Alphabetical Index of Abrams / Amulet

How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial

I previously reviewed this book of illustrated essays by Darryl Cunningham when it was published in the UK and called Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes, and Scams. For the US release of How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial, due in April, the chapter on “Electroconvulsive Therapy” (which tied nicely into Cunningham’s previous book, Psychiatric Tales) has been replaced by one on “Fracking”. Also, “The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield” has been retitled […]

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Economix

How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) in Words and Pictures I’m lucky. My parents gave me a basic training in personal finance growing up, so I had the kind of economic background that served me well as an adult. For example, I knew how to avoid getting in over my head on a mortgage and why it’s a good thing to pay your credit cards in full every month. Many people don’t have that knowledge, because it’s in no […]

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Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite

The sequel to Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword picks up where the previous book left off — but in such a way that it stands alone perfectly well. Mirka is still 11 years old, still headstrong and determined and seeking meaning in her life she isn’t ready for yet. She has a sword, but since she’s grounded, she’s got no chance to use it. When she tries to bully the troll into teaching her more about sword-fighting, he summons […]

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Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales

Nathan Hale (artist of the recommended graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge) tells true tales of American history in the new Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, aimed at kids looking for excitement and humor. The publisher promises “history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format”, and that’s what Hale provides. The first, One Dead Spy, focuses on the author’s namesake, Nathan Hale, a Revolutionary War spy famous for the quote, “I regret that I have but one life to […]

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Page by Paige

The story of a young woman finding herself as an artist while adapting to life in the big city has been told before, but never so well or in so graphically interesting a fashion as in Page by Paige. Paige has moved with her parents to New York City from Charlottesville, Virginia, and she’s feeling lonely and unsure of herself. She misses her friends and a more natural setting and feels she can’t be truly herself in this new situation. […]

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Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)

I’ve always adored Jason Shiga‘s puzzle comics, most recently Meanwhile…, but I wasn’t as big a fan of his more straightforward story comics (Double Happiness and Bookhunter). Until now. Empire State manages to take a genre I found annoying and played out — the young man finding himself through failed romance — and make it freshly successful. Jimmy and Sara were best friends (and fellow misanthropes) in Oakland, but Sara’s moved to New York for a publishing internship. Jimmy decides […]

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Meanwhile

The cover claims 3,856 possibilities in this “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style comic by Jason Shiga, and I can believe it. Unfortunately, the introduction to Meanwhile warns us “most will end in doom and disaster” (also like the CYOA novels) and only one path will “lead you to happiness and success”. On the bright side, that means lots of re-read and play value as the reader tries to figure out the best choices. Jimmy winds up in a mad scientist’s laboratory […]

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Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Or, as the subtitle has it, “Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl”. The important piece there is the last, because what makes this graphic novel by Barry Deutsch so remarkable is its combination of folkloric adventure with the authentic, respectful portrayal of that particular culture. Mirka chafes against the knitting and other homecrafts in which her stepmother Fruma aims to train her. She’s an agressive, argumentative back-talker, too smart for her own good and her place in a traditional […]

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