Graphic Novels & Comic Books Book Reviews

MACBETH #KILLINGIT  by William Shakespeare
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Theater in general and Shakespeare in particular are notably protean, and the potential of this and its companions to inspire students to think outside the Globe is significant. (Graphic classic. 12 & up)"
Carbone continues her lively updating—or heretical butchery, depending on your point of view—of Shakespeare's plays. Read full book review >
THE ONLY CHILD by Guojing
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Rare is the book containing great emotional depth that truly resonates across a span of ages: this is one such. (author's note) (Picture book. 5 & up)"
Left alone when her mother leaves for work, a child amuses herself with television, dolls, and a toy deer before boarding a bus for her grandmother's house. Read full book review >

DARE TO DISAPPOINT by Özge Samanci
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A bright, perceptive bildungsroman with a distinctive setting. (Graphic memoir. 14 & up)"
Humor and youthful angst lighten this graphic memoir of life in a country pulled strongly in different directions by conflicts between Western and conservative Muslim values. Read full book review >
Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz by Shannon Watters
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"An entertaining testament to the enduring richness of 'Peanuts' and the creativity it still inspires."
Celebrated cartoonists interpret the look, legacy, and worldview of the "Peanuts" comic strip in this vibrant homage to its creator.Read full book review >
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WEST by Paul Pope
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Forget the capes and tights: this is an entirely accessible and richly imagined superhero tour de force. (Graphic adventure. 13 & up)"
A teenage superheroine vows to destroy the monster that killed her mother but discovers vengeance doesn't come without dire consequences. 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 >
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 >
MESSENGER by Tony Lee
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Striking visuals augment an already-captivating tale. (Graphic historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Having tackled Robin Hood in Outlaw (2009) and King Arthur in Excalibur (2011), Lee now envisions Joan of Arc's humble beginnings to her inevitable martyrdom. 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 >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >