Alphabetical Index of Abrams / Amulet

The Dark Matter of Mona Starr

Laura Lee Gulledge has never shied away from telling stories of young women artists struggling with difficult issues. In Will & Whit, it was grief and finding one’s community. In Page by Paige, it was loneliness in a new place. In The Dark Matter of Mona Starr, it’s depression. The result is a welcome addition to the growing list of graphic novels for young people suffering big challenges. Mona has never had many friends, and her best just moved away. […]

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A Fire Story

In October 2017, Brian Fies (Eisner Award-winning artist of Mom’s Cancer) lost his home (one of over 6,000 destroyed) to a California wildfire. A Fire Story captures the events and their aftermath. This is my favorite kind of graphic novel. It gives the reader an empathetic understanding of an experience that they hopefully will never have to live through themselves, and it does a terrific job conveying the feelings and choices that go along with it. The book shares, directly […]

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I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf

I adored I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider. If you liked You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack or Book Love, you’ll love this. The cartoons are all about being a reader or a writer or both. Overall, the message is how books can and will change your life. I alternated among thinking “how wise”, “how inspiring”, and “how surprising”. Starting with this opening spread. I thought it was a manifesto for the book — which […]

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Lafayette! (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales)

The latest installment (the eighth!) of the popular graphic history series Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales returns to the setting of the first book, the US Revolutionary War. Spy Hale is still telling stories to prevent being hanged by the Hangman and a British redcoat. This time, it’s the story of the Marquis de Lafayette and his love of battle and adventure. Gilbert du Motier gained his title at a young age and was orphaned at 13. Although forced into the […]

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Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater

Due out in January is a comic-format reworking of a significant entertainment history. Ted Fox’s 1983 book Showtime at the Apollo: The Story of Harlem’s World Famous Theater has been converted into a graphic novel illustrated by James Otis Smith. Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater is clearly an adaptation of a prose work, with text boxes explaining key moments in the location’s history, but the illustrations add more hooks to show the reader just […]

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Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Alamo All-Stars

Alamo All-Stars is the sixth in the series of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, a wonderful true-history graphic novel series by Nathan Hale (really also the name of the author). As in the other books, the spy Nathan Hale, about to be executed, is telling tales of history to his captors, the rough hangman and the stuffy redcoat. New here is a guest star, Vicente Guerrero, a President of Mexico who fought against Spain for independence, and the three-man firing squad […]

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Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor

Nathan Hale is extraordinary at not only bringing history to life, but also including well-researched bits of the story most people aren’t aware of. The latest entry in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series is also outstanding in another way. The Underground Abductor is the first of the stories to star a woman, Harriet Tubman. Hale isn’t afraid to tackle difficult topics, either. The book starts with Nathan Hale’s captors — the spy, about to be hanged, has magically become […]

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El Deafo

The important question when growing comic readers is “what do I read next?” Back in the mid-1980s, in the first graphic novel boom, the appeal of comic-format books faltered because, after Maus, there was little else with the same literary goals and high quality and diverse storytelling. People who loved it had nothing else to go on with, nothing else to build that habit of thinking of comics as a medium instead of just the superhero genre. Nowadays, there are […]

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