Comics and Graphic Novels

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Title: El Deafo
Author: Cece Bell

This graphic novel is the autobiographical story of a young girl left with severe hearing loss after an illness.  Learning to make friends while managing this different way of communicating is real, heartfelt and at times hilarious.  Readers who enjoyed Smile by Raina Telgemeier will enjoy this book.  I particularly loved the way she coped by imagining herself as a super hero.  Perfect for Every Hero Has a Story - the 2015 summer library theme.

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Author: Don Brown

This graphic novel showed me more that I didn't already know about the 1930s Dust Bowl.  I can hardly even imagine the dust so thick and high in the air that snow fell brown and that cities on the East Coast were so affected.  Quick read for anyone wanting to know more about this environmental disaster in our nation's history.

Great Graphic Novel

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Author: Jorge Aguirre

This plot has some delicious twists and turns and I laughed aloud quite a bit. The ending is one I bet you won't predict. Claudette is a problem solver not a whiner.  I liked that. I also liked how her friend and brother were given a chance to shine also. This book is all about courage.  It could also be a good anti-bully book. This is one graphic novel that I can recommend very highly indeed.

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Author: Eric Wight

I enjoyed this graphic novel (for the younger set) about Frankie who is finding mathematics challenging. Unknown to him, over a weekend, his parents set up some situations for him in which he is actually learning about the concepts of math, hands-on. Because of this he has a better understanding of mathematical equations. Very well done, this is a book kids can relate to.

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Author: Jeff Kinney

This is an entertaining and engaging book that provides a successful reading experience for struggling reader at the older level.  The humor is on target for all ages.  Plus the fluency of the diary entries keeps everything tied in and connected through the reading.

Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

A Very Babymouse Christmas

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Author: Jennifer L. Holm

In A Very Babymouse Christmas, the latest in the graphic novel series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, Babymouse is absolutely obsessed with the idea of receiving a Whiz Bang from Santa Claus. A few literary vignettes including The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are referenced with a few changes. Will Babymouse receive her Whiz Bang for Christmas? Will she learn any lessons in this installment of the series? Will the series continue past this book? All these questions are answered in A Very Babymouse Christmas.

Recommended for grades 1 to 4.

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Author: Amy Ignatow

Lydia lives with her mom and one weird sister, is a really good singer, has to wear glasses and wishes she had more style. Julie lives with Dad & Papa Dad, and Bad Cat, she is good at drawing and wishes she could fly. Lydia and Julie have one year before Junior High starts. They devise a plan to observe the girls that are already popular and record their observations in a book. By the end of the year they will use the same tactics to become popular so that more people will like them, they will stop getting teased, they will get invited to cool parties, other people will be jealous of them, and they will get better parts in the school play.

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Author: James Patterson

This is really a unique book for James Patterson. It's not a graphic novel, by definition, but it is full of sketches and doodles that add a graphic novel quality to the book. This is a story about a boy named Rafe who is starting middle school and seems to only be noticed by the school bully, "Miller the Killer." After the first school assembly, Rafe makes a promise to break all the rules in the student handbook (without hurting anyone) by the end of the school year. While the story deals with some heavy issues, it does it with great humor and fun drawings along the way.

I highly recommend this book to students from grade 6-8. It's a great pick for reluctant readers too.

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Title: Smile
Author: Raina Telgemeier

True story - graphic novel - funny and yet heartbreaking ...

Smile is all of these.  Many kids have braces in middle school and I think they would enjoy this book as a way to know that indeed a lot of kids are going through something similar to what they are experiencing.  Raina's story is truthful.  Especially when she demonstrates the cruelty of her "friends" and the emotions she deals with in facing multiple dental procedures, those first crushes on boys, and the coming-of-age awkwardness of finding your self-esteem in who you want to be.

Owly

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Author: Andy Runton

The Owly graphic novels are about an owl named Owly and his best friend, a worm named Wormy. Owly and Wormy plant flowers and make friends in the forest. One fun thing about these books is that they don't use any words to tell the story. You have to watch the pictures to see what the animals are doing. The stories are very fun, and anyone who likes stories about animals should like these ones too. More Owly books: