Yes, Molly and Jacob are officially tweens, at least according to their reading tastes. They love chapter books and picture books, still love readalouds, appreciate good joke books. . .but most of all they love graphic novels. Two of their favorites this summer have been on our lists: Bad Island for Jacob and Cleopatra in Space and Zita the Space Girl for Molly. (You might want to check out our earlier blog list on Graphic Novels for Tweens for more recommendations.) Here are a few more sure hits, with more to come as we enter this new passion with friends and family.
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
If the kids in your life loved Bad Island, you can’t go wrong recommending Cardboard. In this ingenious tale, cardboard can magically come to life. Originally, it is a cardboard box, given as a birthday gift, impoverished father to son. As you an imagine, Cam at first thinks it is the worst birthday present ever. But when Cam and his dad shape the cardboard into a man, it come to life! Enter Marcus, neighborhood bully and all around bad guy who with evil intent warps the cardboard to his own destructive plans. Creepy and interesting details and a clever adventure highlight this book, not to mention TenNapel’s offbeat humor and drawings.
Rollergirl by Victoria Jamieson
What happens when best friends for life Nicole and Astrid decide on two different paths for the summer? Astrid falls in love with roller derby, and signs up for derby camp. But Nicole has her own passion: dance. Lost friendship, new attachments, and making your way with the newness and turmoil of middle school. A Portland debut for Jamieson,, we can’t help but be impressed with her ability to turn her own passion for roller derby (a rollergirl herself!) into this terrific graphic novel. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier. Speaking of which. . .
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
While Drama deals with very middle school themes (a young girl being attracted to two boys, working as a set designer for a stage crew when she would rather act. . .), but the drama of this graphic novel–on and offstage–makes it appealing to the younger tweens as well. It is definitely more teen-oriented than Smile, but Callie, the main character, is irresistible and funny, and I appreciate that the book emphasizes how important it is to be who you are. I also like the introduction of sexual orientation in a thoughtful and wise manner. Another Telgemeier winner!