Telgemeier uses her own graphic novels to help young authors try to find their own voice and stories. With behind the scenes content, like pictures of her drawing process, Telgemeier shows children how to create their own graphic novel from their lives. There are plenty of pages for writing and drawing, and thoughtful questions to get the creative juices flowing. The only downside is the format. It is difficult to draw or write in a bound book, it should have come spiral bound instead. Overall, it is a great book for young authors or any fans of Telgemeier's work. Recommended grades 4 and up.
Speak has been updated in its graphic novel format, but it still just as powerful as the original novel. In black and white artwork, Melinda's first year of high school is drawn out. As she struggles with what happened at the end of year 8th grade party, we see how keeping her secret and her silence causes her both mental and physical damage. No one seems to notice how she is withdrawing from school, or from life. The only class she enjoys is Art and even that frustrates her at times. Beautifully crafted and still so important. Recommended for 7th grade and up.
Sotomayor's memoir is a look into the childhood and early adult life of a driven and self reliant woman. Early in her life she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. At that time life expectancy of someone with that type of diabetes was generally poor. Her diagnosis didn't stop her from pursuing a law degree, however. From a young age she knew she wanted to be a lawyer and dreamed of becoming a judge. She loved the way that judges were able to change lives - many lives. Sotomayor is proud of her Puerto Rican heritage and family played an important role in her life. She also created her own family of friends, who continue to be a major part of her life as well. This book is a well written account of a very interesting woman. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
When her family moves to Arizona to manage a falling apart Western Theme Park, Aven struggles with starting over in a new middle school. Aven was used to her old friends being completely accepting of her lack of arms. After leaving the lunch room again to eat in the bathroom, she meets Connor and a new friendship is born. Together the two of them conquer each other's fears and set out to discover the mystery of the secret room they discovered at the park. A wonderfully written story, full of middle school angst, friendship and a little mystery. Fully realized characters that you are rooting for. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
Ellorie Gardner may look the spitting image of her grandmother, the powerful Black Witch, but she has no magic. When her uncle allows her to go to university to study, she finds she has a lot more than apothecary to learn. The university has been trying hard to have students coexist between races, but a powerful mage, hungry for power may upend decades of hard work. With war on the horizon, a powerful mage plotting revenge against her and her devious aunt trying to manipulate her, can Elloren find her own way? Riveting, fast paced with twists and turns that will surprise - this is a great new fantasy series. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
To say Nova despises the Renegades is an understatement. They weren't there in her time of need and because of that she lost her family. Nova is determined to help end their rule of Gatlin City, but can she find the courage to do it. Enter Adrian, a prodigy who makes Nova question everything she knew about the Renegades.
While many of the superheroes and prodigies we meet in this book may seem familiar, Meyer has built an interesting world and concept in this book. There are a lot of social and political issues that pertain to real life and the book is entertaining to boot. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
This is a biography not of Vincent Van Gogh, but of the relationship between Vincent and his younger brother Theo. Interspersed with Vincent's art and extremely well researched Heiligman paints a portrait of two brothers and how they relied on and needed each other throughout their lives. Vincent and Theo wrote each other letters, sometimes on a daily basis. Those letters survived the passage of time and allows the reader not just into their lives, but into their thoughts as well. This is a long book, and their lives were filled with tragedy and despair. It is, however, a moving portrait of two people who loved and needed each other. Recommended for grades 8 and up.
Marin left home and didn't turn back, not even when her best friend Mabel reaches out. When Mabel decides to come visit her in college, Marin has to face what happened to her. Will she be able to move forward or will she refuse to allow Mabel back into her life?
This powerful story of betrayal and loss moves quietly and slowly, but will leave you profoundly moved. A beautifully written story that shows how love and loss affect each of us differently. Recommended for 8th grade and above.
Arturo is trying to save his family restaurant, and navigate his first crush without his two best friends who are away for the summer. When a slick developer comes to town and threatens the family restaurant can Arturo find the voice he needs to speak up? Can he find the words to tell Carmen how he feels about her? Or is he in for an epic fail? With fantastic characters, and wonderful story this book will steal your heart and have you rooting all the way for the Zamoras! Recommended for grades 5th and up.
Soon to be a movie this book revolves around Starr Thomas. Starr feels divided between the self she is at home and the self she is at her private school where she is only one of a handful of black students. After a childhood friend is shot and killed driving her home from a party she is conflicted on whether or not to let these two worlds collide and on if she should speak out. An honest and unflinching look at the Black Lives Matter movement this book is necessary reading for all students. Recommended for grades 8 and above