(9th grade & up) When it comes to books that take place in high school, one is often faced with two distinct story types: you either get the idealized, everybody is friends and graduation is the great happily ever after, or you get the gritty realism where all the cliques are at war and people genuinely hate each other, pick on each other and do their best to humiliate each other… like people so often do. Every now and then, however, you get a book that falls between these two poles. Faith Erin Hicks’ webcomic-to-printed-piece Friends with Boys (First Second Books) is one of those kind of books. It’s a story that recognizes the bitter truth of high school: that people generally don’t get along and that there is a very real hierarchy in which everyone has their place. But it is also somewhat Continue reading
For this week’s Graphic Friday, I thought we might take a slight departure from the regular reviews and share a fun interview with a talented comics persona: one Dylan Meconis. Recently, Dylan’s webcomic “Outfoxed,” a fun, short piece that features beautiful art, great design, and seems inspired by the old trickster tales, was nominated for an Eisner award (the Oscars of comics for the unintiated). While that one is certainly a worthwhile read, this interview spawned from a reading of one of her older comics: a vampire farce known as “Bite Me!”. When library patron extraordinaire (and teenage indie author!) Kya Aliana read this story of Dylan’s a year or so ago, she was inspired to learn more about the type of person who would write such a funny and engaging piece. So she Continue reading
(Grades 8-12) Jenna and Lucas are losers- at least that’s what their parents think. So when they send them to Camp Fielding (“America’s best new educational summer camp!”) for the summer, the hope is that they’ll return ready to go to Yale, or at least pass the SAT with flying colors. But something amiss is going on at Camp Fielding. Why are some campers failing miserably at the strange, higher-level-thinking activities while others are succeeding beyond expectations? Why are those who are doing well acting a little too much like zombies- really smart zombies? And why are some campers disappearing in the middle of the night, after they try the odd, pink-colored ice cream at dinner? These and more questions abound as Jenna and Lucas form a reluctant friendship to figure out what’s going on. The odds are stacked against them, however, Continue reading
Graphic Fridays: Bad Island by Doug TenNapel
Another summer tale for you! This time, the frequently retold family-vacation-gone-wrong story, with a SciFi twist 🙂
(3rd-8th grade) The last thing that Reese wants to do this summer is go on a boating trip with his dorky dad, botany-obsessed mother and annoying, snake-loving little sister. He’d rather stay home and play football with his friends and live the supervision-free life that every teenager dreams of. But his dad shoehorns him into going anyway because they all need some “family time.” They get more than they bargained for, however, when a freak storm sinks their ship and Continue reading
(Grades 4 & Up) Tick… tock… tick… tock… Click. Time has stopped on the world of Anorev and the inhabitants, caught in a day with no sunset, have forgotten their purpose. The machines that live above ground keep plodding away at pointless tasks and the children, who can never grow old, have moved underground to their own, demented Neverland. Endless play, endless work; an unpalatable staleness perpetuates the world and no one wonders if there is anything else. Except for Ayden and Zoe, two young companions: one human, one robot. They have a feeling that behind the baited breath of their world there is something waiting to happen- if they could only figure out what. Then, with the clanging of an immense clock, Continue reading
The third installment in this ongoing series about the fabled Olympians, Hera is probably the best yet. And that’s saying something: the others are Good.
When Zeus takes on Hera as his first (and only) wife, he gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. Unlike his previous queens (none of which he ever married), Hera refuses to tolerate his straying ways and exacts justice on Zeus and his mistresses in creative ways. She is particularly annoyed at one of Zeus’ most famous children: Heracles (or Hercules, as many of us know him). It is the relationship between these two characters that is the driving force behind the plot of this book.
In return for nursing him as a baby and saving his life, Hera requires that, as an adult, Heracles must suffer twelve labors in order to take his place on Olympus with the rest of the gods. And so the story of these labors unfolds and we, as readers, Continue reading
Superheroes is the third book in the Amelia Rules! series and although it is not the latest, it is possibly my favorite- and an excellent jumping on point for any of you wishing to start reading this series, which I recommend that you do if you like wonderful characters, solid writing, snortin’ good humor, and heart-wrenching moments all rolled into one. And who doesn’t? All zombies reading this post, refrain from replying, please. I see you out there, don’t think I don’t!
As Amelia says in the first couple pages, “There is nothing in the world like the last day of school… it feels like time is standing still.” She and her friends are on the cusp of summer vacation and all the breathy magic that entails. Continue reading