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Category Archives: Graphic novels

Can’t, I’m booked

After spending a few days away from home without time to read, I’m excited to say that this week will be some much needed and hotly anticipated time with books that have been patiently waiting. Here’s what’s on the agenda.

BooksAreCalling

  • Twisted by Hannah Jayne
  • The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
  • Currents by Eva Moraal
  • Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  • The Whispering of Trees by C.Y. Bourgeois
  • Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Stevenson and Co.
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Traitor Angels by Anne Blankmann
  • Once Was Lost by Natalie Richards

I look forward to being able to update everyone on my favorites and the disappoints (if there are any!) in the coming week! Until then, what’s on your TBR list?

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A sight to see

After finishing up a long holiday weekend where the biggest spectacle is beautifully-colored fireworks with the right amount of boom and pace to inspire awe that’s the thought I had when I finished The Stonekeeper, the Amulet series’ first book by Kazu Kibuishi. No2016-06-29 19.36.46t only will I continue to ride this adventure wave of a series, I look forward to the stunning visuals that Kibuishi provides. It’s a true visual treat and I’m not one to slow down to engage with the pages as much as I probably should, yet I did with this one.

Memorable character: I’m going to throw out to you that my favorite character isn’t actually the kids or fun robotic characters or Miskit, it’s actually Emily and Navin’s mom. The woman loses her husband, then with moans and groans from her kids, realizes that the best place to bring her kids is an old family home both to save money and I’m sure to find something to hold on to. I loved her can-do attitude in getting out the pails and Pine-sol to spruce up the creaky place and her willingness, always, to protect her kids, even when she’s gobbled up by a blob. No wonder her kids are so eager to save her because I certainly know a few kids who’d look the other way and continue on their adventure.

Memorable Scene: When the house moves! How gorgeous a visual even with little to no color in the scene, but this is exactly the type of creativity and adventure that makes this series worth investing in. Even the previous scenes when Miskit, disguised as a boatman, ferries the kids across the water are luscious and rich. Mmmmm!

I can’t wait to put the rest of the series on my TBR pile and be sure to order enough copies to handout like it’s my job. Oh wait, it is my job!

 

 

I’ll take it sunny-side up too

You know that feeling when you clutch a book to your chest and relish in the delight of reading something so lovely and wonderful and graceful? Yes, that just happened today when I finished reading Jennifer and Matthew Holm’s Sunny Side Up, a graphic novel set in the 1970s featuring Sunshine aka Sunny. I’m not surprised that it’s winning accolades and ending up on recommended reading lists.

In the vein of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson, our main chSunnySideUparacter is tween/teen and dealing with life. The realistic, down-to-earth kind of story that makes it an “every person” book, not for a specific subset of readers. In addition, like the other graphic novels’ illustrations, I am on board with the vivid coloring and rounded illustrations that are in stark contrast to darkly explored stories in black and white.

Sunny is staying with Grandpa in Florida for the summer and while it’s not the best fun, meeting the groundskeeper’s son who is fanatical about superheroes, provides an avenue for Sunny to find her voice. After a summer of sleeping on a squeaky, uncomfortable pull-out bed, eating dinner at 4pm, finding her grandfather’s stashes of cigarettes, and feeling like she separated her family, Sunny’s shining moment is when it all comes out. She confesses her frustrations to which her grandfather responds with the most-appropriate sentiments: he’ll stop smoking, they’ll go to Disney World, find a different bed, and that her brother’s issues are not her fault. And as their summer comes to an end, he reminder her to “keep her sunny side up”, which is an endearing sentiment that plays both on how attitude is everything and on her unique, hippie name.

Everyone should remember to keep their sunny side up.

 

Graphically speaking

DonBrown

Simply looking at the two covers of Don Brown’s graphic nonfiction books allow a glimpse into the talent Brown has in illustration. But the story and storytelling are equally evocative. In fact, a reader learns as much through the text as they shown by turning the pages of these accessible stories providing perspective on two disasters that affected Americans.

The Great American Dust Bowl showcases the man-made tragedy of dust storms sweeping the west during the early 1900s after the land was taken from Native Americans and turned over to farmers who, without proper knowledge, farmed the land to excess. This led to dust storms that brought financial ruin, health issues and death, and environmental devastation. And with little dialogue and a precise narrative, the shocking story is ripe for discussion about what actions were taken (or not) which prolonged the problem.

Likewise, Brown makes the issue of action– or lack of it– central to Drowned City about Hurricane Katrina: trains that left stations without passengers, buses that were never called upon on top of politicians that would have known more if they turned on the television rather than from their own administrations, and the lack of basic necessities at the Superdome and local hospitals.

Brown makes you think and react because his visual art is stunning and rich. There are images etched in my brain and facts that I can quickly recall that make his work thoughtful and enriching.