Paper Girls 2 is here! If you're new to the
series, just know that it is the perfect comic to read while waiting for season
2 of Stranger Things. Complete with a great group of kids, crazy
monsters, and 1980s hairstyles in all their feather- fringed glory. If you
are already a fan, you’ll remember, at the
end of Paper Girls Volume 1, KJ was still missing, and the gang was mysteriously
transported out of the 80s. If you’ve somehow been patient enough to wait for
the next volume instead of going out to buy the single comics, you’ll be
excited to know this one starts right where the last one left off—with the
girls being dropped right in the middle of 2016, and Erin coming face to face
with her adult self!
Will Erin be disappointed in her future self? Will they ever find
KJ? Will the paper girls be able to survive the horrors of 2016???
There's only one way to find out-- check it out right now!
Penny’s life is a mess. She’s living out of her friend’s
storage unit, and working for a 12-year-old tyrant at a laundromat. When she’s
not attempting to rescue cats from mean kids in the neighborhood, she’s reading
fantasy romance novels, and working on a real life awkward romance of her own.
Lucky Penny, by creators Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, is a quirky romantic
comedy, and also my new favorite graphic novel at the moment.
It reads like a cross between the epic Scott Pilgrim series and
the super twee web cartoon Bee and Puppycat. It’s adorable, funny, and unabashedly
nerdy. I enjoyed it immensely, and you probably will too, so check it out
I love a good, fun fantasy. The world building in Audrey Coulthurst’s debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, is thorough and interesting, as is the character development. Right from the start we are introduced to a girl who discovers she has an Affinity for fire, and while parts of the world are accepting of that, she’s already betrothed to the prince of a kingdom that believes magic use to be heretical. What gives this story a great twist is the romance that blossoms between our protagonist and the sister of her betrothed. I found it refreshing and interesting to read a world where their priorities were flipped - the main challenge of these two women being together wasn’t that they were both women, but that one was betrothed to the other’s brother. Oh, and she can use magic, which is kind of a big deal. Especially when magic-users might be involved in an assassination (or two). There were so many layers to this fantasy, and each one made me want more, even days after finishing the book.
Cat Rackham is a cat. Specifically, Cat Rackham is a cat with a lot of issues. Depression? He's got it. Existential dread? Same. Self-doubt? Yes. On the other hand he's also got a nifty green t-shirt, a squishy tuft of hair, and a friend in exuberant, speech-impedimented Jeremy Squirrel, but aside from that he's still pretty much a mess. Mostly wordless, each Cat Rackham vignette in this collection illustrates the poor feline's coping with life's difficulties, with varying degrees of success. Originally published as an infrequent online comic, Cat Rackham is a more-or-less literal embodiment of creator Steve Wolfhard's personal struggles with depression, along with a love of cats and a desire to entertain. Wolfhard's day job as a storyboard artist and animator for sorta-for-kids-although-maybe-not-I-don't-know cartoon Adventure Time shows through, with blobby character designs and a morbid sense of humor dominating each page. If you're struggling, if you like cats, or both, maybe Cat Rackham can help. Or not. He's having a hard time himself.
I remember how nice the day was. How I didn’t want to go to school. I remember being bored in my Focus on Freshman class when the assistant principal ran, red faced and huffing, into the classroom, handed our teacher a piece of paper, and then ran out. I remember the whole class asking if we were on lockdown, if there was an active shooter in our school, or in the high school across town. I remember the teacher struggling with how to explain what had just happened to a bunch of 9th graders. I remember thinking the world was about to change.
It’s hard to imagine that something that happened not that long ago, something I can still remember so vividly, could be a foreign concept to someone else. In Towers Falling, fifth grader Dèja Barnes wonders how something that happened before she was born could have to do with her. How could this bit of history, something that happened 15 years ago, have any impact on her now? The story follows her as she realizes that 9/11 may have happened before she was born, but the effects have touched everyone around her, and ripple outward to affect her life in ways she did not previously understand. This book does such a fabulous job of showing how we are all connected through our small communities that build outward and how we’re all connected as Americans to 9/11 and how history is never something that exists only in the past tense.
I just finished this book, and it is so great that I just
have to tell you all about it! It’s called Six of Crows, and it’s written by
Leigh Bardugo. It’s a heist novel, set in a fantasy world, and normally I don’t go for these types of
stories, because I’m more into nuanced character studies, but that’s part of
why this book is so great.
Each and every character on the team for the big job in this
book is fully three-dimensional, with worries, fears, and short comings. Also,
it’s a diverse cast of characters, which is really refreshing. The leader of
the team Kaz, is 17 and has to walk with a cane due to an injury, and the
author wrote that she included this because she herself has to walk with a cane
due to a disability.
A lot of times disabled people are erased from narratives,
or if they are included in the story, they are defined by their disability. So
I was elated to see a strong, complex, interesting character like Kaz.
I love this book, and I’m excited to start on the sequel.
Don’t miss out!
Try the Rapid reads series! These books are all in the 100-something page range. They are high interest books, geared toward teens and adults that are reluctant readers or looking to improve their reading skills. KPL recently added another great title from this series, The innocence device, about a future where the world is made up of only prisoners and guards. There is overcrowding in one prison, and a machine named the Innocence Device is introduced that supposedly can determine innocence or guilt, with the result being instant freedom or death. Prisoners discover the machine is rigged and riot to claim control of the prison.
Check out other titles in this series, and also search the subject High interest-low vocabulary books for more books like it.
The town of Aberdeen is pretty much drowning as the local river waters rise. Residents are caught trying to decide whether to stay and tough it out or stay and leave their home and break up their community. Keely and her friends decide to make the most of what will likely be their last days together in Aberdeen. In the end, The Last Boy in the and Girl in the World is another great teen novel, telling a compelling story and asking questions about the deeper things in life at the same time.
Girl Mans Up is a teen book by M-E Girard about Pen, a girl who just doesn't fit in the way people want her to. She has to navigate the normal challenges of high school, which include supporting a new friend through an accidental pregnancy, figuring out her changing relationships with her guy friends, and dating for the first time. In addition, she is living the truth of her gender identity and sexuality, while fighting the intense disapproval of her traditional Portuguese parents and others at school and in public. Pen's honest, funny, and thoughtful perspective drew me into this novel, and the other characters were just as interesting. Pick Pen for your new favorite LGBTQ/teen protagonist.
In case you didn’t know, right now in theatres there is a
brilliant movie called the Queen of Katwe. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, and David
Oyelowo, it follows the journey of a young girl named Phiona living in the
slums of Uganda who learns the game of chess and quickly skyrockets through the
ranks to be a national champion, even competing in international competitions
for the rank of Grandmaster. In the process, she is able to improve life
conditions for herself, her family, and uplift the community as a whole.
Right after the credits rolled, I headed straight to the
bookshelves to find out more about this incredible individual. The biographythe movie is based on, by Tim Crothers, fleshes out the inspirational tale a bit more to include the political climate of the country
at the time, and gives more details about some of the great challenges Phiona
Mutesi was able to overcome. Don’t miss
out on this great story of true life triumph!