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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth
The books below give themes of friends and family new expression thanks to their visual format. Some of the selections were published with adults rather than young people as the primary readership, but they are excellent crossovers for YA readers. Several other crossover possibilities that may attract some mature, more sophisticated young adults, including the self-aware, nostalgia-tinged Brooklyn Dreams, by J. M. DeMatteis and Glenn Barr and Blankets, by Craig Thompson, are included in Ray Olson’s Top 10 Graphic Novels list for adults on p.962.
Asamiya, Kia. Batman: Child of Dreams. Ed. by Max Allan Collins. 2003. illus. DC Comics, $24.95 (1-563-89906-X).
Gr. 7-up. The intrepid Dark Knight is thrown into battle with a Japanese impostor who pushes a drug that seems to promise the realization of one’s dreams. Asamiya’s manga, in grainy black and grays, sets the mood superbly.
Gaiman, Neil. The Wolves in the Walls. Illus. by Dave McKean. 2003. HarperCollins, $16 (0-380-97827-X).
Gr. 3-6. Her family is slow to believe that their cozy home is being overtaken by wolves, so it’s up to Lucy to lead everyone to safety. McKean’s dramatically messy collage images are in perfect harmony with Gaiman’s hyperbolic text.
Irwin, Jane and Verndt, Jeff. Vögelein: A Clockwork Faerie. 2003. illus. Fiery Studio, paper, $12.95 (0-9743110-0-6).
Gr. 6-up. Gray-tone artwork captures both motion and mood in this old-fashioned fairy-tale setup, in which a 300-year-old winged creature reflects on her past and searches for someone to keep her wind-up mechanism going.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Ed. and illus. by Peter Kuper. 2003. Crown, paper, $18 (1-4000-4795-1).
Gr. 8-up. Kuper uses strikingly stylized, block-print-style art in his adaptation, which highlights the effects Gregor Samsa’s transformation to a giant insect have on his family, particularly his devoted sister.
Kim, Ho Sik. My Sassy Girl. Illus by Dae Hong Min. 2003. ComicsOne, paper, $13.95 (1-58899-342-6).
Gr. 9-up. In this full-color manga romance, a rich parody of real-life young love, college-student Geon-woo is attracted to a young woman who seems to bring him nothing but trouble and embarrassment.
Kubert, Joe. Yossel: April 19, 1943: A Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 2003. illus. iBooks, $24.95 (0-7434-7516-X).
Gr. 8-up. Using the conceit of a sketchbook, teenage Yossel “speaks” vividly from the midst of the Warsaw ghetto uprising as he and his friends fight to the death for freedom from brutal Nazis oppressors.
Rabagliati, Michel. Paul Has a Summer Job. Tr. by Helge Dascher. 2003. illus. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $16.95 (1-896597-54-8).
Gr. 9-12. Canadian high-school dropout Paul stumbles onto a job at a summer camp for disadvantaged children and discovers a way to move forward with his life. Expressive black-ink images capture the individuality of the characters and the Quebec landscape.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. 2003. illus. Pantheon, $17.95 (0-375-42230-7).
Gr. 9-up. This insightful memoir about growing up female during Iran’s Islamic revolution spins out in black-and-white images, from realistic to fantastic, that are perfectly in keeping with a young girl’s experiences in a society rocked by change.
Sfar, Joann. Little Vampire Does Kung Fu! 2003. illus. Simon & Schuster, $12.95 (0-689-85769-1).
Gr. 4-7. In one of the best of the French picture-book-size series about the boy Michael and his nonhuman friends, Michael and Little Vampire deal with local bullies. Full coloring and a zany cast in a wacky story that offers hope to kids dealing with their own oppressors.
Weissman, Steven. White Flower Day. 2003. illus. Fantagraphics, paper, $14.95 (1-560-97514-8).
Gr. 9-up. Scratch panels highlighted in ocher cast an appropriately jaundiced pall over three intriguingly twisted tales of rascaldom. They feature the Frankenstein-like Pullapart Boy, devilish L’il Bloody, and several equally weird young characters who venture forth to create mayhem, from innocent to morbid.
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