater Walden looks back at her twelve years growing up in the world of competitive sports. The shadowy, cool bluish-purples of most of […]

Review of All’s Faire in Middle School

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Dial    248 pp. 9/17    978-0-525-42998-2    $20.99 Paper ed.  978-0-525-42999-9    $12.99 Roller Girl (rev. 3/15) meets the Ren Faire in Jamieson’s new read-alike graphic novel. After years of homeschooling, Imogene Vega, a squire-in-training at the Florida Renaissance Faire where her family […]