Friends with Boys: Meta-High School with a Ghostly Twist

Graphic Fridays- Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

(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

Summertime And the Living is… Horrifying?

Graphic Fridays- Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, & Faith Erin Hicks

(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