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May 15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth
This eclectic bunch of the best graphic novels reviewed in Booklist during the past year provides ample proof that the format is up to just about any task.—Ian Chipman
a + e 4ever. By Ilike Merey. Illus. by the author. 2011. Lethe, paper, $18 (9781590213902). Gr. 10–12.
This Stonewall Honor Book, drawn with deceptively sketchy art, tells the soulful story of the intense relationship between a shy, bisexual pretty boy and a lesbian with the appetite of a trucker.
Anya’s Ghost. By Vera Brosgol. Illus. by the author. 2011. First Second, $19.99 (9781596437135). Gr. 7–12.
What starts as a story of a Russian immigrant teen struggling to fit in takes a turn for the weird when she befriends the ghost of a centuries-dead girl, and then a turn for the creepy when the ghost reveals her true intentions.
Around the World. By Matt Phelan. Illus. by the author. 2011. Candlewick, $24.99 (9780763636197). Gr. 4–7.
Phelan relates the histories of three real-life nineteenth-century adventurers who each took a page from Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days and went on the ultimate journey to span the globe.
Bad Island. By Doug TenNapel. Illus. by the author. 2011. Scholastic/Graphix, $24.99 (9780545314794). Gr. 6–10.
A family of veritable Indiana Joneses gets shipwrecked on a deadly-creature-infested island in this quirky, old-fashioned adventure outfitted with a few modern twists.
A Bride’s Story, v.1. By Kaoru Mori. Illus. by the author. 2011. Yen, $16.99 (9780316180993). Gr. 10–12.
Mori’s love for her nineteenth-century central Asia setting is evident in every panel of this lush manga about the arranged marriage between 20-year-old Amir and her 12-year-old husband.
Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever! By Stephen McCranie. Illus. by the author. 2011. Philomel, paper, $9.99 (9780399252211). Gr. 2–5.
The classic adventuring duo of a boy and his dog gets an invigorating spin as a child genius and his talking pup set out for rollicking encounters that take them everywhere from the bottom of a filled-up sink to prehistoric times.
Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists. Ed. by Chris Duffy. 2011. illus. First Second, $18.99 (9781596436008). PreS–Gr. 3.
Pairing 50 of comicdom’s best with nursery rhymes both familiar and forgotten, this treasury is packed full of weird, woolly, and wonderful delights for readers of all ages.
Patrick in a Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories. By Geoffrey Hayes. Illus. by the author. 2011. TOON, $12.95 (9781935179092). K–Gr. 2.
A young bear drawn with the plush squeezability of a stuffed animal picnics with Mom, conquers naptime, and confronts a bully in this comic charmer for beginning readers.
Thor: The Mighty Avenger, v.1. By Roger Langridge. Illus. by Chris Samnee. 2010. Marvel, paper, $14.99 (9780785141211). Gr. 8–12.
Veteran scribe Langridge imbues a seemingly limited superhero with fresh life, dodging the mainstream tendency for splashy theatrics in favor of strong storytelling grounded in potent drama and a gallant romance.
Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary. By Keshni Kashyap. Illus. by Mari Araki. 2012. Houghton, $18.95 (9780618945191). Gr. 9–12.
A class project to keep an “existential diary” helps Tina get through an ego-chafing year of crushes, family embarrassment, and snarky philosophizing at a private school where Porsches, skateboards, and deep thinking are all on the list of what’s cool.