Whats New Category: Graphic Novel

Inifinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod

Infinite Kung FuInfinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod

If you are a fan of martial arts or kung fu movies, then you should read Infinite Kung Fu by Kagan McLeod. Infinite Kung Fu is a collection of McLeod’s self published comics.  What McLeod has put together is a story that centers on main character, Lei Kung, who is the chosen one to defeat the evil emperor.  Lei Kung’s journey to attaining the skills to defeat the emperor is set against the backdrop of a world where technology is gone, people have returned back to the old ways, and zombies ravage the land.  Along the way he finds help and guidance from many, but the one who helps him the most is the Moog Joogular.  He is a smooth talking, butt kicking, super cool dude, and a great throw back character that is reminiscent of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other African American martial artists that became popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The Moog Joogular character is one of the biggest reasons you should read this book.  He is awesome!

In addition to some great characters, McLeod also really hit on some good points of martial arts and what practicing should mean to someone, through the character of Lei Kung. My favorite scene is when he is talking with Li Zhao over a meal. Lei Kung says, “With a basic knowledge and respect for all styles, one can always hope to counter any technique!” and “A kung fu instructor’s greatest accomplishment is to have his student surpass him. It’s a pity for some students their teachers keep their best techniques to themselves.”  Check out what that scene looks like (obviously Li Zhao does not like what Lei Kung has to say):

Infinite Kung Fu layout

I think this is a great message to send to those who love martial arts: patience and dedication pay off and martial art forms should be shared and not hidden away as some unattainable knowledge.  Infinite Kung Fu is an excellent read for any age.  Click here to find it in the Library!

March Madness is upon us

March is the ultimate month to be a basketball fan!  If you can break yourself away from NCAA tournament, then check out some of these basketball themed books (click on the cover to find it in the Library!):

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

YA VOLPONI, P.

Alternating chapters center on four different players on the two teams that meet in a semi-final game of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.

 

 

Last Shot by John Feinstein

YA MY FEINSTEIN, J.

Two eighth grade students win the opportunity to cover the NCAA Final Four first hand as journalists, but while reporting live at the tournament they uncover a scandal that involves blackmail.

 

 

Game by Walter Dean Myers

YA MYERS, W.

Drew is a senior living in Harlem and has dreams of making it in the NBA, but he has to learn to control his anger issues first.

 

 

Boy21 by Matthew Quick

YA QUICK, M.

Two basketball teammates, one black and one white, form a connection through tutoring and find that they have a lot more in common than they had first thought.

 

 

Pick-Up Game book coverThe Pick-Up Game: a Full Day of Full Court

YA SS PICK-UP

This collection of short stories focuses on different perspectives of one pick up game played on a hot day in July in New York City.

 

 

Girl Got Game by Shizuru Seino

YA GRAPH SEINO, S. V.1

This manga series centers on Kyo, whose father is determined to live out his NBA dreams through his daughter.  Her father signs her up for the boy’s basketball team and Kyo masquerades as a boy on the team to make her father happy.

 

Basketball Slave by Mark Johnson

YA 796.323 JOHNSON, A.

Andy Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson, tells his father’s story of how Andy became one of the original Harlem Globetrotters.

 

 

In the Paint: Tattoos of the NBA and the Stories Behind Them by Andrew Gottlieb

YA 796.323 GOTTLIEB, A.

This is a collection of high res photos of some of the more unique NBA tattoos and the first hand stories by the players about why they got them.

 

 

When March Went Mad by Seth Davis

796.3236 DAVIS, S.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are famous for one of the most well known basketball games in history: the 1979 NCAA Championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores.  Davis retells the events that led up to the famous game.

 

Longshot by Lance Allred

796.323 ALLRED, L.

Lance Allred is the NBA’s first deaf player.  In this memoir he tells his story of growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon household, realizing his dream of being in the NBA, and how hard it was to get there.

 

The Ultimate Book of March Madness by Tom Hager

796.3236 HAGER, T.

This book includes a history of every NCAA tournament from 1930 to present and provides an analysis of the top 100 games played in the tournament.

2013 Award Winning Books

This morning the American Library Association’s Young Adult division, YALSA, announced this year’s award-winning books and audiobooks.  I was lucky to be at the Youth Media Awards ceremony, since I am in Seattle, WA, for the Midwinter Conference!  Let me tell you the award ceremony was very exciting and a lot of fun!  Check out a couple photos at the end of this post.  Click here to get official press releases of the winners.  Below is a list of the teen titles that won.  Just click on the title to see if you can find it at the Library!

Prinz Award for Excellence in YA Literature ?

Winner: In Darkness by Nick Lake

Honor: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Honor: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Honor: Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Honor: The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna

Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award (Honoring a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature)

Awarded to: Tamora Pierce

Click here to learn more about Tamora Pierce.  Pierce has written a few different book series, but to get started I suggest you check out her Song of the Lioness series or her Beka Cooper series at the Library!

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Winner: Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

Finalist: Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

Finalist: Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

Finalist: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

Finalist: We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson

William C. Morris Award (Honoring a work by a first time author)

Winner: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Finalist: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Finalist: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Finalist: After the Snow by S.D. Crockett

Finalist: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Alex Awards (Given to ten books written for adults that have teen appeal)

Caring is Creepy by David Zimmerman

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

Juvenile in Justice by Richard Ross*

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

Pure by Julianna Baggott

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

The Odyssey Award (Awarded to the best audiobooks for children and/or young adults)

Winner: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd

Honor: Artemis Fowl: the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Nathaniel Parker

Honor: Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke, narrated by Elliot Hill

Honor: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award (Awarded for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States)

Winner: My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve, translated by Tammi Reichel

Honor: A Game for Swallows: to die, to leave, to return by Zeina Abirached, translated by Edward Gauvin

Honor: Son of a Gun by Anne de Graaf, translated by Anne de Graaf

 

Pura Beleré Award (Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work celebrates the Latino cultural experience)

Winner: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Honor: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Schneider Family Book Awards (Honoring a work that emphasizes children or teens with a disability)

Teen: Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Stonewall Book Awards for Children and Young Adult Literature (This award is sponsored by ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table)

Winner: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Honor: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Honor: Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz

Honor: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman

Honor: Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S.J. Adams*

 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award (This award recognizes an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults)

Winner: Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Honor: No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

 

ALA you media award slide

*We’re sorry, these books are not available at MPPL.

Teen Boat by Dave Roman and John Green

Teen Boat: the angst of being a teen–the thrill of being a boat! by Dave Roman and John Green

Teen Boat is a collection of comics that follows a boy named Teen Boat, who is seemingly your average teen guy, but who has the unique ability to transform into a boat.  As you can imagine, this comic collection is filled with hilarious adventures where Teen Boat gets into trouble because of his unique ability.  One of the funniest escapades chronicles Teen Boat trying to get his driver’s license.  Teen Boat is not comfortable in cars (because, duh, he’s a boat), so he puts off getting his license.  However, he wants to impress a girl at school who is really into cars, so he decides to try and get his license.  He has to wear floaties when he starts to learn how to drive, though, because he is so scared.  Then, when he takes the test, he spills his instructors coffee.  The coffee spills into Teen Boat’s ear, which holds his nerve center for turning into the boat.  Since liquid has hit his Teen Boat nerve, he turns into a boat inside the car!  Teen Boat is now a boat with a car underneath him.  He looses control and crashes into a semi carrying a tanker of gas.  Is this the end of Teen Boat!?  You’ll have to pick up this laugh out loud comic to find out.

Writer, Dave Roman, and cartoonist, John Green, have created a very interesting and easy to read collection of comics that, I have to admit, I have not seen or heard anything like this before.  The style of the art of Teen Boat reminds me of Archie comics.  It is a traditional comic, thankfully in color, but Green adds to Roman’s sidesplitting, humorous writing by adding his own funny imagery.  Check out some of the art style of Teen Boat below.  Included at the end of this book is the description of the creation process between Roman and Green.  They both worked very closely on Teen Boat, and there was a lot of back and forth between the author and the cartoonist.  You can really tell how much they were both in sync when creating this comic.  Teen Boat is definitely a great read for those who like out there comics that are filled with humor and ridiculousness.  Click here to find Teen Boat in the Library!

 

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

The Plain Janes book coverThe Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

Jane was in the heart of Metro City when there was a terrorist attack.  Lucky to survive, Jane’s parents move to the suburbs for a more “safe” place to live.  In a new town and a new high school, Jane is not only alone, she is also bored by suburban life.  So, on her first day of school, Jane is surprised to find three other Janes who are all friends and eat lunch together.  Jane asks to join them and instantly finds friendship.  Each of the Janes has their own unique personalities and together they all just fit.  To fight the boredom of suburban life Jane rallies the other Janes to form P.L.A.I.N., or People Loving Art in Neighborhoods.  They create art installations all over their suburban town to challenge people’s everyday notions of what art can be.  Some residents like the art, however, there are those who are outraged and frightened of it and start calling the installations “art attacks”.   What does this mean for the Janes?  Do they continue their installations, risking arrest?  Or worse?

The Plain Janes is a great graphic novel for anyone who is interested in art and how it can challenge our everyday beliefs or thoughts.  It is also a good read for anyone who has felt like an outcast.  It really shows how you can take the things that make you unique, and instead of being negative about them, you embrace them and try and challenge people with your ideas.

Also, the art in The Plain Janes really matches the plot of the story.  The black and white drawings add to the drama of the of the terrorist attack, Jane’s first day of school, and the sneaking around when creating the art installations.  However, I do wish the art installations could have been in color!  The characters are portrayed very realistically, which helps to add the idea that this could be a true story. Check out a sample of the art below: