Graphic Novels & Comic Books Book Reviews

THE ONLY CHILD by Guojing
Kirkus Star
by Guojing, illustrated 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 >
The Monsterjunkies by Erik Daniel Shein
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 14, 2014

"A worthy, faithful companion to the prose novels."
A graphic novel adaptation of the Monsterjunkies (2014) YA adventure.Read full book review >

NICHIREN by Masahiko Murakami
GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMIC BOOKS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"An intriguing imagining that is both edifying and enlightening and that makes an ancient figure easily accessible to a modern audience . (Graphic historical fiction. 13 & up)"
A graphic-novel treatment of the life and Buddhist teachings of Nichiren, a real-life 13th-century Japanese priest. Read full book review >
Felicity ~  by Loralee Evans
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 24, 2014

"Well-worn tropes but a charming adventure story with a resourceful heroine."
In this illustrated chapter book for middle-grade readers, a brave little sparrow agrees to go on a dangerous journey and free the fairy queen from her evil hawk captor. 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 >

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 >
COMMENTARII DE INEPTO PUERO by Jeff Kinney
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"For most readers, this effort sits as a curio alongside other Latin versions of modern books, truly delighting only the rare readers who can both navigate the syntax of Latin and giggle at the 'Tactus Casei' ('Cheese Touch'). (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 10 & up)"
The Latin version of Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (translated by Vatican Latinist Gallagher), is an exploration of new form rather than new content, much like the Shakespearean version of Star Wars or the Klingon version of Hamlet. 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 >
THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Best for readers new to the series, who won't be distracted by comparisons with the original. (Graphic fantasy. 11 & up) "
Lyra Belaqua begins her journey north again in this graphic-novel adaptation of Philip Pullman's classic fantasy. 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 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 >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >