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Books categorized as 'Graphic Novel'

Fish GIrl

fish girl vocerFish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Fish Girl, a mermaid, is the main attraction in a unique aquarium run by Neptune, God of the seas. Or is something else going on? Neptune requires Fish Girl to give only occasional glimpses of herself to the public, to keep them coming back for more. One day a girl stays behind and sees Fish Girl. They become friends, even though Fish Girl cannot speak. Fish Girl becomes curious about what is really going on around her and then determined to change her life with help from the ocean and her dearest friend, octopus.
Wiesner’s gorgeous artwork will draw you in to Fish Girl’s watery world.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girls Beats Up the Marvel Universe

squirrel girl coverThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe Written by Ryan North, Drawn by Erica Henderson
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

I love the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I also love comics, but I’m not a huge Marvel fan. You don’t need to know a lot about various Marvel characters to enjoy this graphic novel, although it wouldn’t hurt. Doreen, AKA Squirrel Girl, is a computer science college student who is funny, kind, and generally kick-butt in many ways. When she accidentally gets cloned, and her clone turns evil (surprise!), she will have to use both her super punching abilities and her compassion to save the day. I highly recommend this funny, exciting, and fast-paced graphic novel to all comics fans, ages 10 to 100!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Roller Girl

roller girl coverRoller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Recommended for: Grades 4-7

“For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship.” (Amazon.com)
If you’re a fan of Raina Telgemeier, you’ll love Roller Girl. I loved every page! Astrid is a fun and realistic character, and learning about roller derby was an added bonus.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Sunny Side Up

sunny side up coverSunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

In August 1976, 10 year old Sunny is paying a solo visit to her grandfather at Pine Palms Retirement Community. Her story takes off when Sunny befriends the grounds keeper’s son, Buzz. Together they retrieve golf balls, earning money to buy, read and share Superhero comic books. (A plug for the power of comic books has a surprise appearance later in the story.) All the while, Sunny has flashbacks to upsetting events going on between her parents and older, rebellious brother back home in Pennsylvania. You will enjoy Sunny’s adventures in Florida, while empathizing with her concerns about her brother’s escalating substance abuse. Written by the award winning brother-sister team of Jennifer and Matthew Holm, this semi-autobiographical novel is powerful in its graphic presentation, message and simplicity.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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El Deafo

El Deafo coverEl Deafo by Cece Bell
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

When Cece was 4, she got very sick and lost her hearing. This graphic novel memoir describes Cece’s journey through elementary school as she tries to make friends, learns how to lip read and use her hearing aids, and finally accepts herself and her deafness. You’ll recognize yourself in Cece’s first crush, friendship troubles, and feelings of not fitting in. But you’ll also learn a lot about what it is like to be hearing impaired. I thought this book was funny, interesting, and touching. If you like other graphic novel memoirs like Smile or The Dumbest Idea Ever!, or if you like stories that give insight into the world of disabilities and differences like Wonder, then give El Deafo a try.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Dumbest Idea Ever!

dumbest idea ever coverThe Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

This is the true story of award-winning comic artist and author Jimmy Gownley (creator of the popular Amelia Rules! series).  In this graphic novel, you’ll see Jimmy go from academic superstar to class nothing as he moves from elementary through junior high to high school.  His talent for drawing and love for comics are appreciated but a bit misunderstood by the teachers at his small Catholic school.  Eventually Jimmy decides to publish his own comic book, and the results make him locally famous and popular (and full of himself).  This is a touching memoir that shows the emotional ups and downs of the teenage years, but primarily focuses on creativity, art, and creation and their ability to give meaning and purpose to one’s life.  Highly recommended for older kids who love to draw and tell stories.  You’ll be inspired!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

 

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Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

flora and ulysses coverFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Recommended for Grades 4-7

Kate DiCamillo’s gift of storytelling shines in this 2014 Newbery Medal novel while she reaches across genres and includes realistic fiction, the graphic novel and fantasy all in one.  Readers who got hooked on reading from the Wimpy Kid series will love the combination.   Ten year old Flora sees a squirrel sucked into a Ulysses vacuum and saves its life using CPR, then names it Ulysses.  Ulysses recovers having the ability to fly and to type poetry!  Their humorous adventure, playing off her wacky divorced parents and a comic book she avidly followed, braids three stories into one.  Tweens and adults alike will laugh aloud, while younger readers are likely to go back and pick up the book again and again as they digest more of the twisted tale each time. Holy Bagumba!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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Azzi in Between

azzi in between coverAzzi in Between by Sarah Garland
Recommended for: Grades 4 and up

When war comes to Azzi’s homeland, she and her parents must escape to another country.  This touching and powerful graphic novel tells the story of Azzi’s entry into a new country, her struggle to learn the language, make friends, and remember her homeland.  Azzi’s home country and new host country are never named, so she comes to represent any refugee from any conflict.  The story is realistic but not didactic; children will feel a connection to Azzi and will learn a lot about a refugee’s experience.

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Waring

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One Dead Spy:The Life,Times, and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America’s Most Famous Spy

one dead spy coverOne Dead Spy by Nathan Hale
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

This is the first in a new graphic novel history series called Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.  One Dead Spy is the story of the Revolutionary War soldier, Nathan Hale, who was captured by the British and hanged.  He is famous for having said, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”  The story is told by Nathan, with comic relief supplied by the hangman and a British soldier.  The author picked a fascinating story from American history, and he tells it with a lot of humor, tons of facts and figures, and plenty of action.  If you like history and comics, you’ll love this book!  Also check out the second book in the series, Big Bad Ironclad! A Civil War Steamship Showdown.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Drama

drama coverDrama by Raina Telgemeier
Recommended for: Grades 6 and up

Middle-schooler Callie is a theater geek; she feels most comfortable with her drama club friends.  This year, she gets to be the stage designer for the school production of “Moon Over Mississippi,” and the project brings a lot of excitement and drama to her life.  But even more drama comes from the teen relationships swirling around her: girls and boys all deciding from one moment to the next who they are, who they like, and who they don’t like.  Callie gets a bit caught up in the drama, but has a great year overall, mostly due to her theater friends and her strong sense of self.  This is a great graphic novel about middle school life, young romance, and the theater.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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