Graphic Novels & Comic Books Book Reviews

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 >
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 >

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 >

HONOR GIRL by Maggie Thrash
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A luminescent memoir not to be missed. (Graphic memoir. 13 & up)"
Thrash chronicles one monumental summer at an all-girls' camp where she experienced her gut-wrenching first love. Read full book review >
ANN TENNA by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Zany with a touch of uplifting. You will be measurably hipper after reading it."
A high-spirited graphic novel skewers the Twitterati. Read full book review >
THE MARVELS by Brian Selznick
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Time, grief, forgiveness, and love intersect in epic theater celebrating mysteries of the heart and spirit. (notes) (Fiction. 10 & up)"
In the final volume of a trilogy connected by theme, structural innovation, and exquisite visual storytelling, Selznick challenges readers to see. Read full book review >
THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neil Gaiman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"If this book isn't quite a masterpiece, it's certainly a treasure, and that's more than enough. (Fairy tale. 11-18)"
Is it fair to expect a masterpiece when Gaiman and Riddell work together? Probably. Read full book review >
FIRST MAN by Simon Schwartz
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"A welcome profile of a little-known African-American explorer, despite its somewhat heavy-handed embroidery of the facts. (introduction, chronology, selected bibliography) (Graphic historical fiction. 13 & up)"
A fictionalized account of the life of Matthew Henson, the black American who reached the North Pole before Robert Peary, told in graphic form. Read full book review >
KILLING AND DYING by Adrian Tomine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Achingly human and divinely rendered."
A collection of six previously published graphic stories of life's bittersweet struggles, from illustrator/writer Tomine (New York Postcards, 2014, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >