Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
Kate and I love reading graphic novels. Here is a collection of some of our favorites (in no particular order). Enjoy!
Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith (Bone Series)
After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures… Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.
Tintin in Tibet by Herge (Book 20 in Tintin Series)
“NEPAL AIR DISASTER — NO SURVIVORS.” This newspaper headline transforms Tintin’s holiday into an extraordinary adventure. The little reporter learns that his friend, Chang, was in the aircraft that crashed, and that there were no survivors. Nevertheless, the strength of their friendship and some powerful and vivid dreams convince Tintin to set off to rescue Chang, whom he believes is still alive. Accompanied by his faithful companion, Captain Haddock, Tintin sets out for the site of the crash.
The trek through the Himalayas is merciless. Despite several major setbacks and the fact that his companions seem to give up hope, Tintin’s faith is unshakable. Unfortunately, finding Chang is made even more difficult by the presence of the “Abominable Snowman” (the Yeti) — a mysterious, wild beast.
The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet Series)
Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.
Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.
Flight Volume One by Kazu Kibuishi (Flight Series)
Flight Volume One features stories by professionals and non-professionals alike, all playing on the theme of flight in its many incarnations. From the maiden voyage of a home-built plane to the adventures of a young courier and his flying whale to a handful of stories about coming of age and letting things go, this first volume of Flight is full of memorable tales that will both amaze and inspire.
Jellaby by Kean Soo
Quiet, brilliant Portia has just moved to a new neighborhood with her mom. Adjusting to life without a father is hard enough, but school is boring and her classmates are standoffish — and even Portia’s mom is strangely distant. But things start looking up when Portia mounts a late-night excursion into the woods behind her house and discovers a shy, sweet-natured purple monster. Life with Jellaby is a lot more exciting, but Portia’s purple friend has secrets of his own; secrets that may even lead to the mystery of Portia’s father’s disappearance!
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part. Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.
Castle Waiting Volume One by Linda Medley (Castle Waiting Series)
Castle Waiting graphic novel tells the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil, but about being a hero in your own home. The opening story, “The Brambly Hedge,” tells the origin of the castle itself, which is abandoned by its princess in a comic twist on “Sleeping Beauty” when she rides off into the sunset with her Prince Charming. The castle becomes a refuge for misfits, outcasts, and others seeking sanctuary, playing host to a lively and colorful cast of characters that inhabits the subsequent stories, including a talking anthropomorphic horse, a mysteriously pregnant Lady on the run, and a bearded nun.
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Rapunzel’s Revenge Series)
Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother… or the woman she “thought” was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall… a rather enormous garden wall.
And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.
Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.
Foiled by Jane Yolen
Aliera Carstairs just doesn’t fit in. She’s always front and center at the fencing studio, but at school she’s invisible. And she’s fine with that . . . until Avery Castle walks into her first period biology class. Avery may seem perfect now, but will he end up becoming her Prince Charming or just a toad?
Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala
When K. Westree arrivse at Bellsong Academy, she thinks she’s left her cat-burgling past behind her. But K. soon discovers the school has a mystery of its own, a hidden treasure left behind by its founder, and she’s the only one who has a hope of finding it. As she resumes her cat-burgling in an attempt to discover the school’s secrets, K. begins to question if a normal life is really what she wants.
To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel
Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six — and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet. To Dance tells and shows the fullness of her dreams and her rhapsodic life they led to. Part family history, part backstage drama, here is an original, firsthand book about a young dancer’s beginnings — and beyond.
(All descriptions from Goodreads.com)