Book Forty-Two: Five Worlds, The Sand Warrior

5 worldsI thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel.  The art was great, the plot was intriguing, and the action moved you right along. I’m looking forward to reading the next book because this one leaves you with a lot of questions.

I’d recommend this to students in the 6th grade and up who enjoy fantasy/adventure and graphic novels.


Book Forty: Midas

midasWhat would have happened to the Earth if King Midas’s golden touch spread across the planet?  This graphic novel takes on that question in a totally unique storyline, set far in the future from Midas’s time. It’s like someone mashed up Star Wars with Greek Mythology with Science. All in all, a good read.

I’d recommend this to high school students who like science fiction and graphic novels.

Book Thirty-Nine: Pandora’s Legacy

pandora.jpgI have mixed feelings about this graphic novel.  On the one hand, I love the idea behind it, the depiction of mythological elements, and the adorable talking cat.  On the other hand, it felt a little disjointed and sometimes I had a hard time following the changes in location/time/scenes. Also, there was so much action packed into a short novel that character development was very minimal.

My recommendations for this book would be fairly limited to students who really enjoy Greek/Roman Mythology and who don’t mind stories without much substance other than the action scenes.

Book Thirty-Eight: Lumberjanes, The Infernal Compass

infernal compass.jpgSo first, if you haven’t been reading Lumberjanes, you need to.  Go get Beware the Kitten Holy, and get started.  This installment in the Lumberjanes universe is the first original graphic novel, and it focuses mainly on the evolving relationship between two of the ‘Janes. Of course, there is also a supernatural adventure going on for the campers, in this case, it involves a possessed compass.

I’d recommend this book, as well as the whole series of comics, to my students in 6-9 grades, although I think my older students would like it as well. Anyone who enjoys comics, slightly off the wall capers, and hardcore lady-types will find a lot to like.

Book Thirty-Four: The Avant-Guards, Vol 1

avant-guardsThis book has a lot of great things going for it: characters with racial/gender/sexual diversity, basketball (which I love), friendships, character growth, and really sweet characters that make you wish you’d known them in college. Needless to say, I thought this was a great read.

I’d recommend this to my high school students, maybe some 8th graders too, who enjoy realistic fiction with lovable characters.

Book Thirty-Three: Hex Vet, Witches in Training

hex vet

So cute!!! Two girls are witch veterinarians in training and they have to save the day when an animal patient with a troubling condition comes into the office. I loved all the magical animals and the diversity of characters in the book. I can’t wait to read about their next adventures.

I’d recommend this to my middle school students who enjoy magic, animals, and graphic novels.

Book Twenty-Seven: New Kid

New KidA fellow school librarian recommended that I read this graphic novel and man was she right.  It tells the story of a middle school boy leaving his mostly black neighborhood to go to a mostly white private school, where he deals with both racial and economic differences between him and many of his peers, as well as the assumptions and actions of a mostly white group of teachers.  He also deals with  all the normal middle school stuff – getting teased by older kids, making friends, navigating new sports and meeting new people, schoolwork, etc…  I know this description makes the book sound super serious, but it’s really not.  There are a lot of fun moments, humor, and some very heart warming scenes.

I would recommend this book to all of my middle school students and our middle school teachers.

Book Twenty-Six: Check Please

check pleaseCheck Please is a hockey filled ode to what is best about sports teams and healthy male friendships. The main character, Bitty (Eric Bittle), could easily be the sixth player on the Fab Five team of the rebooted Queer Eye.  He has that warm, conversational, “please be my friend and bake me pies” feel to him.  He’s also a gay former junior figure skating champion who now plays for a college hockey team, which makes for some of the most heart warming and hilarious interactions and commentary about hockey bros and college life. (Also, can I just say that I love that this book about a bunch of hockey dudes was written by a first-generation Nigerian woman, who ended up falling in love with hockey because of her research for the book. )

I’d recommend this to my students in grade 10+ who enjoy humor, realistic fiction, sports, and/or who are looking for positive LGBTQ+ stories.

Book Twenty-Four: Crush

crushCrush is the next book in the series that started with Awkward and continued in Brave. I think Jorge, the main character in Crush, may be my favorite so far.  A baseball player, and physically larger than most of his classmates, Jorge is a kind of peace keeper and guardian angel for the less popular kids in school.  He also happens to have a major crush on a girl in the drama club, but doesn’t know what to do about it. The story that unfolds is so cute and sweet, but not without the drama that always exists in middle school.

I’d recommend this to students in grades 6-8 who enjoy realistic fiction, a little bit of romance, and graphic novels.

Book Twenty-Three: Brave

BraveIn this sequel to Awkward, we get to see Berrybrook Middle School through the eyes of Jensen, a middle school boy who is struggling to find a place to belong and to figure out how friends should treat one another.  The interactions between a diverse cast characters and the challenges faced by Jensen all feel realistic and true to middle school.  This would be a great book to use to talk about the forms bullying can take, the fact that bullying can happen within friend groups, and school culture.

I would recommend this book to readers in 6-8 grades who enjoy realistic fiction, stories about friendships and graphic novels.