Graphic Novels & Comic Books Book Reviews

THE KING AND THE SEA by Heinz Janisch
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"This gem's childlike warmth, whimsy, and wisdom bring to mind The Little Prince. (Picture book. 7 & up)"
The titular king, a smallish character made of paper and featuring crayoned features and crown, converses with many creatures and inanimate objects in a series of double-page "chapters," each title beginning, "The King and…." Read full book review >
TRAVELS OF AN EXTRAORDINARY HAMSTER by Astrid Desbordes
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A blunt, at times knee-slapping story suitable for perceptive young readers, those unsure of social cues, and global readers alike. (Graphic novel. 7 & up)"
Hamster—a sarcastic, egocentric, yet still enjoyable protagonist—travels with his band of patient, tolerant timberland friends to the Arctic Circle. Read full book review >

LITTLE NEMO'S BIG NEW DREAMS by Josh O'Neill
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Inventive work by some of comics' most distinguished artists makes these tributes a triumph. (foreword, introduction, contributors' bios, bibliography) (Graphic anthology. 12 & up)"
Thirty-one graphic artists pay homage to newspaper cartoonist Winsor McCay. Read full book review >
I WILL NOT by Naila Farouky
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 24, 2015

"'I will not': this brief book shows the positive power in a negative. (Picture book. 12 & up)"
A heartfelt lament by a Palestinian writer is paired to evocative images by an Israeli illustrator. Read full book review >
When The River Rises by D.C. Walker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 19, 2015

"Excellent as both an action piece and a crime drama."
From the writer and artist of Fallout (2015) comes a graphic novel inspired by true events at a Louisiana prison during Hurricane Katrina.Read full book review >

DROWNED CITY by Don Brown
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"An excellent chronicle of the tragedy for a broad audience; children, teens, and adults will all be moved. (source notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 12 & up)"
Following the stellar The Great American Dust Bowl (2013), Brown tells the story of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on New Orleans, beginning with "a swirl of unremarkable wind" in "early August, 2005" and ending with the observation that "By 2012, only 80 percent of New Orleans's residents had returned."Read full book review >
LOST PROPERTY by Andy Poyiadgi
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: June 1, 2015

"The general premise is an old favorite, though here it gets an inflection that may appeal best to audiences familiar with the accretion of loss. (Graphic short story. 14 & up)"
In this short graphic tale a mail carrier's past comes back not to haunt but to inspire him. Read full book review >
NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: May 19, 2015

"If you're going to read one graphic novel this year, make it this one. (Graphic fantasy. 13 & up)"
A not-so-bad villain fighting against a not-so-good hero teams up with a spunky shape-shifting heroine in a cleverly envisioned world. Read full book review >
SHOULD YOU BE A RIVER by Ed Young
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 14, 2015

"Mystifying and ultimately uplifting, this book challenges all of us to seek out the dizzying scope of love. (Picture book. 10 & up)"
Startling collages of torn photos, cut paper and calligraphy seek to describe love's many forms and feelings through comparisons found in nature. Read full book review >
LAST OF THE SANDWALKERS by Jay Hosler
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Hosler's sincere excitement in both the pursuit of knowledge and the power of comics makes these bugs eminently memorable. (illustrated cast of characters) (Graphic fantasy. 10 & up)"
Entomologist Hosler offers an epic adventure that delivers an astonishing amount of information in its interstices. Read full book review >
MACBETH by William Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare, adapted by Gareth Hinds, illustrated by Gareth Hinds
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"An adaptation both respectful and daring that should please all but the most ardent traditionalists. (Graphic drama. 12 & up)"
Having previously interpreted The Merchant of Venice (2008), King Lear (2009) and Romeo and Juliet (2013), Hinds turns his pencil to the Scottish Play.Read full book review >
THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"Masterfully paneled and attractively illustrated but populated by archetypes."
Comics writer/illustrator and theorist McCloud (Making Comics, 2006, etc.) presents an artist's struggle to make a name for himself and the complications love brings to the Faustian deal he's made to gain total control of his craft.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >