Tag Archives: graphic novel

Book Review: Castle in the Stars

castle in the stars.jpgToday I recommend: Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice.

In search of the mysterious element known as aether, Claire Dulac flew her hot air balloon toward the edge of our stratosphere―and never returned. One year after his mother’s disappearance, Seraphin and his father are delivered a tantalizing clue: a letter from an unknown sender who claims to have Claire’s lost logbook. The letter summons them to a Bavarian castle, where an ambitious young king dreams of flying the skies in a ship powered by aether. But within the castle walls, danger lurks―there are those who would stop at nothing to conquer the stars.

Science fiction and steampunk fans rejoice! This graphic novel has gorgeous and super detailed illustrations of aetherships and other technological marvels. Seraphin quickly recruits some friends to form the Knights of the Aether to protect King Ludwig while also searching for a way to make it to the stars! There is lots of banter, and a quick pace to the adventures but it does end on quite a cliff-hanger. This is perfect for anyone who likes science fiction, Jules Verne, or adventure stories who don’t mind the quirky steampunk setting!

You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC ALEX.



Book Review: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova


Today I recommend: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova.

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.

Book Review: The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy.jpgToday I recommend: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag.

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch.

This graphic novel has a diverse cast of characters who inhabit a world where magic is divided between shapeshifting for the men and witchcraft for the women. Aster’s attempts to overcome the gender barriers blocking him from practicing the witchcraft that he is talented in are all about being true to yourself. Aster is a strong protagonist who never gives up and it is heartwarming to see him triumph and to see his family grow to accept him. This graphic novel is for fans of fantasy and those looking for titles for kids that address gender norms.

You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J Graphic OSTERTAG.



Book Review: The Time Museum

The Time MuseumToday I recommend: The Time Museum by Matthew Loux.

Science-loving Delia Bean is expecting to have a pretty boring summer vacation looking after her little brother. But when her Uncle Lyndon offers her an internship in his Earth Time Museum, everything begins to look a lot better!

I’ll admit that I love just about anything that has to do with time travel and to have that combined with a museum that covers the entire history of Earth really caught my attention. This is a fast paced graphic novel – the action picks up quickly as Delia begins to time-travel with other prospective interns as they compete to be chosen for the coveted internship at the Earth Time Museum. The art work is really loose and fluid which just adds to the fast pace of the graphic novel. I also found myself quickly growing attached to the large cast of teens who were competing and cheering them on as they finally began to work together. I recommend this to anyone who likes graphic novels and science fiction – this was a fun read.

You can find The Time Museum in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC LOUX.



Book Review: All’s Faire in Middle School

All's Faire in Middle School.jpgToday 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.



Book Review: The Tea Dragon Society

tea dragon societyToday I recommend: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill.

After discovering a lost Tea Dragon in the marketplace, apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the dying art form of Tea Dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners.

First of all, the art in this graphic novel is stunning. It feels a little manga-like as an art style but everything is a soothing pastel color scheme. This is a sweet fantasy story about the importance of patience and friendship. The book also has a lovely cast of characters and tea dragons with an array of different skin colors, orientations, and abilities. The whole graphic novel is whimsical and drama free – a sweet happy story! Also charming is the section at the end that gives tips for raising a tea dragon and information about the different types of tea dragons.

You can find The Tea Dragon Society in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J Graphic O’Neill.



Middle School Graphic Novels!

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.




Book Review: Pashmina

pashmina.jpgToday I recommend: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani.

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions and the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film.

This lovely graphic novel follows teenager Priyanka as she deals with her curiosity about her mother’s past in India. The way that Chanani uses color makes for a striking read; the everyday scenes are depicted in sharp black and white with bright colors saved for the fantastical world that only exists when Priyanka puts on the pashmina. Priyanka grows throughout the graphic novel as she discovers more about her mother’s past and about India. This is a good tale of self-discovery.

You can find Pashmina in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC CHANANI.



Swing It, Sunny!

swing itToday I recommend: Swing It, Sunny! by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

In the mid-1970s Sunny Lewin is back, star of her personal show, facing the prospect of Middle School, and dealing with the problems of her somewhat dysfunctional family–in particular her older brother, Dale, who has been sent off to a military academy because of his delinquent behavior.

This is the sequel to the graphic novel, Sunny Side Up, and it picks up right where the first one left off. Sunny is now back at home and is still struggling to deal with her brother’s anger, and the stress that her family is under. The artwork while mostly bright and cartoony turns darker when Sunny is facing her fears about her brother. While mostly upbeat the graphic novel does tackle serious ideas such as guilt and anxiety. This is great for fans of Raina Telgemeier and anyone who enjoyed Sunny Side Up.

You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.



Phoebe and Her Unicorn

Looking for something fun to read?  Have you heard of Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson?


Phoebe uses her one wish to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her best friend.  Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is a majestic unicorn who isn’t used to the problems Phoebe faces, like kids thinking she’s weird, piano lessons, and what it means to be a friend.  Somehow a funny awkward girl and a self-absorbed mythical creature are able to find common ground and become friends!  If you find yourself laughing as much as I did, you will be happy to know that this is just the first in the Heavenly Nostrils series!

You can find it in our Juvenile Graphic Novels collection under J GRAPHIC SIMPSON.