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From the Olympians series , Vol. 12

A by turns epic, amusing, and tragic caper that’s even more toastworthy (for obvious reasons) than its 11 predecessors.

Discover “a new type of god” in this final installment in the outstanding Olympians series.

Depicted eerily as an enigmatic, unclothed figure wrapped in flames, Hestia, goddess of hearth and home—and the oldest of the Olympians—narrates this strange and wild tale of Dionysos’ birth and rise. The youngest of the gods, Dionysos is conceived by a human mother and raised first as a girl then as a boy before he goes on to invent wine, vanquish death itself, and ultimately claim his seat on Mount Olympus with the rest of his immortal clan. Though not immune to tender feelings (such as when he meets the spirit of his dead mother, Semele, in the realm of Hades and when he marries Ariadne after she’s dumped by that cad Theseus), Dionysos generally comes off as a slap-happy party animal. He cavorts through the illustrations shirtless, displaying appropriately godlike charm and charisma as he dispenses his marvelous beverage far and wide and gathers followers—of both the mythological and racially diverse human variety—for wild rumpuses. “The Olympians may be deathless, but no god is as alive as Dionysos,” Hestia observes. More than any of his fellow deities, he is “a god of the people. Of humans. Because he was born of them.” The pages of this well-conceived graphic novel are laid out using an irregular grid that emphasizes some panels while retaining flow. All major characters present as White.

A by turns epic, amusing, and tragic caper that’s even more toastworthy (for obvious reasons) than its 11 predecessors. (sources, resources, discussion questions, endnotes) (Graphic mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62672-530-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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From the Eagle Rock series , Vol. 1

A coming-of-age story as tender and sweet as a summer evening breeze

Summer adventures begin when Bina accidentally locks herself out of her house in Larson’s newest middle-grade graphic novel.

The summer before eighth grade is a season of self-discovery for many 13-year-olds, including Bina, when her best friend heads off to soccer camp and leaves her alone to navigate a SoCal summer. Without athletic Austin around to steer the ship, Bina must pursue her own passions, such as discovering new bands and rocking out on her electric guitar. Unexpected friendships bloom, and new members are welcomed into her family. Though her sphere grows over the summer, friendship with Austin is strained when he returns, and Bina must learn to embrace the proverb to make new friends but keep the old. As her mother wisely observes, “you’re more you every day,” and by the end of summer Bina is more comfortable in her own skin and ready to rock eighth grade. Larson’s panels are superb at revealing emotional conflict, subtext, and humor within the deceptively simple third-person limited plot, allowing characters to grow and develop emotionally over only a few spreads. She also does a laudable job of depicting a diverse community for Bina to call home. Though Bina’s ethnicity is never overtly identified, her racial ambiguity lends greater universality to her story. (In the two-toned apricot, black, and white panels, Bina and her mother have the same black hair and gold skin, while her dad is white, as is Austin.)

A coming-of-age story as tender and sweet as a summer evening breeze . (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-30485-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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