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Staff Picks 4 Kids

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cover image for El deafoWhen Cece was young, she lost her hearing because of an illness and her whole life changes. She starts wearing a bulky hearing aid around her neck, and has to learn not only how to use that, but how to read people’s lips. There are all sorts of adjustments she has to make. Worst of all, people start treating her differently, speaking to her really slowly, like there’s something wrong with her. She starts dreaming about being the good kind of special, like a superhero and having a best friend. However, it’s not really a sad book. Even though Cece has to deal with a lot of hard things, there are plenty of funny moments too! I’d recommend this book for fans of Smile by Raina Telgemeier, and people who like funny and heartfelt stories.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator

By lbos on April 20, 2015 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Claire B

Zita the Spacegirl, Book 1, Far from Home by Ben Hatke

syndetics-lcZita was just playing finders-keepers with her friend Joseph when they came across a giant hole with a meteoroid sitting at the bottom. However, when Zita went to explore, instead of finding a rock, she found a device with a giant red button. When she pressed it, Joseph is taken through a portal. Zita presses the button again to see if she can rescue him. Now, Zita is on a planet with a bunch of different aliens and has to try to save Joseph from the dangerous Scriptorians. How will she ever make everything right again?

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By lbos on September 15, 2014 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Laura B., Science Fiction

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Na Liu

syndetics-lcWhat if only one member of your family was allowed to go to school? In the illustrated memoir Little White Duck: A Childhood in China, Na Liu describes how she went to work with her mother so that her little sister could take the family’s place in school. This was because of the law in China allowing only one child per family. Learn more about Chinese history and folklore as you travel with Na on her adventures in this gorgeous graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on July 7, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

Fairy Tale Comics by Chris Duffy

syndetics-lcIf you liked Nursery Rhyme Comics, you’ll like Fairy Tale Comics even more! I was really impressed with the diversity of the artwork and the different takes on classic tales. Familiar stories were told in new and interesting ways, plus I read some tales I hadn’t heard before. Favorites include: Little Red Riding Hood by Gigi D.G., in which the lumberjack is a really buff lady, and The Boy Who Drew Cats by Luke Pearson, which made me LOL several times. It was a really fun collection!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on March 10, 2014 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes

syndetics-lcCompelling black-and-white illustrations animate a single stunt from Houdini’s magic career—when he jumped from the Harvard Bridge with his hands and feet bound in handcuffs—in the graphic novel, Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes. This book suggests that Houdini’s wife, Bess, helped him perform his escapes by passing a key or a pick to him when they kissed. I would recommend this book to graphic novel fans!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By lbos on August 19, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Erin E.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel like you are living in a soap opera? In the graphic novel, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Callie is dealing with all the “drama” in her life, while also working on the school play. Callie has a crush on Greg, who is going out with Bonnie. Greg’s younger brother Matt has a crush on Callie, although Callie does not realize it. Funny things happen as Callie continues to build the sets for the play and two twin brothers, Justin and Jesse, join the play. Drama is an enjoyable, funny story about growing up, making friends, having your first crush on someone, and being in a play. The graphic format is ideal for this story.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 29, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Anne W.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis

Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat CrookIf you like mysteries, science, and graphic novels, you will love The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis. Three middle school students, who call themselves “The Secret Science Alliance” and work in a secret lab, have their gadget blueprints stolen by an evil scientist who wants to use them to steal artifacts from the local museum. You’ll love the comic book pages and the gadgets they use to try and capture the evil scientist before it’s too late. (Bluestem Award 2011 nominee.)

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

By MPPL on May 9, 2011 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Barb M.

Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm

Adventures in Cartooning  Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm is an exciting and hilarious adventure story that is told with cartoons in a “graphic novel” form.  It is about a missing princess and a brave knight who is determined to slay the deadly dragon that must have stolen her (you won’t believe where the princess turns up in the end).  The eager knight’s quest is joined by a magic elf—the only problem is that the magic elf is more interested in teaching the knight (and you) all about comics than in helping defeat the dragon!  While you’re enjoying the adventure, you get to learn all about how comics work—and how you can make your own!  This book is great for long-time graphic novel fans who are ready to create their own epic adventures, but it’s also great for kids who have never even read a graphic novel before and who are just looking for a fun summer read!



By MPPL on July 28, 2010 Categories: For Grades 2-4, For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels

Babymouse: Rock Star by Jennifer Holm

syndetics-lc Jennifer Holm’s irrepressible cartoon mouse is back in Babymouse: Rock Star, and this time Babymouse wants to be, you guessed it, a rock star.  If not a big rock star, then maybe a flutist.  Nothing can hold her back (except possibly her lack of musical talent).  Will she be able to learn the notes in time to become the star of the concert?  Babymouse is fun, smart, and a great friend.  This is my first Babymouse book, but I am now a huge fan.  This graphic novel is a great stepping stone for readers who are ready to graduate from the Olivia books (by Ian Falconer) to chapter books.  Hope you have as much fun hanging out with Babymouse as I did!

Review submitted by Mary S., Head of Youth Services

By MPPL on January 15, 2008 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Graphic Novels, Picks by Mary S.