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#CelebrateLU- February 17, 2017

17 Feb
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating the Cybils. Click the icon for a complete list of winners.

cybils

I was fortunate enough to be a round 2 judge for the graphic novels categories. I’m sharing my reviews of the finalists.

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Bera the One-Headed TrollBera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fans of Luke Pearson’s Hilda series will enjoy Bera’s adventures. This unlikely heroine suddenly finds herself in charge of a human baby. Full of folklore, Eric Orchard created a rich fantastic world that readers will want to visit again and again. I enjoyed the darker overtones. The art is so lush.
View all my reviews

Compass South (Four Points #1)Compass South by Hope Larson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There’s plenty of action and adventure in this first title of a new graphic novel series that will get readers hooked- a gang of thieves, pirates, a hunt for treasure, and some jungle danger. But I felt the story- and the illustrations- was trying to do too much.

And, I would say this wins the award for most redheaded characters!
View all my reviews

*WINNER!*
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Lowriders in Space, #2)Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Lowriders in Space gang are back. A search for a lost kitten takes them to unexpected places facing a very angry god. I loved the wordplay in this one which gave off a Phantom Tollbooth vibe. I appreciated the fact that it worked in this bilingual formal even though I don’t speak Spanish. A glossary of Spanish terms and phrases are included as well as an extensive author’s note on the gods and goddesses referenced in this graphic novel.
View all my reviews

Mighty JackMighty Jack by Ben Hatke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Surprisingly, I think I’ve read all of Ben Hatke’s books. I enjoyed his Zita trilogy the most but all of them are easy to recommend to others. I love the concept of Mighty Jack and can’t wait for more installments. It’s clearly the first of a series and I would have enjoyed it more if it had a stronger arc and resolution within the book.
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Princess Princess Ever AfterPrincess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Honestly, I thought this was going to be hokey. But the story was intriguing and the relationship between the two characters was organic. It didn’t seem forced. I would love to read more of their adventures. A fun graphic novel adventure that celebrates individuality.
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The Nameless CityThe Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I admit I didn’t want to read this because I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations. But once I got reading, I was actually hooked. An unlikely friendship is formed between a boy of the recent conquering tribe and a native girl of the Nameless City. They discover the walls around them put on by society due to their different status. They also discover the walls around their city may not be as strong as people think when invasions are expected to happen at any time- and sometimes from inside their very own government. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
View all my reviews

The Wolves of CurrumpawThe Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was surprised by how much of a love story this turned out to be. A cunning wolf manages to elude hunters and, once captured, manages to ask questions about humans’ roles dealing with nature. Based on Ernest Thompson Seton’s story from 1898 in which his experiences would lead him to form (co-found) the Boy Scouts of America. The illustrations (whether full two-paged spreads or told in panels) are very lavish kind of mirroring the New Mexican landscape.
View all my reviews

2016 Finalists: Young Adult Graphic Novels

Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in TurkeyDare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Ozge Samanci
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An interesting memoir of growing up in Turkey and wanting to please her parents while trying to figure out what it is she wants to do. The look into how the educational system was set up was fascinating, kind of similar to how it is in the Philippines where I grew up. And, of course, the political situation had an eerie resonance.

I admit that it sort of fizzled out for me towards the end and then seemed to wrap things up quickly.
View all my reviews

Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood & VineFaith, Volume 1: Hollywood & Vine by Jody Houser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A collection of comics featuring a plus-sized superhero. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not really a fan of these kinds of comics although I appreciate them trying to be diverse. The situations all seem too similar for my taste.
View all my reviews

Lucky PennyLucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I could definitely see why people might find this graphic novel funny (with its dark irreverent sense of humor) but it just didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t like Penny because she was quirky for quirky’s sake. Plus, she seems like a mooch.
View all my reviews

*WINNER!*
March: Book Three (March, #3)March: Book Three by John Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’d been meaning to read March for awhile now but wanted to wait until all the books were out.

I hadn’t really heard of John Lewis but boy did he earn my respect when he launched the recent sit-in for gun control. I loved that this form of nonviolent protest wasn’t new to him as we learn from this thrilling trilogy.

Book Three focused on some of the darkest moments in the Civil Rights movement as the battle for “One Man, One Vote” escalates into sickening acts of evil and violence stemming from fear and hatred. But it also served as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit to defy the odds and stand strong against oppression, to march on despite the obstacles because freedom and everything it entails is not just for a select few but for all.

March is such an important set of books to read since, despite all the progress that have been made, there’s still a lot of work to be done. And we must be aware that our actions have consequences. A vote for an unfit presidential candidate will set us back. An immature non-vote or a symbolic let’s-stick-it-to-The-Man vote can lead to equally disastrous results. I hope reading John Lewis’s graphic novel memoir trilogy will be enlightening. Let it inspire a whole new audience that their voices matter.

View all my reviews

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Collected Editions)Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Perfect for teenagers and older readers who love dark fantasies. It’s a war torn world full of power hungry creatures and those who are just trying to survive. I was sort of hate reading this in the beginning because I thought it was being too sexual or erotic. But after awhile I was gripped by the storytelling. The illustrations, the characters, were very lush.

Readers will find similarities in this world where whole people (in this case, Archaics) are being hunted (by Cumeans) because they’re different.

I can’t wait for the next collection.

View all my reviews

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super FamousMs. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I appreciated the diversity but somehow it felt forced. Even though this was a later installment in an ongoing series, it can be read as a stand alone- although there were some plot points slightly confusing but I didn’t care too much to figure out why.
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TrashedTrashed by Derf Backderf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Working in retail, I don’t really like exaggerated accounts of dealing with customers because I know first hand how unbelievably strange and/or wonderful they can be.

I was more interested in the nonfiction parts- information about the garbage industry- than the narrative. What a mess!
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What are you celebrating this week?

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