Alphabetical Index of First Second

Star Scouts

Avani doesn’t get along with the other girls in the Flower Scouts troop in her new neighborhood. They only want to talk about boys and makeup, while she’s interested in rodeo, which means they put her down with country wisecracks. Then Avani is abducted by a Zirdonian Star Scout named Mabel who is trying to finish her collection badge by teleporting an alien. The Star Scouts “learn how to fly ships, build robots, survive on the wild worlds…” which makes […]

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

There’s been quite the trend lately in collections of short write-ups of women in history you may not have heard of, so I didn’t have high expectations for Pénélope Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World. I should have had more faith — I found myself surprised and enlightened by how many of these women I hadn’t heard of, and the amazing things they did. (First Second has previously translated Bagieu’s fiction graphic novel Exquisite Corpse and her fictionalized […]

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Star Scouts: The League of Lasers

I enjoyed Mike Lawrence’s Star Scouts when it came out last year, so I was thrilled to see that there’s a sequel. Star Scouts: The League of Lasers opens by reminding us of Avani and her interstellar friends. She’s been invited to join the League of Lasers, an elite club for star scouts. While on a try-out mission for membership, Avani gets to put all her scout skills into practice when her smart-aleck spaceship crash lands. Those skills include patience […]

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Science Comics: Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future

The Science Comics series of non-fiction educational graphic novels is usually outstanding, but I found Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future (written by Mairghread Scott (Transformers) and illustrated by Jacob Chabot (SpongeBob Comics)) a rare misfire for the line. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my relative lack of interest in the topic, but I didn’t find this installment as entertaining, informative, or frankly, good as many of the others. It’s narrated by Pouli, a mechanical bird and “the first […]

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New Shoes

Many comic artists have moved into creating children’s books, including Ivan Brunetti, Kate Beaton, and Andy Runton. There’s not that much difference between the two formats, mostly a matter of whether the words appear in balloons or as captions. Children’s books tend to be shorter and focus on the images. Sara Varon has also put out children’s books, which isn’t surprising, since her style is so welcoming and she tends to draw humanoid animals or ambulatory treats. Her newest book, […]

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Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield

The most recent Science Comics entry in the First Second line of excellently readable educational graphic novels is Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield by Falynn Koch (who also wrote and drew the Bats volume). It uses the framework of scientists working within a computer simulation to personalize various cells, germs, and processes when the human body gets infected, including Yellow Fever, Bubonic Plague, and a white blood T-Cell. Scientists are trying to enlist harmful germs in attempts to develop new vaccines. […]

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The Stone Heart: The Nameless City Volume 2

The Stone Heart begins with hope of peace and a new era for the many inhabitants of the Nameless City, but new ways of interacting with people not like you threaten the privileged. It only takes one spoiled heir to make things terrible in Faith Erin Hicks’ fantasy adventure. As can be seen from the description, although the setting of this trilogy is inspired by ancient China, there’s plenty relevant to learn while getting caught up in the events. I […]

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Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector

I knew the latest installment of the Science Comics series, Andy Hirsch‘s Dogs: From Predator to Protector, would be cute. With his art (as also seen in The Baker Street Peculiars) and the subject, how could it not be? What I didn’t expect was just how much science was packed into it, looking at how dogs came to be “man’s best friend” and why they do what they do. A charming mutt named Rudy chases his ball from the dog […]

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