Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
If you like quirky graphic novels with a touch of supernatural, then you’ll love Friends With Boys. Not only is the artwork of Friends With Boys really well done, the story is also really interesting and quietly captivating. It centers on Maggie who is about to enter high school after being home-schooled by her mother. She is the youngest in her family with three older brothers, and their mother has just left. Maggie has always relied on her brothers, to be her friends and to do stuff with. However, now that she is in high school, her brothers cannot be there for her, and Maggie has to make new friends to survive. Maggie is doing her best in trying to deal with her mom leaving, even with the huge adjustment of attending a public high school, and the ghost that has followed her throughout her life is not helping things…
According to her website, Faith Erin Hicks says that she wrote this graphic novel with a little basis in her own life experiences. I always find it cool when an author uses their own experiences to influence their work. Read more about what real life experiences Faith Erin Hicks used in this graphic novel by clicking here. This book is not all drama, though, it is also hilarious! Especially the relationship between Maggie’s twin brothers Lloyd and Zander. Check out some of the artwork from Friends With Boys below:
It is simple black and white drawings, but I really like the style. The characters are realistic portrayals, and I love the styling of all the characters–I feel like I can picture what these characters would look like in real life and I also love that each character has a distinct style that stays consistent through the whole book. Finally, I really love the drama that Faith Erin Hicks can create with simple black and white drawings, check out this example (one of my favorites):
Click here to find Friends With Boys at the Library!
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
Logan has been dumped. And it was not the kind of dumping that just takes a few weeks to get over. It was an epic dump. It was a “Logan is completely in love and then out of nowhere his girlfriend cheats on him and calls things off, after three years together” breakup. The last thing Logan is thinking about is moving on. Until, that is, the new girl comes to his high school. Logan lives in a small Missouri town called Boyer and no one new ever comes to town. So, when Sage shows up in his Biology class he is surprised to find how much he likes her. He is not just attracted to her, he also just likes being around her. Logan, however, is cautious since he is still reeling from his bad breakup, so he is hesitant to tell Sage how he feels about her. Sage is also more interested in just being friends with Logan. But that is because Sage has a secret. Sage was born a boy, but is in the process of transitioning to a girl, and that is why she has come to Boyer. Sage knows that the girl she is today is who she has always been and just wants the chance to be herself. However, will Logan be able to accept her when he learns her secret? And will he be able to get over the fact that Sage lied to him?
Almost Perfect is a fantastic read! It is such an emotion filled book. Logan is dealing with a gut wrenching break up and as he starts to get close to Sage, he finds out that she has been lying to him about who she really is. You really want Logan and Sage to be together since they are so perfect for one another, but it is so hard to believe that Logan will get over learning about Sage’s transitioning. Once Sage reveals her secret, you follow both Sage and Logan as they experience a whole range of emotions. This book definitely makes you feel and it is for anyone who is a fan of realistic fiction. Also, there are not many books being published right now that deal with a teen who is transgendered or transitioning. Almost Perfect is an excellent example of one! Here are some others that are equally as good (just click on them to find them in the Library!):
Crossing Linesby Paul Volponi
I am J by Chris Beam
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Luna by Julie Ann Peters
Click here to find Almost Perfect in the Library today!
I just read Of all the Stupid Things and I really liked it. It tells the story of three girls in High School who each have their own set of problems and how they over come them. I think that it would be a great read for anyone my age.
review submitted by Julie
Winter Town by Stephen Emond
Evan and Lucy have always been good friends, creating imaginary worlds in their heads, putting them to paper and going on their own adventures. Evan’s life has stayed relatively the same he works hard gets, straight A’s, and spends lots of quality time with his family, but Lucy’s has been tumultuous. After her parents divorced she moved to Georgia, where she had to deal with her mother’s critical and often cruel boyfriends, make new friends and try to deal with all the pain in her life. Lucy returns back to her dad and Evan over winter break and she’s definitely not what Evan remembered. Instead of being her quirky somewhat plain Jane self, she now has black hair, piercings and a scowl. Evan doesn’t know if his old friend is even exists anymore and he doesn’t know how to react to this new version of Lucy. Can Evan see past the outside and take the time to figure out what’s going on inside Lucy? Can two friends who keep changing stay friends? With his engaging storytelling and insightful illustration Stephen Emond helps the reader find the answers is his latest book Winter Town.
Do you ever remember reading Imogene’s Antlers as a child? It’s about a girl who wakes up with an enormous pair of antlers on her head one morning? Well David Small the author and illustrator of that book, woke up one morning when he was fourteen and found that instead of antlers on his head – he couldn’t speak. Turns out that his parents had decided not to tell him he had cancer and could die, which is why he had to have surgery to remove one of his vocal cords.
In his graphic novel memoir, Stitches, David Small reflects on his childhood and how his parents’ unhappiness in their own lives was transferred on to his own, from how they approached his cancer – with his dad, who was a doctor, trying his very own treatments of radiation for David’s cancer, to his mother’s anger which was often released in rages at David. What’s a boy to do in a family like this? David Small shows how he survived his family, overcame all the craziness life brought him, and how a little artistic expression can work wonders.