New Middle School Graphic Novels

A collection of new graphic novels for middle school students which have come out in April and May that I think deserve a place in every school library serving this age group.

In this semi-autobiographical graphic novel, a young Vera convinces her mother to send her to Russian summer camp where she is sure that she will finally make friends who understand her. However, her experience at the camp once she arrives is completely different than what she expected. She is assigned to a tent with girls who are five years older and want nothing to do with her and everyone has to use a disgusting outhouse, they call Hollywood, to do their business. Vera isn’t as familiar with the Russian language and songs as all the other campers are and begins to feel very isolated and begs her mother to pick her up and let her go home. This graphic novel with find a place with any middle school student who has ever felt out of place, and they will find along with Vera, that they will eventually find their place.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. 9781626724440. April 24th, 2018. Gr 6-9.

Another graphic novel about summer and a going-on 8th grader finding their place. Bina has been best friends with Austin for as long as she can remember. Every summer they have done their Summer Fun Index and compete with each other to see who can get the most points. But this summer Austin has changed, he doesn’t want to do the Summer Fun Index, he is going off to a month long Soccer summer camp, and completely ignores Bina’s texts while he is gone. Now that Bina is alone she is tasked with entertaining herself; she can focus more on music, learning the guitar, and maybe finding a new friend. Throughout the summer Bina begins to become more comfortable with herself and her interests which will resonate with any student that have faced similar challenges of growing up.

All Summer Long by Hope Larson. 9780374304850. May 1st, 2018. Gr 5-8.

Jesse is being forced by her parents to attend a weight-loss summer camp and she is sure that it will be super boring. One night when Jesse and fellow camper, Noah witness one of the camp counselors being murdered by a hidden figure. They get the help of two other campers, Kate and Tony, to help investigate the murder and find the culprit. Each character in this graphic novel is unique and has their own personality and readers will find someone to relate to. Even if readers can’t relate to investigating a murder or attending a weight-loss camp, each of the characters has their own insecurities outside of weight. The murder mystery is fully wrapped up by the end of the novel, but readers will hope that there will be further mysteries with this new group of friends.

Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom by Terry Blas and Molly Muldoon and illustrated by Matthew Seely. 9781620104811. April 24th, 2018. Gr 6-9.


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