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 >
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 >

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 >
MARCH by John Lewis
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"'We're gonna march'—oh, yes. (Graphic memoir. 11 & up)"
Heroism and steadiness of purpose continue to light up Lewis' frank, harrowing account of the civil rights movement's climactic days—here, from cafeteria sit-ins in Nashville to the March on Washington. Read full book review >
HERE by Richard McGuire
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 9, 2014

"A gorgeous symphony."
Illustrator McGuire (What's Wrong With This Book, 1997, etc.) once again frames a fixed space across the millennia.Read full book review >

SUGAR SKULL by Charles Burns
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 16, 2014

"A fittingly audacious finale to an artistically ambitious trilogy, one that pays homage to the comic books of old yet takes the art to another, weirder level."
The third volume in a trilogy concludes a renowned graphic artist's hallucinatory descent into comic-book hell—and it doesn't end prettily. Read full book review >
KILL MY MOTHER by Jules Feiffer
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Aug. 25, 2014

"An unusual, unforgettable, incomparable pulpy punch."
Award-winning cartoonist/illustrator/author/playwright Feiffer (Backing into Forward, 2010, etc.) delivers his first graphic novel, a sprawling, kinetic noir of giant women, jumbled identities and warped relations. Read full book review >
THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: July 15, 2014

"A sure winner for any reader with a yen to become permanently terrified. Brilliant. (Graphic horror. 13-18)"
A print and Web comics artist offers five creep-out chillers (four new) with folk-tale motifs and thoroughly disquieting art. Read full book review >
THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: May 6, 2014

"Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated—a triumph. (Graphic novel. 13 & up)"
A summer of family drama, secrets and change in a small beach town. Read full book review >
RULES OF SUMMER by Shaun Tan
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 29, 2014

"Evocative, enthralling and with absolutely astounding artwork so good readers will wish that, like summer, it would last forever. (Picture book. 4 & up)"
One summer, two brothers live by mysteriously dire rules laid down by the older of the pair. Read full book review >
THE RIVER by Alessandro Sanna
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 27, 2014

"Along the lines of Blexbolex's Seasons (2010), an immersive visual experience that richly rewards patient attention. (afterword) (Picture book. 6-9, adult)"
An Italian illustrator makes his U.S. debut with an impressionistic record of an annual cycle along the Po River. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Brilliantly juxtaposes Marvel with its best characters: flawed and imperfect, but capable of achieving miraculous feats."
An impeccably researched, authoritative history of Marvel Comics. 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 >