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Not Just Superheroes: Three Comics that Feature Regular Heroes

16 Dec

I used to think that comics were just about superheroes, but after attending New York Comic Con and starting to manage the library’s graphic novel collection I’ve discovered just how wrong I was. Superheroes are entertaining and I’ve been really enjoying some of those stories, but comics offer so much more. If you’re looking for something a little different than the following series can get you started.

Lumberjanes

lumberjanes

(Available to borrow in collected editions at the library or in either collected editions or single issues online through Hoopla.)

You may have heard about this series. It won Eisner and Diamond Gem awards in 2015, was nominated as a Young Adult Library Services Association “Great Graphic Novel for Teens”, and a GLAAD Media Award for Best Comic Book. It was also recently featured in a crossover with Gotham Academy, another comic series. Lumberjanes takes place at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types and follows the humorous action-packed adventures of five cabin-mates and best friends. Although it looks like an ordinary sleep-away camp with arts & crafts, badges to earn, and s’mores, it is actually hiding some supernatural secrets. If you ever imagined yourself as one of the Goonies or loved Stranger Things, you’ll probably enjoy Lumberjanes. One of the things I like most about the series is how well-developed the main characters and their friendships are. As they are unraveling ancient mysteries, the girls are shown to be unique individuals who are not stereotypes or generic. And above all they care about and look after one another. As their motto goes, “Friendship to the Max!”

The Backstagers

backstagers

(Available in single issues online through Hoopla.)

This is a new series so it won’t take long to catch up. When Jory transfers to a new high school, he’s afraid that he won’t fit in. He somewhat reluctantly, but bravely, decides to join the drama club as an actor but quickly discovers that he might fit in better with the stage crew. Little does he know that there are secret tunnels and rooms hidden beneath the school containing many mysteries. Since it’s a new series, it’s a little unclear what, if anything, the protagonists’ main goal is but in the meantime following their adventures is fun!

The X-Files

x-files

(Available to borrow in collected editions at the library or online through Hoopla.)

The X-Files is my favorite TV series of all time, and if it’s yours too, then you have to check out the comic series. These comics, by Joe Harris, continue the series after the end of Season 9 (but started before 2016’s revival season) so they are subtitled Season 10 and Season 11. They continue in the same manner of the TV series with standalone monster of the week stories intertwined with a larger mythology.

These are just a few of the MANY non-superhero comic series and I haven’t even mentioned the terrific non-fiction graphic novels. If you would like more recommendations stop by the library any time and ask!

-Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

Six YA Picks from HPL’s YA Librarian

31 Aug

It’s been about a year since I started my job as the Young Adult Librarian. In that year I’ve read many YA books, some good and some not so good. Here are a few that I highly recommend.

all-amer-boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

boy-black-suit

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Before I started choosing Young Adult books for the library I hadn’t heard of Jason Reynolds. I’m really glad that that’s changed. Reynolds’ characters are real people. They talk like modern teenagers talk and you can hear their voices in your head when you read the dialog. Reynolds writes about tough, timely topics. Police brutality, death, first love, substance abuse, family dynamics; it’s all included in these two outstanding books.

illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I was skeptical about this one. A book told through “found” electronic messages, memos and lab reports? How exciting could it be? I was wrong. When Kady and Ezra’s planet is invaded they, and the rest of the population, are forced to escape on spaceships, but that’s just the beginning. We follow along as the two teens race against time to figure out why their ships are being targeted and what kind of fatal disease is quickly spreading among their fellow passengers. This is the start of a new series.

fallout

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite characters. Here, she’s reimagined as a teenage journalist-in-training. She and her colleagues at the student-run “Daily Scoop” news website, and an online friend she knows only as “Smallville Guy,” investigate a gang of high school bullies. Part Nancy Drew, part science fiction, this is a fun read for anyone who’s a fan of Lois Lane or light mysteries.

love-gelato

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

How can you go wrong with Italy and ice cream? Although it starts with a tragedy, the book is mostly an entertaining, light romance/mystery set against the backdrop of beautiful Tuscany. If you’re looking for a quick read with sympathetic and likable characters give this one a try.

most-dangerous

Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

The Vietnam War. Watergate. Although these events were covered in school, the topics are so complicated there is always more to learn. This book, about Daniel Ellsberg and why he decided to steal and reveal the secret Pentagon Papers, provides a lot of insight into this era of American history. Although very well researched and detailed, this exciting account reads more like a spy-thriller than a history book.

-Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

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