Alphabetical Index of Graphix / Scholastic

Making Friends

Kristen Gudsnuk’s Making Friends freshens up the idea of “kid gets magic way to make life changes, learns what true friendship is” with a layer of magical-girl media influences. Danielle is struggling with being separated from her friends now that she’s in seventh grade. Feeling lonely, she draws a picture of Prince Neptune (the evil-but-cool villain on the Solar Sisters cartoon she watches) in Great-Aunt Elma’s notebook, only for him to appear! He’s still got his magical powers, but more […]

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The Witch Boy

Molly Knox Ostertag presents a timely tale in a fantasy setting. She previously illustrated Shattered Warrior, but I believe this is her first long-form work both writing and drawing. The Witch Boy shows us how the teenage Aster doesn’t fit in. In his family of magicians, girls are witches and boys are shapeshifters who fight demons — and you can tell from the title the struggle Aster faces. He wants to do magic, and he doesn’t have the signs of […]

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The Baby-Sitters Club: Dawn and the Impossible Three

Raina Telgemeier set a high bar when she adapted four Baby-Sitters Club books into graphic novels between 2006 and 2008. The books have refreshed Ann M. Martin’s stories for a new generation, particularly once they were reissued in color. So it’s no surprise that the publisher wanted to extend the series with a new creator. Gale Galligan worked with Telgemeier on her original graphic novel Drama, but what most readers of this fifth Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel, Dawn and the […]

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Swing It, Sunny

Swing It, Sunny is the sequel to Sunny Side Up, a powerful children’s graphic novel about coping with family changes. That book had Sunny visiting her grandfather in Florida and learning about the problems her older brother Dale struggles with. This one deals with the followup — Sunny is back home, trying to go about everyday life while Dale’s absence continually warps the family structure. He’s been sent to a military boarding school, which he resents, so even when he […]

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Time Shifters

Time Shifters by Chris Grine could have been a lot of fun, but there’s a disturbing mismatch in tone between the opening and the majority of the content that overshadowed the rest of the book for me. Spoilers follow for the first twenty pages of the graphic novel. Luke and his older brother Kyle head through the woods to a pond. They’re confronted by bigger bullies, and the result, after Kyle tries to protect his brother, is tragic. There’s an […]

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Newsprints

Out at the end of this month is an exciting debut graphic novel by Ru Xu. Newsprints stars an ingenious newsboy in a steampunk coming-of-age story with a modern take on gender. It’s wartime in Nautilene, and Blue, on the run from rival newsboys, has stumbled into a secret lab inhabited by an absent-minded inventor. Blue’s part of a patchwork family held together by the mayor, who also runs the paper. The inventor takes on the irrepressible orphan as an […]

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King Baby

Following the success of her first children’s book, The Princess and the Pony, Kate Beaton returns with the hilarious King Baby, as announced this past summer. It’s aimed at children, but I believe parents or anyone who’s had to put up with a demanding child (so, everyone) will enjoy it even more. It’s amazing how effective a drawing of, basically, an egg with a face and a crown can be when in the expressive hands of a skilled artist. With […]

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Drawing From Memory / The Inker’s Shadow

I wasn’t previously aware of the work of Allen Say, but he won the Caldecott Medal for Grandfather’s Journey, a picture book about immigration and how it can leave one feeling rootless, based on Say’s grandfather’s travels. Drawing From Memory continues that theme, only this time, it’s autobiographical. It’s a beautifully illustrated memoir (with comic-format sequences) about Say’s struggles to be an artist. His dream wasn’t supported by his father, who thought, “Artists are lazy and scruffy people — they […]

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