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In the stacks: graphic novels

Posted: March 7, 2013 - 12:05am

Look for graphic novels for kids on the new shelves and the regular non-fiction at 741.59 at all the public libraries.

“Friends with Boys,” by Faith Erin Hicks.

Maggie is up early for her first day of high school – she’s excited and nervous, especially since this will be her first time in a classroom where the other kids aren’t her brothers. They’re older and stopped homeschooling a few years ago, so at least they understand why she’s so apprehensive. Maggie’s surprised to see so many kids jammed into one space without anyone getting crushed. She’s startled to find that her biggest brother, Daniel, is popular. She begins to understand why her twin brothers, Zander and Lloyd, are spending less time together. And with the help of a new friend (and her big brother, Alistair), Maggie thinks that maybe she can handle public school after all. But she still wishes she could get rid of the ghost that’s haunted her for years, and that her mom would come home. Manga-influenced, energetic and expressive drawings will make readers feel as if they really get to know Maggie and her family.

“Freshman: tales of 9th grade obsessions, revelations, and other nonsense,” by Corinne Mucha.

Not as fluid in story or illustration as Friends, this fills a different, lighter niche. It’s a collection of related vignettes about Annie, who starts her first day by oversleeping, then discovers her best friend of ten years has changed so much that Beth won’t even sit next to her any more. Happily, she meets Katrina. Even more happily, she meets Luke, Katrina’s big brother. Annie discovers the joy of ignoring her big brother’s advice and tries out for a play – it turns out that she loves acting! Divided into seasons, this is a fun reminder that who you are now isn’t who you’ll always be, and that working up the courage to try out a new “you” can be thrilling and rewarding.

“Broxo,” by Zack Giallongo.

This charming, zombie-riddled story begins with Zora, an intrepid young princess who is trying to find the clan that lives on Peryton Peak, but the only people there are a boy called Broxo and a witch, Ulith. There are plenty of other things, sure, but they aren’t human. Broxo can’t remember anyone else living on his peak other than his Gramma, but he knows how to survive in his world, which is a lot more use than Zora’s knowledge of the wider world. Gradually, the two teens realize that Broxo is the key to a larger mystery, and they set to work solving it with the aid of Broxo’s loyal, furry, horned companion, Migo. Beautifully drawn with just the right amount of snark to keep it fun, this is reminiscent of Jeff Smith’s Bone (though, unfortunately, shorter).

“Bird and Squirrel on the Run,” by James Burks.

Carefree Bird meets worrywart Squirrel meets fat hungry Cat in this fast-paced adventure. While Squirrel is busily stockpiling nuts for the winter, Bird flits about without a worry in his head – he knows his annual trip south is coming up soon. But when Bird discovers that Cat is scheming to postpone his trip indefinitely, he panics. With Squirrel’s reluctant (and somewhat unintentional help), Bird is saved, but injured, and all of Squirrel’s winter stash is gone. The two decide they’ll have to join forces and walk south, but Cat continues to follow them, drooling all the way. Shades of Gerald and Piggie, but a few steps up in reading and energy level, this will have readers rooting for the two square-headed pals.

“Mac Attack!“ and, “Game On!” By D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Brian Smith.

After the adventures of Sound Off!, in which Daniel Boom discovers that his loud voice may actually be a superpower, he and his friends, The Freaky Five, have new problems to solve. The first involves the cafeteria lunch lady who gets back at kids who don’t eat the food she fixes by serving them macaroni and cheese that turns them all very, very polite. It’s up to Loud Boy, Chatterbox, Tantrum Girl, Fidget, and Destructo-Kid to save the town’s kids – as soon as they stop apologizing to each other! In Game On!, Daniel finds himself trapped in the newest video game, Pig Planet – it’s impossible to stop playing. Will his gang be able to save him before they, too are sucked into a virtual world? Bonus: the quest for Uncle Stanley’s flooggget continues.

•••

Two movie-related programs are happening on Sunday, March 10, at the public libraries. At 2 p.m. at the Downtown Library, the Juneau Cinema Book Club is meeting to discuss “The Wizard of Oz,” in preparation for watching the new movie when it comes to Juneau. At 3 p.m. at the Douglas Library, it’s Family Movie Afternoon – come for a family–friendly movie, snacks provided. (You’ll be on time for both these events if you remember that it’s time to spring forward one hour - Daylight Savings Time is this Sunday, too.)

For more information ,visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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