Alphabetical Index of Abrams / Amulet

Marvel Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book

Know a Marvel fan? Want something unusual to impress them? Marvel Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book is exactly what you need. There are six spreads, one each for Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and cosmic characters, and two for the Avengers. They are full of information boxes and “interactive elements”, as the promo has it. That means doors with character profiles or mini-pop-ups with changes. Just about any character you know from the movies has a short background […]

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Let’s Make History! Create Your Own Comics

Instead of a new installment in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, this year we got a related book, one that encourages kids to make their own comics through a wide variety of art and storytelling activities introduced by the continuing characters of that series. Let’s Make History! Create Your Own Comics starts in with a challenge. Actually, two. First, the reader is encouraged to draw their own splash page, before an explanation page tells them “YOU will be drawing, […]

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Cold War Correspondent (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales)

The eleventh in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series — an impressive run!– covers the most modern period yet. Cold War Correspondent is the story of Marguerite Higgins, a reporter who found herself trapped in Korea when the Communists took Seoul in 1950. The cast of series narrators has expanded. Captured spy Nathan Hale, telling historical adventures to hold off his hanging, and the Hangman and the Provost (a stuffy British soldier) have been joined by Bill Richmond, the real-life […]

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Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith

Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith is an impressively good comic. Which is funny, because much of the book shows us Ms. Highsmith writing comics and hating it. Yet this story of some of her life is easily one of the best graphic novels of the year. Highsmith was a lesbian but despised herself for it. She smokes but says she’s quitting. She writes comics but refuses to put her name on them, calling […]

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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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