El Deafo

El Deafo is an awesome graphic no20701984vel ideal for kids 9-12 but that could appeal to a wider audience.

The story of a young girl who loses her hearing is worthy of book club discussion and could help broach the topic of disability in a lesson on inclusion.

The substance doesn’t make it boring for casual readers. There’s enough humour and emotion to keep readers connected to Cece.

The way the illustrations handle vision loss is perfect and the hearing loss reflected in empty dialogue bubbles and jumbled text is extremely clever.

Fantastic story with adorable illustration.

Batgirl of Burnside Vol.1

23164970Batgirl of Burnside is great for many reasons.

The art is fantastic with awesome facial expressions, a practical but beautiful costume design, diverse characters, and exciting action panels.

I liked how the social media was incorporated into the page. Seeing the texts, e-mails and dating profiles helped the story move forward without too much exposition and gave the comic a more contemporary feel.

Babs is the perfect combination of smart, heroic and fun. She is a great role model for young women. She isn’t perfect and her vanity gets her into trouble but she is well meaning and she uses her wits and strength.

The narrative strays from the old Barbara Gordan timeline I’m familiar with but DC’s new comics have done that with many heroes and for the most part I’ve liked the changes.

I liked that the comic included the police perspective and that a young woman with a disability was able to use her technical skills to help fight crime.

Freshman Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and Other Nonsense

84927872The graphic novel Freshman Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations and Other Nonsense by Corinne Mucha is a fun, realistic look at the excitement and anxiety of starting high school.

I like that it had various perspectives. It focuses on the little things rather than big drama. It’s the type of thing anyone can relate to.

It only took a few minutes to read but it was enjoyable.


Paige by Paige

8928004Laura Lee Gulledge has created one of the most expressive and artistic graphic novels I’ve read.

In Page by Paige she illustrates emotions beautifully and hauntingly. Complex feelings and thoughts of impostor syndrome, being an introvert, anxiety, homesickness and more are brought to life in art that defies the frames of the comic and is worthy of being framed on a wall.

It’s a sweet book appropriate for young teens but that can appeal to older teens. If you are looking for a realistic graphic novel about growing up and figuring out who you are this is a good one.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

12000020Benjamin Alire Saenz has a way with words. He writes lines that describe feelings that are rarely reflected on so well in teen literature or maybe any literature.

This is a novel that explores the subtleties of being a teen. The ambivalence towards parents is handled beautifully. There’s the perfect mix of resentment, affection, criticism and respect in Ari’s feelings for his parents. The mix of anger and adoration fit with his situation.

The characters are deep and interesting. Ari and Dante are both philosophical and have a sarcastic sense of humour. Their coming of age tale is about more than their relationship because both characters are complex and have other conflicts going on in their lives.

With Mexican-American homosexual characters this book will add diversity to a library collection.

There were times when I felt the characters seemed younger than the age stated in the book. Their curiosity and embarrassment about their bodies was coming a couple of years late in my opinion but maybe I’m just more familiar with girls and boys do mature slower.

*spoiler alert*

There was a chemistry between the boys that made it more compelling to me then other LGBQT titles I’ve read such as Moon At Nine. Even when they were just talking Ari and Dante had a spark. They felt like a couple even before Ari let himself realize what he was feeling.


aprilThe LumberJanes is a strange but fun graphic novel suited for tweens.

The girls in the comic are quirky, diverse, and have hilarious one liners like “I have many skills. Falling is among them.” They make fairy tale references as they battle mysterious wildlife and often exclaim the names of famous women where there would normally be an “oh my God”. A lot of the references might be lost on kids but they are amusing for readers who recognize the names.

Why are hipster Yetis so odd?

Because they can’t even.

The graphic novel is broken lumberjanes1-e1406304295769down into chapters based on the badges the girls earn as LumberJanes.

While it has the pace and interest level appropriate for ages 10-13 the girls do use words like “jerk”, “stupid” and “what the junk” in place of swears and I know some parents might object to it.

It’s off the wall and has no real explanation in Vol. 1 for why there are 3 eyed beasts and possessed boy-scouts…but if you like fun stories about adventurous girls this is worth a look.