By Svetlana Chmakova
New York: Yen Press, 2017.
Genre: Graphic Novel Realistic Fiction Grades: 5 and Up Pages: 239
This is a great realistic fiction, graphic novel from the author who brought us Awkward. Yes, middle school students are very awkward but they are also brave! Author Chmakova likens middle school to one of the Top 10 Natural Disasters! Not only does main character Jensen agree but also he thinks he is in a video game where his mission is just to make it through each day… “without getting eaten by the game monsters…” Just who are those monsters? The math teacher who has no mercy for mediocre, the girls who laugh at him and the boys who bully him for being overweight. Therefore, each day he runs “the gauntlet” where the only safe spots are art club and the school newspaper. Jensen is the boy at school who sits alone at lunch and the one not picked for a group in class. However, today when the teacher asks for a volunteer to partner with Jensen, Jorge raises his hand and volunteers! Jorge is a big jock with a soft spot for those who get bullied and so Jensen begins to have some allies in school. This is a great book to help students establish some empathy as you feel the pain of being laughed at, being used and finally cheering as Jensen becomes brave enough to speak up for himself!
By Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
New York: First Second, 2017.
Grades 3-6 Graphic Novel 213 pages
This amazing memoir is a great reminder to adults that one of the hardest parts of growing up is friends and to students—you are not alone when you struggle with friend relationships and where you fit in.
This is the story of New York Times Bestselling author Shannon Hale. She is portrayed as spunky red head who just wants real friends. But who are our real friends? Are they the popular group, new kids who move in, the ones who moved out? Shannon Hale makes these struggles come alive as she talks about the anxiety symptoms that began to manifest as result of trying to find real friends. This is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel!
Lily Renee, Escape Artist from Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer
By Trina Robbins Illustrated by Anne Timmons and Mo Oh
Minneapolis: Graphic Universe, 2011.
Graphic Novel Grades 5 and Up
This is a beautiful illustrated graphic novel about Lily Renee Wilheim a young Austrian girl who lived to give her story of the Holocaust a voice for those who perished. Lily Renee was half Jewish and her parents knew the brutalism of the Nazi’s and decided to send Lily Renee away so that she had a chance at life. The story is broken down into chapters that follow this courageous young girl to her final destination—America, where gets some revenge through illustrating comic books.
Connect with some of her other comics at Trina Robbins website
Mrs. Reiber’s Summer Reading 2014 Book #9
Jane, the Fox and Me
By Fanny Britt
Toronto: Groundwood Press, 2012.
Graphic Novel 100 pages.
This is rather a sophisticated graphic novel. The title might bring in the younger audience and its size but it is really meant for an older audience of grades 6/7 and up. Illustrations are done by Isabelle Arsenault and are fabulous!
This is the story of overweight teen by the name of Helene who is bullied by her classmates; retreats to reading. Not reading any ordinary book but reading and rereading Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre. Helene can identify with the main character from the book, Jane. Jane’s trials and tribulations are Helene’s.
This might be a good book to use in connection with Jane Eyre.
Mrs. Reiber’s Summer reading Book #5