When his best friend Robbie stumbles across a murder, Boone warns him not to tell anyone. It is only days later that Robbie is gunned down in front of Boone. Stuck in the same dilemma as his dead friend, Boone struggles with his own advice to honor the street code of staying silent.
This heavy black and white graphic novel uses negative space masterfully. The story itself can be relatable to those who live by street rules, only sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest and scariest decision. This is definitely a page turner.
Recommended for high school (mild language and graphic violence).
Blogger : Tuan N.
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang, art by Thien Pham. 2011.
Every parent’s dream for their children is drawn (no pun intended) to its highest level. All that Dennis Ouyang’s parents wanted for their son was for him to grow up, finish college, graduate from medical school, and become specifically a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system. Not an easy future for a young boy in the third grade to consider.
But like most children of immigrant parents, Dennis complies with their directives. It is only after his father’s death that he pursues his true passion–video games! However, the video games eventually interfere with his studies, and he is kicked out of college.
Fortunately, Dennis has four angels that help “persuade” the dean to reconsider his expulsion. The four angels help him with his daily chores, including the dishes and laundry, so that he can focus on his studies.
Sounds really cool, huh??? Now consider this story written by the award-winning graphic novelist Gene Yang (American Born Chinese) and expect an awesome story with a Hitchcock-type ending. Thien Pham’s straightforward art combined with the traditional request of immigrant parents make this a familiar topic for many first-generation readers.
This graphic novel is recommended for 8th grade and up (mild language).
Blogger: Tuan N
The Last Zombie. Story by Brian Keene, art by Joseph Wright. 2011.
Imagine a world where the distinctive smell of rotting flesh is the norm. As you scavenge for food, surrounded by pits of death, you are mistaken for a zombie. Only you are not a zombie, but are only infected with the disease of leprosy.
Wow. What a twist of fate for a post-apocalyptic zombie world. Readers will relish the darkness of the black and white(s) as it sets the tone for the impending story. Nontraditional lettering provides a sui generis to the story. This is a must-have for readers that can’t get enough death and rotting flesh.
The first installment in the series suggests it is for mature readers (language and violence). It still would work well for any adult or young adult collection.
Blogger: Tuan N
Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann, with art by Janet Lee.
In the land of Anorev time has ceased to exist, and machines and children are left to their own devices. Without time, everything remains status quo. The children cannot grow older, and they find themselves toiling away with play. The machines are also in the same situation, but they remain constantly at their task. So long has time not existed that the groups are separated from its reality. The children hide themselves underground, while the machines stay in their homes.
It is only through the kinship of the boy Ayden and his machine friend Zoe that any contact between the two groups remains. However, the world of Anorev will never be the same, because the return of 314 Dapper Men falling from the sky starts time again. Tick Tock…
Readers will be enamored by the richness of imagination in graphic novel storytelling, a richness that could rival that of the great Roald Dahl. An all age appropriate graphic novel that has the potential to garner many awards this coming fall.