Smile is a popular graphic novel about a girl’s story of dealing with the craziness of teeth. The main character, Raina, is actually the author of the book, so it is a true story! Her two front teeth fall out, and she gets braces, so now she has to deal with a lot of pain at the dentist. Plus, her friends make fun of her looks and her teeth at school.
I really enjoyed this book. I have read it twice, and I have read many of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels. They are all funny, interesting and I love the art styles. I loved Smile so much, I read the book in only one day. I suggest this book to anyone who has lost adult teeth, who wears braces, or just wants to read a very awesome graphic novel.
-Elizabeth, teen blogger
You can find Smile in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC TELGEMEIER.
Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully’s prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.
This book was the winner of the 2018 John Newbery Medal, which is awarded by the Association of Library Service to Children to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children during the year. What I loved most about this book was how unique each character was – each one was struggling with feeling different and struggling with their own personal fears but each one also had their own strengths. I really loved all of the little stories that Virgil’s grandmother Lola told him to try and cheer him up, and the illustrations of Virgil’s guinea pig Gulliver at the beginning of chapters added charm to the whole book. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this book – I especially recommend it to those who like stories of friendship and self-acceptance and for people who like stories where the characters learn to stand up to bullies!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KELLY.
Today I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
All’s Faire in Middle School is a fictional graphic novel about Imogene, a girl who is homeschooled and whose parents work at a medieval faire. Her father acts as an evil night, and her mother runs a shop. Imogene is about to embark on her own journey, middle school! She doesn’t know if she will make any friends or fit in at middle school, but she tries anyway. She faces a strict science teacher, sort of teasing and bossy friends, homework, and many other things.
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, and the art style is cartoonish and cool. I loved this book because it had a lot to do with medieval fairs, old english and the craziness of middle school. Imogene’s life and problems were often compared to folk tales and dragons. I suggest this graphic novel to who ever likes medieval times or graphic novels. Victoria Jamieson also wrote Roller Girl, a wonderful graphic novel about a girl learning how to roller skate.
~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger
You can find All’s Faire in Middle School in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.
Brave is a humorous graphic novel about a middle school boy named Jensen. Everyday, Jensen must brave the difficult math class, bullies who follow him around, and getting along with his art club friends. On top of that, he deals with trying to find a partner for English class, and helping out his frantic friends who are in the newspaper team. Everyday, Jensen needs to be brave to survive the craziness at school.
I absolutely loved this graphic novel so much. It was humorous and the cartoonish art style is amazing! Every once in awhile, Jensen day-dreamed about being a hero, whether he was an astronaut, or stopping a zombie apocalypse from eating everyone at school. My favorite character was Jenny, the lead student of the newspaper team. She was hard working and dedicated to being in the newspaper team. When she was mad, she was “the wrath of the angels/apocalypse Jenny” and was drawn with fire in her eyes. (She was very mad at times.) The world of Brave and its characters overlapped with the book Awkward. However, Jensen was a background character in Awkward. As you can see, I loved this book and recommend this to everyone because it is a fun, quick read.
~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger
You can find Brave in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J CHMAKOVA.
Today I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.
Fans of Jamieson’s graphic novel Roller Girl won’t be disappointed! Imogene is another strong female character, and the situations that she grapples with feel realistic even if growing up at a Renaissance Fair sounds far-fetched. Imogene deals with bullying and her desire to make new friends as she adjusts to going to middle school while also training to be a squire at the Ren. Faire. I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Awkward and Brave by Chmakova or Real Friends by Shannon Hale.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.
None of her classmates pay much attention to Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl, until she announces she has 100 dresses in her closet. Everyone laughs and teases her so much that she stops coming to school. Then, her classmates discover she really does have 100 dresses and discover something about teasing and themselves.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is the tale of a young girl, Wanda, who is bullied by her classmates for wearing the same dress each day to school. Wanda tells her peers that she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows that it is not true. As a result, Wanda is bullied even more. One day, Wanda is pulled out of the school and the class begins to feel terrible for their behavior toward her. Maddie, a student from Wanda’s class, decides that she needs to take a stand so no classmate is bullied ever again. If you like stories that are heart-felt and teach a lesson, then The Hundred Dresses is for you!
This classic story first published in 1944 was a Newbery Honor Book in 1945, and can be found in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ESTES.
I loved Awkward and Brave by Svetlana Chmakova (J GRAPHIC CHMAKOVA) and I can’t wait until the third in the series, Crush, is published in the fall of 2018.
While we wait here are some other middle school graphic novels:
Real Friends by Shannon Hale (J GRAPHIC HALE): When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions with whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jaimeson (J GRAPHIC JAIMESON): Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.
Image from Yen Press.
If You Liked Wonder by R.J. Palacio… you might also like:
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff: (J GRAFF) Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos: (J GANTOS) To the constant disappointment of his mother and teacher, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his perscription medicine wears off and he starts acting wired.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper: (J DRAPER and YA DRAPER) Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks: (J WEEKS) Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems–but when their lives intersect in the first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and the need to take control of their lives.
Today I recommend: Thornhill by Pam Smy.
Parallel plot-lines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
If you like to read horror stories, this one’s for you! Set in different time periods, two girls meet in an abandoned building. One girl’s story is told through diary entries and the other girl’s story through black and white drawings. This is a quick read with a message that will stay with you.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SMY.
Today I recommend: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova.
In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different – math is hard, getting along with friends is hard…Even finding a partner for the class project is a big problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure’s on even more once the school newspaper’s dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen’s always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone’s cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real life problems?
Set in the same school as Chmakova’s Awkward this graphic novel focuses on Jensen whose struggles to get through difficult classes, as well as feelings of being left out and being bullied, are so easy to relate to. This story tackles some tough subjects such as bullying, dress codes, and failing classes with humor that makes the story fly by without treating them too lightly. This is a great option for readers who enjoyed Awkward but is also great as a standalone graphic novel. Read-alikes for this series are: Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters and Shannon Hale’s Real Friends.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC CHMAKOVA.