Recently I stumbled across a brilliant page on the Booktrust site. It’s all about graphic novels and there are links to booklists and articles, plus a graphic short story by Hannah Berry, a writer-in-residence at Booktrust. (Read the Booktrust graphic novel guide.)
I enjoy graphic novels, graphic memoirs and comics of all kinds, and I wanted to introduce three books that I’ve particularly loved during the past year or so. These are all highly recommended to Girls Heart Books readers!
1) Tomboy by Liz Prince
Recommended to ages teen plus, and especially to anyone who’s ever wondered why we’re supposed to fit into certain boxes, looking and behaving in a particular way because of the expectations of people around us. This is a light-hearted and thought-provoking memoir that examines what it means to be ‘a girl’.
2) Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and Drama by Raina Telgemeier
I’m cheating here because these are three books by the same author, but I sat down with them in front of me and I just couldn’t decide which was my favourite. Smile is about needing braces, and it’s a bit of a tooth-related horror story, though it’s told with humour and affection. Sisters is a sequel to Smile, featuring the same autobiographical characters but this time focusing on the relationship between Raina and her sister on a family road trip. It’s gorgeous! And Drama moves away from the Telgemeier family to tell the story of a group of young actors. All three of these books are fun and uplifting, with full colour illustrations all the way through.
P.S. Raina Telgemeier has also illustrated a graphic novel version of The Babysitters Club books by Ann M. Martin and the first book is out soon!
3) Atomic Sheep by Sally Jane Thompson
Atomic Sheep by Sally Jane Thompson website (read the first chapter there!)
I adore the illustrations in this one as well as the story of Tamrika, who finds herself uprooted and heading off to a new school – a boarding school, no less, with a strict uniform and completely unfamiliar surroundings. At this school ‘non-conformists’ aren’t encouraged and Tamrika struggles to find her place, until she helps to set up the Art Club. A beautiful story in every way.
And after following the links above, I’ve added more fantastic-sounding graphic novels to my wishlist. Look at this one, for example:
“El Deafo by Cece Bell… chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear – sometimes things she shouldn’t – but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all.”
Please add any of your own recommendations below!