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Middle School 12+

WAR STORIES: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

warstories-vol-2

By Ellen Ma Staff Writer REVIEW Garth Ennis brings you this series that consists of eight standalone short stories taken place during World War II, with one set in the Spanish Civil War. Although Ennis is the main writer, each story is taken on by a different artist.

RESISTANCE: BOOK 1

By Nate Stearns Staff Writer Even though I am an English teacher, I’ve always loved history and have harbored more than a little jealousy towards my colleagues who get to steer students through The Punic Wars, The Italian Renaissance, and the Disco Era. There’s a scene in the seminal movie about teaching Teachers (with Nick Nolte) when the history teacher, who just happens to be a literally crazy man who wanders in off the street, dresses up as George Washington and has his entire class re-enact the crossing of the Delaware: students are frantically rowing and looking out for Redcoat […] Read More

THE UNSINKABLE WALKER BEAN

The Unsinkable Walker Bean Cover

By Kevin Hodgson Staff Wrier STORY SUMMARY & REVIEW THE UNSINKABLE WALKER BEAN is a tour de force of storytelling and art as Aaron Renier really nails the whole concept of young boy embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. Unsinkable, indeed. Here, the young Walker Bean is racing against the clock to return a stolen “skull” to the bottom of the ocean before the magical witches who guard their treasure horde come to get the skull.

AMERICUS

Americus Cover

By Adrian Neibauer Staff Writer STORY REVIEW Neil Barton is your typical thirteen-year-old: he’s unsure of himself, awkward, shy, and spends most of his time alone with his nose in a book. AMERICUS, written by MK Reed and illustrated by Jonathan Hill, is a coming of age story set in a small town in Anytown, USA. Neil, our main character, uses the local library in his small home town of Americus as a safe-haven to the discomfort of junior high school. There, he and the young librarian introduce us to the fantasy world of Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde, the Huntress […] Read More

SMILE

SMILE Cover

By Adrian Neibauer Staff Writer STORY REVIEW SMILE by Raina Telgemeier is perfect for any elementary-age classroom. Raina‘s narrative comic tells the story of how she knocked out her two front teeth in the sixth grade. Her memoir continues into high school as her dental issues pair simultaneously with puberty and growing up. Raina says, “Creating SMILE has been therapeutic for me, and has put me in touch with hundreds of kindred spirits.”

JAY-Z: HIP HOP ICON

Hip-Hop Icon Jay-Z Cover

By Kevin Hodgson Staff Writer STORY SUMMARY It’s no secret to anyone who knows music that Jay-Z (aka, Shawn Carter) remains one of the most powerful icons of pop culture today. His influences are everywhere from the ways he turned his rhymes into a business empire to the numerous protégés now on just about everybody’s iPod or radio (Rhianna, anyone?)

LEWIS & CLARK

Lewis & Clark Cover

By Adrian Neibauer Staff Writer STORY REVIEW Can you really teach any topic or subject using graphic novels?  Absolutely!  LEWIS & CLARK is a perfect example of a high-quality graphic novel that is a wonderful accompaniment to any classroom unit on exploration and the West. Using a thorough bibliography of scholarly recountings of Lewis and Clark’s journey to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean, Nick Bertozzi successfully weaves history and story to create a captivating historical narrative.