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Thursday, January 19, 2017

From Bunny Babies to Evil Queens: 6 books I've Been Wanting to Tell You About

Hi guys! I've been reading loads of good books lately, and I wanted to tell you about 'em. Some I've read for the Cybils Graphic Novels judging, others I've just read in the last while. I'll put a star (*) by the books that made a Cybils shortlist. It is also worth noting that you can click on a book cover to shop for that book (or whatever else), and when you shop I make a small commission.


The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation - Another solid entry into this great series of first chapter books. As you can imagine, the princess's vacation gives Duff the Goat Boy a chance to get his first taste of action. And Magnolia herself faces the most fierce monster yet! (more of my reviews of this series are found here). I have to say, both story lines in this book were kind of painful for different reasons, but I don't want to spoil too much. 

A Child of Books - This is the sort of picture book that adult book worms will eat up. I loved it, but my kids weren't poring over it while we had it checked out of the library. The beautiful art is made of typography and mixed media. The text is a poem about rediscovering books and imagination.


Hand in Hand - Here's another picture book that I loved. I'm going to say that this one was also written for adults though. Each picture features a mother and baby bunny, and the text is a poem from the little one to the grown-up. As the book goes on, the little rabbit gets older until at the end he is independent. I really love Rosemary Well's art, and this might be some of her best. I also love her stories, and this one isn't a narrative as much as an ode to mothers.


Snow White - This is a graphic novel retelling of the classic story, but it is set in the 1920's. I loved the update of the "magic mirror," though I won't spoil for you what object takes on magical significance in this version. The illustrations are Phelan's classics and his image of the wicked queen will be staying with me for a while! Thumbs up for transplanting this story into a new era.


*Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey - This book's title doesn't do it justice, in my opinion. It is a graphic novel memoir of growing up in Turkey, of course. The book starts out with light childhood memories, which are quite enjoyable to read. it progresses and talks about Özge's time in school and follows her until her college education is complete. It reminded me (and others on the Cybils panel) of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. It has much less darkness and upsetting material than Persepolis does, but it still has lots of interesting themes to talk about. I think it would make a great book for discussion in a 7th or 8th grade class. 

*The Nameless City - This graphic novel is first in a new series that is going to have wide appeal. I loved it, and I can see kids from third to tenth grade enjoying it. It follows two kids in a city: one is a girl whose ancestors have lived in the city for a long time, the other is the son of a soldier of the occupying army, training to become a soldier himself. Because of the city's unique position, it has been conquered time and time again. Because of the kids' unique skills and resources, they become business partners and then friends. Lots of meaty themes (representation in government, military occupation, homelessness, diplomacy), lots of action (jumping from rooftops, hand to hand combat) and the relationships between the characters make this one a page turner and book worth reading. 

I'm interested to know what sort of books you're looking for these days. Anything I can help you find?

with love,
Alysa



2 comments:

  1. I've picked up one or two good graphic novels lately. They're kind of foreign to me; I never read them as a kid. They're pretty hit and miss though I feel like. I'm sad to hear the new Princess in Black isn't perfect, we love those

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  2. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

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