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A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return

Author/illustrator: Zeina Abirached Publisher: Graphic Universe Grade levels: 6-8, 9-12 School Subject: History/Social Studies Genre: Biography/Autobiography, Political Special Attractions: Nonfiction, Female Lead Characters, Child Lead Characters, Multicultural Lead Characters, Social issues, For adults too Synopsis: When Zeina was born, the civil war in Lebanon had been going on for six years, so it’s just a normal part of life for her and her parents and little brother. The city of Beirut is cut in two by bricks and sandbags, threatened by snipers and shelling. East Beirut is for Christians, and West Beirut is for Muslims. When Zeina’s parents don’t return from a visit […] Read More

At the Amusement Park

Author/Illustrator: Paul Yoon, Lorence Na Publisher: Ykids Grade levels: 4-5, 6-8 Subject: Science Special attractions: Child lead characters Synopsis: Dreamland, the biggest amusement park to open in town, is throwing a science tournament for elementary students across the country. Every kid in school is talking about the tournament and Daniel, Lucy, Christine and Sam decides to sign up. But things do not go as expected. The questions in the tournament are linked to the rides in Dreamland and the friends face strong competition form all round. Publisher’s book page

The Thief of Always

Author/Illustrator: Clive Barker, Kris Oprisko, Gabriel Hernandez Publisher: IDW Publishing Grade levels: 4-5, 6-8, 9-12 Genre: Horror Special Attractions: Adaptation, Child Lead Characters, Teen Lead Characters, For adults too Synopsis: Mr. Hood’s Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied… for a price! A graphic adaptation of Clive Barker’s hit novel, featuring full color art by Gabriel Hernandez. Publishers Weekly review Author’s book page Publisher’s book page  

Sardine in Outer Space series

Author/Illustrator: Emmanuel Guibert/ Joann Sfar Publisher: First Second Books Grade levels: 2-3, 4-5 Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Humor Special Attractions: Child Lead Characters, Female Lead Characters Synopsis: In these goofy science fiction adventures, a little girl named Sardine must outwit Supermuscleman, the chief executive dictator of the universe, who is on a mission to make all the galaxy’s kids behave. An exciting series by two of France’s most talented comics authors, Sardine is a feast for the imagination of young readers. Emmanuel Guibert, an outstanding artist and graphic storyteller, takes a turn on the script, while Joann Sfar illuminates the writing with rambunctious, […] Read More

Salt Water Taffy series

Author/Illustrator: Matthew Loux Publisher: Oni Press Grade levels: 2-3, 4-5, 6-8 Genre: Fantasy, Adventure Special Attractions: Child Lead Characters Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Jack Putnam and his eight-year-old brother Benny are being dragged against their will on a summer-long vacation with their family. And not to somewhere cool like Disney World, but to a little port town in Maine named Chowder Bay, far away from anyplace fun. But what promises to be a very bleak summer quickly becomes a series of exciting adventures filled with mysterious government agents, grizzled old fishermen, and giant lobsters. Chowder Bay is far from boring—it’s one of the most mysterious places […] Read More

Rust series

Author/Illustrator: Royden Lepp Publisher: Archaia Grade levels: 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12 Genre: Science Fiction Special Attractions: Child Lead Characters, Teen Lead Characters, For adults too Synopsis: Life on the Taylor family farm was difficult enough before Jet Jones crashes into the barn, chased by a giant decommissioned war robot! Oldest son Roman Taylor struggles to keep his family’s small farm afloat as the area heals from a devastating world war. While the rest of his family may not trust the mysterious boy with the jetpack, Roman believes the secrets of Jet’s past may be the key to their survival. Titles in this series: […] Read More

Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh’s Fortune

Author/Illustrator: Sean O’Neill Website: Rocket Robinson Grade levels: 4-5, 6-8 Subject: History/Social Studies Genres: Mystery, Adventure Special Attractions: Anthology, Child Lead Characters, Webcomic Synopsis: Cairo, 1933. The Egyptian capital is a buzzing hive of treasure-hunters, thrill-seekers, and adventurers, but to 12-year-old Ronald “Rocket” Robinson, it’s just another sticker on his well-worn suitcase. All that changes when Rocket and his pet monkey, Screech, find a strange note written in Egyptian hieroglyphs which launches Rocket into an adventure more incredible than anything he’s ever seen at the Saturday matinee. Publishers Weekly review Geek Dad review Boing Boing review Awards: – One of the Best […] Read More

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

Author/Illustrator: Eleanor Davis Publisher: Bloomsbury Grade levels: 2-3, 4-5 Subject: Science Special Attractions: Child Lead Characters Synopsis: Super-smart Julian Calendar thinks starting junior high at a new school will mean he can shed his nerdy image-but then he meets Ben and Greta, two secret scientists like himself! The three form a secret club, complete with a high-tech lair. There, they can work to their hearts content on projects like the Stink-O-Meter, the Kablovsky Copter, and the Nightsneak Goggles. All that tinkering comes in handy when the trio discovers an evil scientist’s dastardly plan to rob a museum. Can three inventors, armed with […] Read More

Tippy and the Night Parade

Author/Illustrator: Lilli Carre Publisher: Toon Books Grade levels: PreK-K, K-1 Genre: Fantasy Special Attractions: Early Reader, Child Lead Characters Synopsis: When Tippy wakes up, there’s a peacock in her bedroom, a bird in her hair, and mice dancing on the headboard… Yet all Tippy remembers is falling asleep. In her first book for children, award-winning cartoonist Lilli Carré takes Tippy on an nocturnal adventure up a mountain, down a hole, and back home for endless bedtime enjoyment. (from publisher’s site) Kirkus review ICV2 review Publisher’s Weekly review Author’s site Publisher’s book page (includes lesson plan)

The Shark King

Author/Illustrator: R. Kikuo Johnson Publisher: Toon Books Grade levels: 2-3, 4-5 Subject: History/Social Studies, Language Arts Genre: Mythology and Folktales Special Attractions: Child Lead Characters, Multicultural Lead Characters Synopsis: From the islands of Hawaii comes the electrifying tale of Nanaue, who has to balance his yearning for Dad’s guidance with his desire for Mom’s nurture. Award-winning cartoonist R. Kikuo Johnson transports young readers to the lush, tropical shores of his native Hawaii. Emerging readers, fluent or not, will be thrilled when they experience the transformative powers of this stirring literary work. (from the publisher’s site) Publisher’s Weekly review Kirkus review Publisher’s book […] Read More