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We have a wide and varied selection of books for children who enjoy graphic novels, comics and cartoons.
This short (44 pages) graphic novel on the life and impact of Rosa Parks – the woman known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA - packs in a huge amount of information simply and clearly. The author commented she decided that It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks would celebrate a lifetime of activism versus a single moment. And that she would depict late nights, setbacks, and moments of doubt so that children … learn that while change is possible, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to put in the work. This book does just that – it shows with commendable brevity the many sides of the struggles that Rosa and the movement in the USA faced. The story develops as a young girl is taken to see an exhibition by her grandmother – who tells her granddaughter the story of Rosa’s life. The novel is a model of brevity but which packs in the information we all need to know and remember about Rosa and her struggles. Illustrator Shane Clester has produced Graphic novels for Marvel and Nick Jnr, as well as publishing his own picture books. A book that needs to be on book shelves – not only in Black History Month.
As we know, Marie Curie was a trail blazer in so many ways – a woman in science, the first woman to win Nobel Prizes, a major protagonist in the discovery of radiation and x-rays. We may know much less about her background and her family history. This graphic novel shows us just some of the many problems Marie Curie had to rise above in her native Poland - where women were not allowed at the Universities. Told through a series of panels this biography includes all the scientific discoveries in a simple, easily accessible format that exposes the dangers, as well as the advantages of radiation. The illustrations are clear with plenty of room given to the text so that is easy to read and follow. A good addition to classroom collections – and will have special appeal for those pupils who may prefer a graphic approach or be less enthusiastic readers.
June 2021 Book of the Month | Set in an unspecified time not too dissimilar to now, and in a country that strongly resembles our own, this tense, gripping graphic novel demonstrates just how quickly civilisation can fall apart. Bea lives with her dad, big sister and little brother; her mother has already had to flee their country, which is in the midst of a civil war, the forces of the state fighting the rebel Free Kingdom movement, with civilians bearing the brunt, enduring food shortages, power cuts and bomb attacks along with casual brutality from both sides. The family know they’ll have to leave soon, and the book describes the events that trigger their decision to go and live as refugees. The story describes what it’s like to live in a society where trust has collapsed, and where everyone is scared and desperate. But it underlines too the power of family to hold together during the most difficult times and the importance of hope. Powerful and original, it makes for thought-provoking reading, text and illustrations carrying a very strong message. Brian Conaghan explores similar territory in his prize-winning dystopian novel The Bombs That Brought Us Together while the refugee experience is captured in A M Dassau’s Boy, Everywhere.
The first thing that strikes you about this book is the fascinating, colourful effects on every page. This book is presented as a personal journal – one that is packed with artwork, collage and beautiful, striking full colour and line illustrations. The mix makes this a book that students will want to pick up and browse even before they get involved in the story. Asphyxia is a deaf artist, writer and public speaker and is a well-known Australian activist for deaf people, as well as writing previous junior fiction titles. Set in the near future in a Melbourne on the edge of disaster we live with Piper, a 16-year-old deaf student, who’s Mum wants her to appear normal - so Piper struggles to cope with hearing aids at school and uses ‘normal’ speech, so she fits in. She meets the son of a deaf mother, Matthew, who is a CODA – Child of a Deaf Adult – and realises that a whole world of communication is available to her in sign language. With this revelation comes a new world opening up that takes Piper into groups and friendships she has not seen before – away from the usual world of reconstituted food with created flavours into a whole way of life growing wild food and learning how to cook it. This theme of the sustainability of our world is such a hot topic – and the detail, illustration and information here is fascinating. I would recommend reading it for that alone, but what I found the most fascinating was being almost inside Piper’s thoughts as she discovered and learned Auslan (Australian Sign language). Having attended several Deaf Awareness training sessions in my working life I just wish someone had given me this book instead – it seems to place you inside a deaf person’s mind, so you can really grasp the difficulties and joys of being deaf, and the hearing world’s reaction to that. This book should be in every secondary school – it gives such a vivid picture of life for a deaf person, whilst the presentation is so beautiful it draws the reader in. Do read it! Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
15-year-old Yūki Hara Jones is only ¼ Japanese, but she has a deep bond with the country and her beloved grandpa there. Suffering badly from anxiety she feels she will be helped by a visit to see him. Her grandpa, a renowned Manga artist, feels she can be helped by rediscovering the small girl who loved to draw, but just as they are opening her old albums, the earthquake hits and although she survives he does not. Trying to recuperate back in England she can still feel there is unfinished business in Japan and is determined to try to understand it. Helped by her friend Taka, who has also lost everything in the disaster and has his own demons to follow, they take their quest illegally back into the disaster zone. This is an incredibly intense and atmospheric read- the prose descriptions of the disaster and its aftermath are breathtakingly powerful. But it is also a story suffused with Japanese legend and modern-day ghost stories. Manga is an important theme throughout the book - Yūki’s recovery is bound up with the creation of her own manga story and manga is so important to the character of her grandpa and her own love of Japan and so it is entirely appropriate that manga is used to tell the story. The superb drawings seamlessly reveal the other worldly and spiritual nature of Yūki and Taka’s story and the multi-layered whole becomes a truly immersive and compulsive reading experience that will linger long in a reader’s thoughts. Highly recommended.
Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award Black 16+ KS5 | Three teenagers discover an unearthly creature with incredible powers who needs prey to survive - but as they try to use his powers for good, it may be these humans who pose the greatest threat to the world. Eisner Award-nominated writer Simon Spurrier (Sandman Universe, Coda) and acclaimed artist Chris Wildgoose (Batman: Nightwalker) present a subversive coming-of-age story about changing the world - and the lines we'll cross to get everything we want in it.
February 2021 Book of the Month | Cookie is one of those characters who have the best intentions, but just can’t help getting into scrapes and mix ups, and readers will love her all the more for it. In this new adventure, her plans for a plastic-free birthday party are overtaken by circumstances and before we know it, she’s accidentally become best friends with Suzie Ashby, got a detention, upset her friend Jake, and handed over £25 to take part in Woodburn Primary’s very own F Factor, which turns out to be not what she expected at all. Cookie being Cookie, it all works out in the end and everyone, the reader included, has lots of fun along the way. Konnie Huq clearly remembers what it is to be a ten year old very well indeed and Cookie’s fast flowing, tangent-embracing, stream of consciousness narrative is a delight. Huq’s own black and white illustrations are the perfect complement to the text, giving us even clearer insight into what’s going on in Cookie’s head. A fast, fresh and very funny read. The LoveReading LitFest invited Konnie Huq to the festival to talk about Cookie, and green reads for kids with fellow author Gill Lewis. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see them in conversation with Paul Blezard, you won't be disappointed. Check out a preview of the event here
Jamie Smart’s Bunny vs Monkey adventures have been a highlight of the superb Phoenix Comic since it started, but you can now enjoy a year’s worth of stories in in this chunky-but-pocket-fitting paperback. As ever, many of the episodes pit Bunny against evil, would-be-tyrant Monkey but the arrival in their word of huuuumans brings more opportunities for chaos and explosions, e.g. in the story called The Kakapo Poo Kaboom! Smart is a comics genius and every one of these strip adventures is full of characters readers will love and packed with gleeful absurdities. No wonder the stories are so popular, there’s nothing like them and hardly anything that comes even near their levels of frenetic fun.
Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award Black 16+ KS5 | One part thriller, one part meditation on a life of violence, Pulp is unlike anything award-winning Brubaker & Phillips have ever done before. This celebration of pulp fiction set in a world on the brink is another must-have hardcover from one of comics' most acclaimed teams.
January 2021 Debut of the Month | Some readers will already be familiar with robot Freddy, who stars in Neill Cameron’s Mega Robo Bros cartoon strip, but everyone will find masses to enjoy in this new series. Freddy’s robot superpowers include the ability to fly, use lasers and super-strength but none of these talents are appreciated by the teachers at the primary school he attends and indeed, after he accidentally flies through the staffroom window, the head introduces a robotic code of conduct which forbids all of the above, with a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ penalty clause too. Freddy tries, he really does, but it’s not easy being the only robot in his class. Plus, his friend Fernando has lots of ideas for games that lead to trouble, and then when the two fall out, Freddy finds himself partnered with someone who instigates even more bad behaviour. The inevitable third strike comes at the school’s Project Outcome Evening but Freddy gets one amazing last chance to put his Awesome Robotic Abilities to the use for which they were intended. This action-packed story is wildly funny and school life brilliantly well observed (I love Freddy’s long-suffering human parents too). Through it all, Freddy is learning about himself and his friends, and readers will be too. With cartoon illustrations by Cameron on every page even the most reluctant reader will race through this. Superb! David Almond’s latest book Brand New Boy also uses a robot story to explore ideas of understanding, acceptance and human nature.
It's tough fitting in when you're born to stick out! From the moment Stick Boy and his family move to Little Town, there is way more to worry about than being the new kid. There's a mysterious plot involving Baron Ben's new Mega Mall, pop star Jonny Vidwire and the highly suspicious HomeBots that are infiltrating every home in town. Can Stick Boy and his friends uncover the evil plan behind it all before it's too late? An incredibly exciting and extremely funny new world for middle grade readers and fans of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, TOM GATES and TIMMY FAILURE.
OLD books get NEW doodles - it's the classics as you've never seen them before! A hilarious new series that brings the classics to life with illustrations by Jack Noel. Perfect for 7-9 year olds and fans of Tom Gates, Wimpy Kid and Dav Pilkey. And PIRATES. Get your HOOKS into the one and only original pirate adventure! Jim Hawkins spends his life helping out at his mum's boring old inn by the sea, wishing he could sail away and have adventures. But when an old sea captain turns up with a secret, it's the start of a bigger adventure than Jim could ever have imagined - soon he's on a ship on the trail of buried treasure, accompanied by a suspicious sailor named Long John Silver ... Will Jim escape the pirates? Or will he walk the plank? Climb aboard with Jim, a chatty parrot and a bunch of crazy pirates for a hilarious adventure across the seven seas.
Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award Red 14+ KS4 | The new generation claims the dawn! The classic New Mutants - Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik and Cypher - get together with new friends Chamber and Mondo for a new mission… tracking down their teammate Cannonball! Hitching a ride into outer space with the Starjammers, the New Mutants soon find themselves in trouble and on trial for crimes against the Shi’ar Empire! But when Deathbird returns and throws the Empire into turmoil, the New Mutants’ happy reunion soon becomes a complicated struggle for galactic freedom! Who will claim the Shi’ar throne?
The perfect present for DOG MAN fans - starring some of your favourite characters from the series! Welcome to the Cat Kid Comic Club, where Li'l Petey (LP), Flippy, and Molly introduce twenty-one rambunctious, funny, and talented baby frogs to the art of comic making. As the story unwinds with mishaps and hilarity, readers get to see the progress, mistakes, and improvements that come with practice and persistence. Squid Kid and Katydid, Baby Frog Squad, Gorilla Cheese Sandwich, and Birds Flowers Tree: A Haiku Photo Comic are just some of the mini-comics that are included as stories-within-the-story, each done in a different style, utilizing humour and drama, prose and poetry, illustrated in different media including acrylics, pastels, coloured pencils, felt-tip markers, clay, hand-made cardboard sculptures, photographs, pipe cleaners, construction paper collages, and cookies. Readers of all ages will be inspired to dream up their own stories and unleash their own creativity as they dive into this pioneering graphic novel adventure from Dav Pilkey and his heartfelt, humorous, and amazing cast of characters in the Cat Kid Comic Club.
Graphic novels offer action-packed stories, stunning visuals and are fun! Graphic novels might well appeal to reluctant readers, but the assumption that it's not 'real reading' is far from true. Literacy experts, including our own professional librians at LoveReading4Schools, champion the graphic novel as an excellent way improve your child's reading and to encourage a familiarity and love of books. Graphic novels have plenty of text and often complex plots to follow, characters grow and develop - and the artwork is absolutely stunning adding to the allure and entertainment value of a graphic novel.
With a foundation in Japan (manga) and France (bandes dessinées) the genre is incredibly popular, the characters often entwined in gaming and movies to create a wonderfully imaginative fantasy world into which children can immerse themselves.
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