Lucy in the Sky

It’s 2012, and 12-year-old Lucy is coping with seventh grade. Her mother travels the world, and her grandmother is undergoing treatment for cancer. Her friend Vanessa is worried about which boys like her, and her friend Rupa is being pressured by her parents to overachieve and set her future already. Lucy in the Sky, written by Kiara Brinkman and illustrated by Sean Chiki, is a year in the life of an uncertain young woman who loves music. She’s a drummer, […]

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Captain Carter #1

It’s always a pleasant surprise when I find a superhero comic I enjoy these days. It’s mostly my fault — I’ve read so many of them, and I find many of the expectations of the genre (mostly the idea that anything can be solved by punching) no longer to my taste. But Captain Carter #1 does many things I like. It stars a woman, for one thing, and one who’s allowed to be physical, instead of having vague point and […]

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Trespassers

Breena Bard’s Trespassers starts with Gabby and her family heading to the lake house for the summer, continuing a long tradition. She’s a fan of classic mysteries; we see her reading Agatha Christie and The Westing Game. Her older sister and brother think she shouldn’t spend so much time with books. Gene, the neighbor, is an older man who recently lost his wife. He fills them in on the new family, a couple from Chicago and their children. The kids […]

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Let’s Make Dumplings!

Let’s Make Dumplings!, the comic book cookbook by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan, is incredibly thorough, which makes it ideal for a deep dive into a cuisine almost everyone loves: Asian dumplings. The book, illustrated in simple style but brimming with detail, is friendly in tone, as though the authors are keeping you company in the kitchen. The reader will learn legends, ingredients, equipment, and techniques, including how to fold different shapes and how to eat them. The recipe section […]

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Black Heroes of the Wild West

The three exciting stories James Otis Smith tells in Black Heroes of the Wild West — those of Mary Fields, Bass Reeves, and Bob Lemmons — represent only a small part of the variety of Black experience on the American frontier. All three people were born into slavery but used their skills to set their own paths. These tales are told to refute the popular assumption that cowboys and other Wild West denizens were white. Mary Fields was a stagecoach […]

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The Poorcraft Cookbook

The Poorcraft Cookbook is an outstanding addition to the Poorcraft series. The original volume, which came out in 2012, had a handful of recipes (focusing on rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, and a roast chicken) in the food chapter. This volume, by Nero Villagallos O’Reilly, expands greatly on the idea. It takes a while before we actually get to the recipes, as advice on buying and cooking comes first. Penny (the one with the practical advice) and her dog Nickel help […]

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All Together Now

Hope Larson’s All Together Now is the second book in the Eagle Rock trilogy, which began with All Summer Long. While the first book dealt with Bina’s lonely summer, this volume tackles creativity and relationships. (Eagle Rock is the name of the Los Angeles neighborhood where Bina lives.) Bina and her friend Darcy have a band, but they need a drummer. They find Enzo, but adding a new person means the relationships change, particularly once Darcy and Enzo start dating. […]

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Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat

Dead Reckoning is an imprint of the Naval Institute Press dedicated to graphic novels and focused on military history and biography. That’s specialized, but this release, authored by Ben Towle, has the potential to greatly expand their readership. Who can resist stories of brave animals? Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat contains short pieces about various creatures who’ve fought in wars. The title is a little odd, as few animals can make fists, but it’s a reference to Two-Fisted Tales, the […]

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