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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 […]

Review of Louis Undercover

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt; illus. by Isabelle Arsenault; trans. from the French by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou Middle School    Groundwood    160 pp. 10/17    978-1-55498-859-4    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-860-0    $16.95 The collaborators behind Jane, the Fox & Me (rev. 1/14) have crafted another poignant picture book–sized graphic novel, this time about alcoholism, family separation, […]

Graphic-novel friendships and family

These realistic graphic novels (and one graphic memoir) offer a reminder to upper-elementary and middle-school readers that they are not alone when it comes to dealing with school and/or family drama. In her graphic memoir Real Friends, author Shannon Hale recounts her elementary-school years, focusing on the theme of childhood friendships. Young Shannon feels a […]

Review of Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Andrea Offermann Middle School, High School    Candlewick    134 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5939-4    $19.99    g The storyline of this graphic novel retelling of a twelfth-century epic poem is straightforward enough: after slaying Sir Esclados, Sir Yvain, a young knight-errant from […]