EL DEAFO by Cece Bell: An Enthusiastic Review

February 7, 2015

El-DeafoWe are always on the lookout for new graphic novels that capture young readers minds and hearts.  El Deafo by Cece Bell does just that.  Bell’s memoir is told with humor and poignancy as she relates her journey through words and pictures.  An early bout with spinal meningitis leaves her with severe hearing loss, and her tale is both about adjusting to her hearing difficulties (as well as her hearing aids trials and tribulations) AND her search for a true friend.

I found it touching, funny–and downright inspiring.  I especially love the way she creates her own superhero:  El Deafo!  And daydreams El Deafo’s triumphs, all the while narrating her adventures mentally. ( I also appreciate that the characters are all rabbits!)  And they are terrific characters we might recognize from our own childhoods–the perfect friend we lose and try to get back, the bossy overpowering friend, the friend she has a crush on.  I suffered with Cece through her phase with the “too-sensitive-to -her-Deafness” friend as well.

But enough about my recommendation.  Molly was immediately drawn to this book, reading it over and over.  Meghan was able to take Molly to meet Cece Bell and she was beside herself!  Bell signed her well-loved book, and noted that it looked like it had been read a few times.

Highly recommended, whether you are a tween, parent, teacher–or grandmother!

Mol-cece

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Two New Graphic Novels for Tweens: REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and INVISIBLE EMMIE by Terri Libenson

June 30, 2017

If you haven’t become addicted to the best of tween graphic novels, you have no excuse to wait. This year, two new additions have swept onto the scene, captivating young readers–and their older siblings and parents as well.  Both books are memoirs in the same vein as Cece Bell’s El Deafo, exploring with truth, pathos, and humor the ups and downs of friendship and life at school with in and out groups.  Shannon Hale is a well-known award-winning writer, turning to the genre of the graphic novel for the first time as she teams up with best-selling illustrator LeUyen Pham, while Terri Libenson makes her debut.  We highly recommend both novels to start off your summer reading.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Shannon herself is the main character, of course, in this graphic memoir of best friends Shannon and Adrienne.  Their friendship begins when they are very young and only heads into troubled waters when Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, a”popular girl” and leader of a clique calling itself The Group. Hilariously–and poignantly–true-to-life.  A wonderful mother-daughter book to read and discuss with upper elementary school girls. (And boys will enjoy it as well.)

 

and

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

Though this is her first book, Terri Libenson is no newcomer to writing and illustrating.  (Check out her award-winning comic strip The Pajama Diaries.) Invisible Emmie is a wonderful companion book to Real Friends.  It’s the story of two very different girls:  one a popular extrovert and the other:  well, the title says it all.  Emmie feels invisible at her school and the graphics throughout the book complement the girls’ daily experiences, with Emmie mostly in black and white comic strips, and Katie in full color.  The event of a note getting into the wrong hands is cringe-worthy–but leads to a cross-roads where the two girls lives intersect.  There are some real surprises here as we experience through the novel the ups and downs, boredom and excitement, not to mention humor and humiliation, of the middle school experience. A stunning debut!  I’ll be watching for more from Libenson.


Early Adolescents

June 8, 2007

From 10 to 14 years old; grades 5-9

The middle school years are a great age for readers.  Many young teens are at a point where they are thinking more critically, but still have a bright-eyed outlook on the world.  People who work with this age group are often inspired  by their creativity and inquisitiveness. These kids often appreciate chapter books that speak to the awkwardness of early adolescence—seeing themselves and their friends in these books and experiencing their trials and successes from a safe distance can be gratifying.   But it is also important to recommend reads that have intriguing plots, interesting writing styles, and don’t necessarily use the themes of growing pains and social awkwardness.  No need to give up the family read alouds, either.  We have recommendations by author, theme, general interest, and of course, those wonderful books to continue to enjoy as read-alouds with family members or friends.

Book Lists

RESISTANCE! Part II:  Learning from Our Moral Ancestors, Recommended for Teens and Tweens

Resistance! Part I:  Learning From Our Moral Ancestors:  Recommended Picture Books for Young Readers

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and Other Sherlock Holmes Spin-Offs for Tweens and Teens

Two More Recommended Graphic Novels for Tweens

New Series for Tweens and Teens

Tweens and Teens Series Updates

Classic Books for Early Adolescents

Read-alouds for Early Adolescents

Books for Middle-School Feminist Readers

Spanish-English Novels for Tween and Teens

Young Adult Books for Feminist Readers

Picture Books:  Understanding the Middle East

Exploring the World Through Historical Fiction

Adventure Series, Starring Girls

Tellings and Retellings

Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks

Beyond Nancy Drew

Living a Writing Life

Mystery Series

Books with Siblings

Related Posts

FIRSTBORN by Tor Seidler:  Must reading for Yellowstone Visitors

Two New Graphic Novels for Tweens:  REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and INVISIBLE EMMIE by Terri Libenson

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: THE GOLDEN LION by Mike Maihak

THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann

THE INQUISITOR’S TALE: OR, THE THREE MAGICAL CHILDREN AND THEIR HOLY DOG by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly

SNOW WHITE:  A GRAPHIC NOVEL by Matt Phelan

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO, BOOK 2 by Rick Riordan

CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters

The Hired Girl:  Historical Fiction for Tweens

IMPYRIUM by Henry H. Neff: New Series Recommendation for Tween and Teens

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD, BOOK 2: THOR’S HAMMER by Rick Riordan

Leonard Nimoy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg: Two New Picture Book Biographies to Recommend!

Children’s Books About the Middle East

THE AGENCY: A SPY IN THE HOUSE: Series Recommendation for Teens

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO by Rick Riordan:  A Review and Recommendation

February is STILL Library Lovers Month

PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN: A Great Graphic Novel for Young Feminists

Little Red Riding Hood Revisited:  CLOAKED IN RED

Celebrate Sherlock Holmes’ Birthday with the Young Sherlock

MAGNUS CHASE by Rick Riordan: An Enthusiastic Review

MARK OF THE THIEF:A Recommendation

ENCHANTED: THE WOODCUTTER SISTERS, A Recommendation

MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers, a Review and Recommendation

THE CROSS OVER by Kwami Alexander: Poetry in Motion

May 18th:  Remembering Mt. St. Helens Eruption

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell:  An Enthusiastic Review

RAIN, REIGN by Ann Martin:  A Review

Tween and Teens Series Updates

YA Series Updates

Rain, Reign by Ann Martin:  A Review

More Young People Who Make a Difference:  Malala and Iqbal

New Series:  THE ATLANTIS SERIES by T.A.Barron

Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes:  A Review

Non-fiction Tween Book:  While You Were Sleeping

A Whole World of Math Resources

Divergent:  A Conversation/Review

Celebrating Our Teen Poets

Girl Detectives Update:  Meet Ruby Redfort

Review: THE SON OF NEPTUNE

Book Review:  CHASING ORION

Favorite Series Endings-And New Beginnings

Halloween Fun:  The Teen Edition

Egyptian Adventures Continue

When Reading Isn’t Fun:  Letting Pictures Lead the Way

When Reading Isn’t Fun Continued:  Movies/Book Pairings

What 8th Graders are Reading (in 2011!)

More NEW Books

What 8th Graders are Reading.  And Thinking.

Magic for the 21st Century-  Review of Bran Hambric:  The Farfield Curse

Book Review:  The Frog Scientist

Poetry is for Everyone!: A Review of  POETRY SPEAKS:  WHO I AM

Book Review:  The School of Possibilities

Ida B. is the Book I Fell in Love with This Year

Book Review:  Jane and the Raven King


Tweens

May 29, 2007

From 8 to 11 years old; grades 3-6

Tweens-Banner

Not yet teenagers, but no longer little kids,” tweens” are struggling to see where they fit in. Books can be a wonderful way to reach preteens in our lives, helping them explore their own interests and passions, and also coming to understand the complicated world they live in. Kids this age still appreciate the power of a story read aloud to them—especially the daily ritual of a chapter or two of a family read aloud. They also enjoy books that reflect their own unique interests and those of their friends, using these stories as conversation starters as well as escapes into their own world. There is an explosion of books written that capture the interests of tweens; keep us posted as you discover new ones!

Book Lists

Two More Recommended Graphic Novels for Tweens

Two New Graphic Novels for Tweens:  REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and INVISIBLE EMMIE by Terri Libenson

Celebrating Literacy:  Three New Picture Books

More Graphic Novels for Tweens

New Series for Tweens and Teens

Tweens and Teens Series Updates

Comics and Graphic Novels for Tweens

Classic Books

Spanish/English Novels for Tweens and Teens

Short Story Collections for Tweens

Family and Class Read Alouds

Harry Potter and Beyond:  Great Series

Middle East Books for Teens and Tweens

Mystery Series

Great NEW Series

Great Role Models for Boys

Tellings and Retellings

Living a Writing LIfe:  Books for Tween and Early Teens

Picture Books for Writers

Beyond Nancy Drew

Adventure Series, Starring Girls

Math Adventures

Musicians When They Were Children

Books with Siblings

Celebrating a Love of Words

Related Posts

FIRSTBORN by Tor Seidler:  Must reading for Yellowstone Visitors

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: THE GOLDEN LION by Mike

THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann

THE INQUISITOR’S TALE: OR, THE THREE MAGICAL CHILDREN AND THEIR HOLY DOG by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO, BOOK 2 by Rick Riordan

The Hired Girl:  Historical Fiction for Tweens

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters

MPYRIUM by Henry H. Neff: New Series Recommendation for Tween and Teens

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD, BOOK 2: THOR’S HAMMER by Rick Riordan

SOME WRITER:  THE STORY OF E.B. WHITE

Leonard Nimoy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg:  Two New Biographies to Recommend

SPACE CASE (MOON BASE ALPHA) by Stuart Gibbs

THE BOOK SCAVENGER:  Great Readaloud for Tweens

Children’s Books About the Middle East

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and Other Sherlock Holmes Spin-Offs for Tweens and Teens

FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland:  A Review and Recommendation

THE AGENCY:  A SPY IN THE HOUSE: Series Recommendation for Teens

CASTLE HANGNAIL:  A Recommendation for Tweens

DEMIGODS AND MAGICIANS by Rick Riordan:  A Review and Recommendation

A Good Old-Fashioned Mystery for Tweens: ISABEL FEENEY, STAR REPORTER

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO by Rick Riordan:  A Review and Recommendation

THE GENIUS FILES:  Adventure Recommendation for Tweens

SECRETS OF THE MANOR Series:  Downton Abbey for Tweens

PRINCELESS:  Another Graphic Novel for Young Feminists

Celebrating Music!

February 20th is World Day or Social Justice

February is STILL Library Lovers Month

PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN: A Great Graphic Novel for Young Feminists

Rebels of the Kasbah by Joe O’Neill: A Review

Appreciate a Dragon Day, January 16th

Pirate Update

Recommendations for Young Musicians

MARK OF THE THIEF: Review

October 29th is National Hermit Day

Interstellar Cinderella

May 18th: Remembering Mt. St. Helens Eruption

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

HE FAMILY ROMANOV:  Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell:  An Enthusiastic Review!

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE:  Recommended Graphic Novel for Young Readers

National Pi Day is March 14th

More Young People Who Make a Difference: Malala and Iqbal

New Series:  THE ATLANTIS SAGA by T.A. Barron

Name Your Car Day is October 2nd

Wish’s Derby:  Book Recommendation

Artists’ Lives Through Picture Books

Non-fiction Tween Book:  While You Were Sleeping

Aliens!  New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

CARNIVORES:  A Review

The Armpit of Doom:  A New Kenn Nesbitt Book of Poems

Review: THE SON OF NEPTUNE

Picture Books: Understanding the Middle East

Girl Detectives Updates:  Meet Ruby Redfort

National Scrabble Day

A Whole World of Math Resources

April 6th-Discovery of the North Pole

Halloween Fun:  The Teen Edition

Favorite Series Endings-And New Beginnings

Egyptian Adventures Continue

Book Review:  CHASING ORION

When Reading Isn’t Fun:  Letting Pictures Lead the Way

National Train Day

Free Comic Book Day!

Magic for the 21st Century-  Review of Bran Hambric:  The Farfield Curse

Celebrating the Silent Movies in Children’s Literature

A Few of Our Favorite Things:  Kids Books 2009

Celebrating Spoken Soul in Picture Books

Poetry is for Everyone:  A Review of POETRY SPEAK:  WHO I AM

Ida B. is the Book I Fell in Love with This Year

Book Review:  The School of Possibilities

Book Review:  The Pyramid of Souls

Book Review:  Jane and the Raven King

Aliens!  New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

Kids Recommend. . .

Andrew Recommends The Bone Series

Jessica Recommends Who Am I Without Him?

Alysa Recommends The Twilight Saga

Dmitriy Recommends The Tintin Series

Jessica Recommends Hugging the Rock

Alysa Recommends Each Little Bird that Sings
Michelle Recommends Star in the Storm


Early Readers

May 29, 2007

From 5 to 9 years old

Early-Readers-Banner

As children become more comfortable with reading familiar books over and over again, alone and with the adults around them, they naturally start “cracking the code” and using their knowledge of the world to understand the words and pictures in books—and read on their own! No need to stop reading aloud books they can’t read by themselves: we have several “kid-tested” books on the lists below that are wonderful read-alouds to share together. We also include “easy reader” books that children can explore and read without adult help—books that have predictable structures and patterns without sacrificing quality of language and illustrations. Enjoy!

Book Lists

A Trio of New Early Reader Chapter Books

Classics: Read-to-Me Books

Celebrating Literacy:  Three New Picture Books

Comics and Graphic Novels for Early Readers

Feisty Girls in Early Reader Chapter Books

New Spring Picture Books for Young Readers

What We’re Reading:  Some Terrific Bilingual Picture Books

Resistance! Part I:  Learning From Our Moral Ancestors:  Recommended Picture Books for Young Readers

Mischievous Boys

Early Reader Chapter Books for Boys

Great Role Models for Boys

Classics: Read by Myself

Other Great Read by Myself Books

The Sounds of Language: Multicultural Picture Books for Young Children

Chapter Books for Beginning Readers

Math Picture Books

More Math Picture Books

The Math Adventure Continues

Picture Books:  Understanding the Middle East

Introducing Jazz for Young “Hip Cats”

Cowgirls, Cowboys, and Cowcookies. . .

Series Recommendations for Early Readers

Invitation to Imagination:  Fairy Gardens

New to School

Author! Author! Great Picture Books About Being a Writer

Picture Books for Writers

Halloween Fun

Aliens!  New Children’s Literature for UFO Lovers

My First Hanukkah Books

Celebrating the New Year with a Trio of Books for Young Readers

Twins in School-Online Resources

Musicians When They Were Children

Mischievous Boys

Celebrating the Silent Movies in Children’s Literature

More New Fall Picture Books

Celebrating a Love of Words

New Picture Books That Celebrate Snow

Related Posts

LITTLE RED:  by Bethan Woolvin:  A New Retelling for Early Readers

RUDAS: NINO’S HORRENDOUS HERMANITAS

TALES OF BUNJITSU BUNNY by John Himmelman

TRIANGLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

A TOWER OF GIRAFFES

Get Ready to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day, January 27th

THE BAD GUYS

COYOTE MOON by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Bagram Ibatouline

Perfect Book to Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day:  PENGUIN PROBLEMS

THUNDER BOY JR.  by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

THE LATKE WHO COULDN’T STOP SCREAMING:  A CHRISTMAS STORY by Lemony Snicket

Celebrating the New Year with a Trio of Book for Young Readers

British Children’s Literature for Children: Two Treats to Share

WE FOUND A HAT  by Jon Klassen:  Book 3 in the hat series

FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland: A Review and Recommendation

THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA: Mo Willems’ Latest

Beverly Cleary’s Birthday is April 12th-Happy 100th!

Appreciate a Dragon Day: January 16th

February is Grapefruit Month

Max the Brave

Appreciate a Dragon Day

October 29th is National Hermit Day!

Recommendations for Young Musicians

New Classics for Young Readers

New Books Celebrating the Moon for Young Readers

Pirate Update!

Sloths: A Trio of Books to Delight Young Readers

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: THE THIEF AND THE SWORD: A Review

Ninjas Revisted: Three More for Young Readers

July! Time for More Ice Cream and Hot Dogs

And the Winner is. . .VIVA FRIDA!

EL DEAFO:  An Enthusaistic Review!

Downton Abbey for Children’s Literature Fans

April Fool’s Surprise

CLEOPATRA IN SPACE: Recommended Graphic Novel for Young Readers

Mustache Fever–in Picture Books

The Princess in Black

February is Library Lovers Month

Winter is Coming

Enzo Races in the Rain!

More Young People Who Make a Difference:  Malala and Iqbal

For Your Growing Alphabet Bookshelf:  Once Upon an Alphabet

Wings and Co.:  Perfect Readalouds for Young Readers

The Latest Nate the Great:  NATE THE GREAT WHERE ARE YOU?

Have a Party With Your Bear Day is November 16th

October is National Pizza Month

Super Ninjas!

Revisiting Fairy Gardens

The Pigeon Needs a Bath

Fresh Veggie Day, June 16th

National Museum Day:  May 18th

Artists’ Lives Through Picture Books

What Happened to PETE THE CAT books?

More Mo!:  Behind the Scenes with MO Willems (Plus I’M A FROG!)

Early reader Series:  New Additions for Your Book shelf

New Books Make Great Holiday Gifts:  Picture Book Edition

CARNIVORES:  A Review

Fairy Gardens II:  Backyard Adventures

Invitations to Write Your Own Version

Pete the Cat at the Beach

Little Red Riding Hood Around the World

Back to School Books

May 19th is Circus Day!

Hans Christian Anderson’s Birthday

Frogs:  Great Early Reader Non-fiction Recommendations

Celebrating Creativity in New Picture Books

Library Mouse:  A Museum Adventure

The Perfect Flower Girl:  A Review

The Sky of Afghanistan:  A Review

This is Not My Hat!:  Review

A Trio of New Picture Books Celebrating Winter

New Winter Holiday Books! We Recommend. . .

My Hands Sing the Blues

I Wonder Why Zippers Have Teeth

Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken:  A Passover Picture Book

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes:  An Easter Picture Book

April 1st-April Fools Day!

April 6th-Discovery of the North Pole

Wow!  Ocean! Recommended

Who are we reading now? Roald Dahl

Book Review:  Isabella:  Girl on the Go

How Many Donkeys:  A New Arabic Counting Book

Cool Cats Head to School

Children Around the World

Books:  Eat or Be Eaten

National Fairy Tale Day

Free Comic Book Day!

ABC Update

Countdown to Halloween

National Train Day

A Non-traditional Passover

Here Comes Horrid Henry

Little House Memories

On Flamingos and Other Obsessions

Book Review:  The 13 Days of Halloween

Ministry of Funny Voices

Book Pairings: One for You and One for Me

Holiday Shopping for Book Lovers

Eat, Read, and Be Merry!

Family Traditions:  Don’t Forget the Books

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Celebrating Spoken Soul in Picture Books

New Poetry Book Review!  The Tighty Whitey Spider

August 21st is Poet’s Day

A Taste of Home