Imogen is starting public school for the first time after being homeschooled all her life. She’s worried about fitting in, especially since her family works year round at the local renaissance faire and doesn’t exactly act normal. In an effort to make friends, Imogen ends up becoming a bully herself, but knows it’s wrong and doesn’t fit with her knight training at the Faire. Can she find the courage to be who she really is? Give to fans of Raina Telgemeier, Sunny Side Up, El Deafo, or Roller Girl.
One night, Astrid’s mom takes her and her best friend to a roller derby, and this sets off a course of events that changes Astrid’s life. Astrid becomes obsessed with everything roller derby and decides to join roller derby camp the summer before entering junior high. This decision leads to some major problems with her best friend. To add to her troubles, Astrid discovers that skating for the roller derbies is much harder than she ever imagined, and she can’t think of an awesome roller name like the other girls in the league. How will she ever be as talented as her idol, Rainbow Bite? Roller Girl is a fun, entertaining graphic novel with strong female role models. It is a great choice for those who enjoyed reading Smile.
This title is also a 2018 Bluestem Award Nominee and Winner.
Growing up can be rough: sometimes your friends move away, sometimes your friends aren’t as kind as they should be, and sometimes you just feel out of place. Shannon Hale writes about how she viewed the world while she was in elementary school. Like most kids, she had trouble with her sibling and friends. As the story goes on, she realizes she may not always realize all the things the people in her life are dealing with. It’s a helpful reminder that growing up isn’t always easy, and sometimes we need to walk in someone else’s shoes to understand them. If you loved Smile or El Deafo, you’ll enjoy this graphic novel too!
Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison
Super powers? Check! Robots? Check? Aliens? Check! What else could you ask for in a graphic novel! The Hilo series has it all. D.J. and Gina find a mysterious boy, Hilo, who fell from the sky. Together the new friends help Hilo find out who he is and just what he might be capable of. Hilo will have to learn fast though since he wasn’t the only thing to fall to Earth! I loved reading about this modern boy super hero and the friendships he made. Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to school with a super hero!
This title is also a 2018 Bluestem Award Nominee.
Nathan Hale is an unlucky spy for the American rebels during the American Revolution. On his first mission, he gets caught and sentenced to be hung. As he bravely faces the hangman, he says, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” and then gets swallowed by a giant history book. Literally. When he returns, he has witnessed the history of America. While the hangman is interested in hearing his story, the British soldier is ready to hang him. However, Nathan Hale goes on to tell his story as an American spy during the Revolution through pictures in a graphic novel format. This book is packed with battles, spy work, and really great characters that lived in real life. Another thing about this book is that it is written by Nathan Hale. Not the Nathan Hale in the story, but a graphic novelist with the same name.
Book reviewed by Laura B. Youth Technology Librarian