We’re checking in a little late this week—hey, it’s the first week of school, and a lot of us are busy sharpening pencils and writing our names in our new notebooks. But here’s a quick peek inside our bookbags, and we invite you to tell us what you are reading as well.
Eva Volin: I was hip-deep in novels-in-verse this week, so only had time for one graphic novel, Resistance, by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis. At first, while reading this story of a family’s involvement in the French Resistance, I wasn’t too sure who the book was for. But as I got further into the book, and the story began to take shape, I found myself the book were a teensy bit more sophisticated, or a bit less focused on the youngest sister, as this would (and may still be) a great book to assign freshmen studying world history. I have a pedestrian fondness for pretty art, and this art isn’t particularly pretty, but Purvis does an excellent job of expressing the characters’ fears and the horrors they witness during the occupation. I think this would be a great selection for public and school libraries, and I hope teachers are introduced to this title, as it could easily be worked into the curriculum.
Lori Henderson: This week I checked out the manhwa You’re So Cool. They were the last two volumes, and I haven’t read the previous four, but I still found it to be a good series. It’s filled with quirky characters, and an emotionally deep plot, at least with these last two volumes. The art was a little exaggerated in regards to anatomy, but by the end, I didn’t really notice it. It’s a good choice for teen collections.
I also finally read Hanako and the Terror of Allegory. I love myths, including urban myths, and this volume featured 3 of them. I liked the concept that words have power, and that by hearing an urban myth, like the ‘man under the bed with an axe’, you can be possessed by it. Also, the protagonist of the series has a bit of mystery around him as well, that is intriguing. It’s a good title for a Halloween reading list for older teens.
Mike Pawuk: I’ve been on a crusade to catch up on what exactly is going on with Marvel’s Hulk titles. I’m almost caught up. I’ve cruised past the World War Hulk storyline and I’ve been reading Jeph Loeb’s run on the adjective-less Hulk with featured the introduction of the Red Hulk—a brand new Hulk who isn’t Bruce Banner at all, but someone mysterious (well, his identity is known now). The storyline is more action-packed than Greg Pak’s writing, but it’s still an entertaining run featuring a brand new Hulk, a new Abomination monster, and also features the always-excellent art by fan favorites Ed McGuinness, Art Adams, and Frank Cho. I’m also reading the Skaar: Son of Hulk series written by Greg Pak, which is a continuation of the Planet Hulk storyline where on the planet Sakaar, the son of the Hulk is born from the ashes of his dead mother and finds himself on a still-brutal world where is on a crusade to conquer the brutal leader Axeman Bone, find an ally in a common enemy of his father, and learn that he probably should start wearing a loincloth. I was skeptical of the Hulk having a son, but I like what I see.
Not to be outdone, I’ve also started reading the Chi’s Sweet Home series of manga by Konami Kanata. Published by Vertical, it’s a very cute full-color collection of adventures of a kitten named “Chi” (a pun on the word ‘pee’) who gets lost from his litter but finds love by a family who take him in despite living in an apartment complex where no pets are allowed. Oddly the manga is actually printed from the left-to-right format. I can’t remember the last time I read a flipped manga tale, but if it helps younger kids learn to love manga, then I’m all for it. A book with definite appeal for young kids and also cat fans.