A Comic Book Bonanza with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
By Kristi Madron
Here at the Library, many of us have fond memories of summertime: long, sunny days leading to firefly-speckled nights. And comic books! Comic books have evolved a lot since my own childhood, beginning to earn the respect they deserve. Improved and experimental art, an interweaving of illustrations with a narrative, and topics that are relevant to all different backgrounds and experiences now fly off the shelves. Graphic novels are valid and valuable tools in the literacy toolkit and can keep kids reading past bedtime under their covers. Just make sure you keep the batteries in their flashligbyhts fresh when you check out the titles below!
Allergic ©2021 by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter: Maggie is so excited now that it’s her birthday! She’s been dreaming of getting a puppy for so long and today is finally the day. But, to her deep disappointment, Maggie finds out that she is allergic to dogs! Not only dogs, but the allergy test shows that she’s allergic to all animals with fur or feathers. What’s an animal lover to do? A charming addition to dealing with feelings surrounding a new diagnosis of allergies and fits right in with the Raina Telgemeier fans.
New Kid ©2019 and Class Act ©2020 by Jerry Craft: Life as a super-minority in a rich white private school isn’t easy. People make assumptions about you, where you live, your family life and even get you mixed up with the only other black kid in school, although you look nothing alike. These two graphic novels are so skilled at showing the tiny, usually unintended, incidents of racial bias in action.
Earth Boy ©2021 by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan: Benson is so excited! He is the first human ever accepted into the elite Galactic Ranger Academy. But it turns out that there are some who don’t want him there at all, and especially don’t want to see him succeed. Can he show everyone, including his few faithful friends, that he deserves to be there? No one wants to have to work twice as hard to be considered half as good as the privileged. But sometimes being the outsider has the advantage of seeing things in a new way.
Go With The Flow ©2020 by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann: Three sophomore girls become friends with a new girl when she has a very embarrassing first day of school and first period ever combined with white pants. The girls talk among themselves about their experiences and what does normal mean when it comes to menstruation. A great book to introduce the topic as well as both the history, stigma and activism surrounding periods.
Pilu of the Woods ©2019 by Mai K. Nguyen: Willow is trying to keep some emotions under tight control, but they sometimes get so big that she loses control of them. After such an outburst with her sister, Willow runs to the woods where she meets a lost forest spirit who has fought with her own family and now needs help to find home and a way to make amends. The art is so sweet and gentle, and this can be a perfect jumping off point into a conversation about grief, bullying, and managing emotions.