A few weeks ago, we recommended a couple of terrific new graphic novels for tweens. We’ve extended our fascination with the genre and can’t resist adding a couple more recommendations, guaranteed to keep you cool as you sip lemonade and seek shelter from the sun.
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
You don’t have to read more than a few pages to understand that Mighty Jack is based on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. But in this contemporary retelling, the old tale takes a decidedly compelling twist. First, there are the modern characters: Jack, who is dreading summer, since he has to care for his sister Maddie while his single Mom works; Maddie, who is autistic and never speaks–until she does one day! At the flea market, she tells Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. Yikes! Big mistake–or is it? What happens when the garden that he plants from the seeds runs amok? And when a dragon enters the scene? We love the cliff hanging elements throughout the book, and the thoughtful themes that make the adventures and humor even more compelling. Great storytelling, wonderful artwork. . .this is the start of a not-to-miss series of books. Watch for Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, due out this fall.
Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel
It’s particularly hard on Ely when his dog Tommy, his best friend is hit by a car. A summer with his Grandpa is what Ely needs to have the space to grieve and recover. He spends hours exploring a local cave–and discovers a friendly, not to mention fully grown, Tyrannosaurus Rex! As their friendship deepens, word of the dinosaur gets out and brings the mean-spirited mischief of one of the local kids, Randy. Adventure, drama, and comedy abound in this fine graphic novel, and of course the full-color artwork is just right. You may shed a tear or two, as there are some sad moments, but the sadness also includes themes of friendship and kindness.