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Category Archives: Graphic Novels

Evil Emperor Penguin

Title:   Evil Emperor Penguin
Author:   Laura Ellen Anderson
Series:   —
Recommended for:
Pages:   64 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J Anderon, L.

 Rating:   *****

Synopsis:

Evil Emperor Penguin lives in Antarctica and plots to take over the world with his two minions: a polite and thoughtful purple octopus and an abominable snowman who loves nothing more than a hug.

 

Comments:

For whatever reason, I am a big fan of Pinky and the Brain, Phineas and Ferb and other comics that feature a ridiculous character whose life goal is to take over the world.

It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than an evil Emperor Penguin whose minions are a sweet, fluffy abominable snowman and a purple octopus who reminds me of Alfred the butler in Batman..  I absolutely love the way that Eugene the abominable snowman consistently misinterprets the penguin’s instructions and creates “evil inventions” that actually spread joy.

To quote Eugene, “Yay!”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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All’s Faire in Middle School

Title: All’s Faire in Middle School
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th – 7th grade (could go a bit younger or older)
Pages: 248
Call Number/Link:  J GN Jamieson

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Review:  Sooo, this one doesn’t officially come out until September, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it! I loved Roller Girl and was so excited to see another one by Jamieson coming out. And I think this one may even be a little better than Roller Girl. I love how it deals with the insecurities of starting middle school. And while in this case she’s transitioning from home school to public school, I think the general worries are still the same. I loved how Imogene deals with trying to fit in and how the subject of bullying is approached. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and when you want to fit in you’ll often to things that you know aren’t right. And sometimes how all that pressure can spill into the home life–even before one gets in trouble–as well.

The intermingling of Ren Faire stuff was a lot of fun. It was nice to see Imogene find her footing in the troup as a squire. How she was able to shake off her nervousness of performing among the streets by finding an act that worked for her. I also liked how school tied to the Ren Faire (and kind of ended there as well). And while Impy was most at home at the Ren Faire, there was still problems and lessons that she had to learn! No such thing as a perfect place, right?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what Jamieson releases in the future.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized

 

Real Friends

Title:   Real Friends
Author:   Shannon Hale
Series:   not applicable
Recommended for:  kids ages 8 and up, also of possible interest to teens and adults.
Pages:   211 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J HALE, S.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions with whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.

Comments:

While friends, friendship and cliques are an important part of this graphic novel memoir, it also deals with Shannon’s family relationships.  At the same time that she was being bullied at school, she was being bullied by an older sister at home.  While the school bullying was more often that of being excluded (or ostracized), I suspected that her older sister used to beat her up when their parents weren’t home.

The book rang true and there were times that I hurt for Shannon.  I was so happy when she finally found Real Friends and flourished!

This book could give kids who are being bullied (or don’t have many friends) hope that they too will ultimately triumph over loneliness and have good friends.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Princess Princess Ever After

30025791Title: Princess Princess Ever After
Author: Katie O’Neill
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 3-6
Pages: 56
Call Number/Link:  GN J O’Neill, K (we don’t currently own, but other Pinnacle do)

Synopsis: When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.

Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what happily ever after really means — and how they can find it with each other.

Review: I wish I loved this one more than I did. I adore the turning gender roles on its head, which this one does nicely. It also have excellent themes of friendship & heroism as well. I even adore Sadie and Amira, but I wish there had been more. At 56 pages there is very little meat to the story. It’s cute and sweet, but it’s very surface level. I just wanted MORE. I do think that kids will probably still enjoy it, especially if they like the twisted fairy tales. However, something like Princeless may be a better suggestion. I haven’t read it yet (it’s upcoming on my list), but it is much longer than this one and covers the same type of idea.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized

 

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Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean

Coral ReefsTitle: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean
Author: Maris Wicks
Series: Science Comics
Recommended for: Grades 4-9
Pages: 120
Call Number/Link:  GN J 577.789 WIC

Synopsis: As the series title suggests, this introduction to coral is given the graphic-novel treatment. The panel illustrations are bright and colorful; a clean design makes the information accessible. The content is somewhat advanced, making this appropriate for upper-elementary-age readers. The lighthearted text, narrated by a fish, includes humorous asides along with a solid presentation of the facts.

Comments: Did you know that a coral reef has more biodiversity than a rainforest? Did you know that even if you lived far from the ocean, you still depend on coral reefs? Did you know that coral is not a plant but an animal?  This book is an excellent introduction to the topic of coral reefs. It is bright, colorful and tries to use a little humor to keep the reader engaged. It is narrated by a cute bespecticled yellow fish and covers ocean life, biodiversity, scientific names, the water cycle and more.

This would be a great read for a reluctant reader in junior high or a advanced middle schooler. It skews for older kids just because of the scientific jargon, but it does sound out a lot of the scientific words and has a glossary in the back. It is broken up into five chapters, but refers back to the main points learned in previous chapters, which helped me remember things like: coral gets it’s color from a symbiotic relationship with an algae. The final chapter talks about climate change, and it’s impact on coral reefs, and how people can help.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction

 

The Great Pet Escape

great-pet-escape-cover

Title:   The Great Pet Escape
Author:   Victoria Jamieson
Series:   Pets on the Loose
Recommended for:   early chapter book readers, children ages 4 and up as a readaloud, reluctant readers
Pages:   63 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J JAMIESON, V.

Rating:   ^^^^

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

GW, a class pet at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School wants OUT . . . and he, the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead a mass escape. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible!

Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle.

 

Comments:
This book is very funny.  We’ll need extra copies once the kids discover it.
Imagine this: a hamster who has invented a sunflower seed catapult, a rodent catapult transportation device and recently completed work on the Hairy Houdini Escape-O-Matic.
Why?  He has been trapped in a terrible prison (known as a second grade classroom) for 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day.  He wants FREEDOM and plans to escape with his best friends Barry and Biter.  Things don’t go exactly as planned….
This is the first book in a series.  Book two, The Great Art Caper, is being published in June 2017.
Amazon lists the age range as 6-10 years and grade level as grades 1-5.
Here is a comment from a SLJ review by Kiera Parrott:
VERDICT  Hand this charmingly goofy graphic novel to chapter book readers who enjoy Dav Pilkey’s works, Cyndi Marko’s “Kung Pow Chicken” series and Geoffrey Hayes’s “Benny and Penny” books.
 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Adventure, Funny, Graphic Novels

 

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The Great Pet Escape

great pet escapeTitle: The Great Pet Escape
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: Pets on the Loose
Recommended for: 2nd – 4th Grade
Pages: 63 pages
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAMIESON, V.

Synopsis: The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School want OUT . . . and GW (short for George Washington), the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead the way. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible!

Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class-pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle . . . and maybe look at their class pets a little differently in the future.

This is a beginning graphic novel that kids will like.  It has adventure, and humor, though some of the humor the kids will not get.  It is a fast paced, colorful graphic novel with mischief, friendship and even sharing feelings.  I recommend for 2nd grade and up because I just don’t know if most 1st graders will get the humor in the story.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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