Graphic Novels

All posts in the Graphic Novels category

Squish, Super Amoeba, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Published July 4, 2015 by Dagmar

You might not have realized that there is a whole world within our world – the world of the Amoeba, one-celled organisms that go to school, trade lunches and even read comic books during class.  My students know all about Squish. In fact, this is one series that iSquishs always mentioned when I ask them about their favorite graphic novels.

Squish is just such an amoeba. He has friends, Pod and Peggy. Peggy is an extremely nice paramecium. She’s actually a little too nice sometimes. In fact, one day, after Squish and his friends sit in detention, Peggy chats away to the school’s bully, Lynwood. Lynwood is a “scary amoeba” that loves to eat paramecium. Squish sees Peggy talking to Lynwood and fears that Lynwood will actually eat Peggy right there in detention. Squish has a decision to make. Should he do the right thing and step in to save Peggy, just as his hero, Super Amoeba, would? Or, should he walk in the other direction.

Find out what Squish decides to do and how a little slime mold can be a good thing to have around.

My students absolutely love this series. The Squish series currently has 6 books, with book 7 due to be released on August 25, 2015.  Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm also write the Babymouse graphic novel series.


Zita the Spacegirl, by Ben Hatke

Published July 2, 2015 by Dagmar

This graphic novel might just rank with Amulet as my favorite in my library.  Zita the Spacegirl has characters you’ll love, evil villians, wonderful drawings and a plot full of suspense.  It is a huge favorite with my students.

Zita the SpacegirlZita and her friend Joseph are surprised when a small meteor hits the earth where they are playing. Zita is adventurous.  She goes into the small crater and finds an interesting object that looks like a button. As all adventurous girls are wont to do, Zita pushes the button. Off goes Joseph onto another planet. Zita quickly presses the button again and finds herself on the same strange planet, just in to see Joseph kidnapped.

Zita meets new creatures that soon become friends, a large creature she names Strong Strong, another called Mouse and Piper.  She learns that this new planet is just about to be destroyed by an enormous asteroid.  Everyone is trying to get off the planet before the asteroid hits.  Zita is determined to find her friend.  She learns that he has been taken prisoner by the original creatures to inhabit the planet, Scriptorians.  The Scriptorians think that sacrificing Joseph will stop the asteroid.

Zita sets out with her new friends to find Joseph and save him. Will they be successful? Who will try to stop them? Will the planet survive? Read Zita and the Spacegirl to see how one strong, adventurous girl can team up with friends and make things happen.

Don’t miss the next two books in this trilogy, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl and Return of Zita the Spacegirl. Look for Ben Hatke’s new book, Little Robot, to be released on September 1, 2015.

Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar

Published May 21, 2015 by Dagmar

I swore that my blog would be dedicated to books that I love and that my students loved too.  Well, here I sit telling you that if you hatiny titansve elementary school kids that love graphic novels, chances are they will LOVE the Tiny Titans series.  Adults may not see what the fuss is all about.

I cannot keep these books in stock, and I believe I have every book in the series on my shelves.  Wow, these books are popular.  Third to fifth graders, both reluctant readers and avid readers, are all reading Tiny Titans.  I’m sure 2nd graders would be too if I let them check out graphic novels. 🙂  As an fyi, the books are rated as a 1st-2nd grade reading level.

Tiny Titans are the children of Super Heroes.  They go on lots of adventures, get in trouble and have all sorts of fun.  The books are colorful and come in paperbacks and hardcover.

If you’re looking for some fun summer reading for your child or a fun addition to your school library, I think you’ll be very happy with the Tiny Titans series.

Greek Myths and Legends, by Graphic Universe

Published July 9, 2013 by Dagmar

graphic universeOne of my favorite genres is the graphic novel.  I have many students who are graphic novel devotees and will read anything written in this format, including mythology and American history.

My students are big fans of The Olympians series of graphic novels.  They’ve read all the books in the series that I have in the library (Zeus, Hades, Hera, Athena and Poseidon).  They are eagerly awaiting the newest book in the series, Aphrodite.

Thank goodness for Graphic Universe and their series of Greek mythological tales.  They’ve helped quench my students’ thirst for Greek myths.  These graphic novels include myths like Jason: Quest for the Golden Fleece; Theseus: Battling the Minotaur; Trojan Horse: The Fall of Troy, Perseus: The Hunt for Medusa’s Head and others.

While these tales are a quick read (I often get them back the same day I check them out), there are quite a few of them and they do a great job broadening my students’ understanding of Greek myths.  Written by various authors and drawn by various artists, these books bring these stories to life in a dramatic and exciting way.  I would recommend them to any mythology or graphic novel fan.

Flight, edited by Kazu Kibuishi

Published June 18, 2013 by Dagmar

flightFinally, something to satisfy the many Amulet fans in my library.  As I mentioned in my blog article about Amulet, my students are so sad that the series only has five volumes.  Many of my students have read each book of Amulet multiple times.  Kibuishi’s Copper book also circulated like crazy until our copy was lost.

So, when I found out that Kazu Kibuishi created a collection of graphic short stories, I thought I’d give these books a try in my library.  I was not disappointed.  While the work is not entirely that of Kazu Kibuishi exclusively, it is a really nice collection.  It contains short stories from 21 authors, including one story from Kibuishi.  I ordered the first three books, and they immediately started circulating.  There are eight books in all, and I’ve already been asked by my students to add to our collection.  While most of these stories can be understood by younger students, I would recommend them for a tween and older audience.

Bake Sale, by Sara Varon

Published June 9, 2013 by Dagmar

Bake SaleI really like Sara Varon’s graphic novels.  They are emotional, a little melancholy but most of all, really good.  Bake Sale is very popular in my library.  I have a lot of cooks and bakers at my school, so I think Bake Sale’s appeal extends beyond the very sweet (sorry) story of friendship to the recipes throughout the book.

Cupcake owns a bake shop in New York City.  He has a best friend named Eggplant and plays drums in a band with his friends.  He loves baking and playing in the marching band.  Eggplant tells him that he is going to visit his aunt Aubergine in Turkey.  His aunt Aubergine knows Turkish Delight, the famous baker.  Turkish Delight is Cupcake’s baking idol. Eggplant invites Cupcake to come along to Turkey so that he can meet Turkish Delight.  Cupcake doesn’t have the money for his plane ticket.  At Eggplant’s urging, Cupcake quits his band and works lots extra hours creating new recipes and selling his baked goods all over New York City so that he can save up all his money to buy a ticket to Turkey.  I love Cupcake’s entrepreneurial spirit.  He sells little marzipan dogs and cats outside to sell at St. John the Baptist Cathedral for St. Francis of Assisi Day, dog biscuits for the Westminster Dog Show and heart-shaped peppermint brownies for Valentine’s Day.  Finally, Cupcake saves up enough for his ticket to Turkey so that he can meet Turkish Delight.  Sadly, Eggplant loses his job and can no go to Turkey.

What happens next? Read and find out how this great story ends.  I loved it.

This book was a Junior Library Guild selection.

Bone: Out from Boneville, by Jeff Smith

Published May 29, 2013 by Dagmar

BoneI can’t believe I haven’t read Bone until now.  This is an embarrassing thing to admit as a children’s librarian, because Bone may be the most popular set of books in my library.  I usually invest my time reading books that I feel won’t circulate unless I “sell” them to my students.  This series definitely does NOT need selling.  It is a perennial favorite in my library with students from 2nd to 6th grade.

Phoney Bone is the richest Bone in Boneville.  Unfortunately, he’s also a swindler who has cheated the townspeople left, right and backwards.  When he is run out of town, his two cousins, Fone Bone and Smiley Bone, help save him.  Fone Bone is kind, polite and resourceful.  Smiley Bone is funny and not the brightest Bone in the bunch.  Escaping with only one backpack full of prized possessions but no food or water, the three cousins wander in the desert.  Attacked by locusts, they run, only to be split up from one another.  Fone ends up crossing a mountain pass and finds himself in a valley, containing terrible rat creatures, a friendly red dragon, a possum family and a nice girl named Thorn and her grandma who take him in.  Fone finally finds Phoney Bone, who is a disaster when it comes to manners.  Fone Bone and Phoney Bone set out together to find the still missing Smiley Bone.

I love the wit and the dialog in this very funny book.  The characters, particularly the “not terribly smart” rat monsters and the wry red dragon with “Seuss-like” fluffy ears are absolutely great.  I can definitely see why these books are so popular and why any elementary school library needs a set of these books.  I think any child, second grade and up would enjoy the series, but that the students will understand more of the author’s wit if they are in fourth grade or older.

There are eleven books in the original Bone series, counting the prequel, Rose, and Tall tales.  The author also wrote another series called Quest for Spark.  Don’t miss them!

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, by Lincoln Peirce

Published May 28, 2013 by Dagmar

Big nate 4The first of the Big Nate series, my students recommended that I read this book. I’m glad I did! It’s perfect for fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, it’s funny and is a blend of graphic novel and text.  This series is really popular with boys from 4th-6th grade who are always lobbying for me to get more books in the series…anything to keep them reading!

Big Nate (COMIX!) is also now a graphic novel series, so Big Nate flies off the shelves in my fiction and my graphic novel sections.  Highly recommended for tween boy readers who like to laugh.

Olympians, by George O’Connor

Published March 12, 2013 by Dagmar

zeusAnother great graphic novel series.  This series focuses on the greek gods.  The pages are full cover and the author, George O’Connor pulls from historical texts as he retells the myths of each of the gods he writes about.  The illustrations are full-color and dramatic and are a real draw for students.  The series includes books on Zeus, Athena, Hades, Hera and Poseiden to be published this month. Highly recommended for tweens and middle school readers.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, by Nathan Hale

Published March 12, 2013 by Dagmar

nathan haleI’m so happy to see that graphic novels are expanding to include history, mythology, and adaptations of classics.  I have a few readers who will not read anything unless it’s in graphic novel format.  They’re big readers and are in the library always looking for new books.  They are really excited about this series.  I’m excited, because they’re reading American History!

This new series, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales is a funny recounting of the story of Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War spy who famously said, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”  In this version, Nathan Hale and the hangman are discussing “last words” and the fact that Nathan Hale should say something memorable before he is hanged.  Nathan Hale not only thinks of his last words, but then delays his hanging by recounting the story of the seige of Boston, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and General Howe’s invasion of New York.

This is real American history but presented in a funny and engaging way. I laughed out loud several times at the cleverness of the book.  There are two books in the series so far, One Dead Spy and Big Bad Ironclad and more to come.  (Thank goodness!)  My only regret… is that the pages are not full-color. I think it would add a lot to the book if the illustrations were more attractive.  That said, it’s a great series and kids love it.