An imaginative contemporary tale reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm.

SPARROWHAWK

What if Alice’s Wonderland was full of gothic savagery rather than curiosity and whimsy?

The illegitimate, mixed-race child of a white naval captain and a brown, enslaved mother she has never known, Artemisia has been mistreated and neglected by everyone around her except her sister, Caroline. She finds herself unwillingly pulled into another world so unlike her own that she realizes she must become someone—something—else in order to survive and return to her old life. In need of direction, she happens upon Crispin, a furry, antlered creature who is a most unreliable escort. With unknown but clearly ulterior motivations, Crispin volunteers his services to Artemisia. Our young heroine soon learns that she must fight and best beasts and monsters of this new world in order to escape. But will she have to become a monster herself in order to defeat one? Dawson (No Country for Old Gnomes, 2019, etc.) creates a captivating, dark, and violent world of faeries and other magical, mythical creatures. Acceptance, identity, transformation, and the conundrum of human nature are prevalent themes in this story. Readers follow Artemisia as she toes the line between holding on to who she is and becoming that which she detests. The artwork—while occasionally confusing—is vibrant, enhancing the otherworldly feel.

An imaginative contemporary tale reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. (author’s note) (Graphic fantasy. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68415-395-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

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A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart.

BLOOM

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery.

High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family’s bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family’s money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana’s passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau’s graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau’s art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious.

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-641-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated—a triumph.

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    Best Books Of 2014

  • Caldecott Honor Book

THIS ONE SUMMER

A summer of family drama, secrets and change in a small beach town.

Rose’s family has always vacationed in Awago Beach. It’s “a place where beer grows on trees and everyone can sleep in until eleven,” but this year’s getaway is proving less idyllic than those of the past. Rose’s parents argue constantly, and she is painfully aware of her mother’s unhappiness. Though her friendship with Windy, a younger girl, remains strong, Rose is increasingly curious about the town’s older teens, especially Dunc, a clerk at the general store. Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (Skim, 2008) skillfully portray the emotional ups and downs of a girl on the cusp of adolescence in this eloquent graphic novel. Rose waxes nostalgic for past summers even as she rejects some old pursuits as too childlike and mimics the older teens. The realistic dialogue and sensitive first-person narration convey Rose’s naïveté and confusion, and Windy’s comfort in her own skin contrasts with Rose’s uncertainty. Both the text and art highlight small but meaningful incidents as readers gradually learn the truth behind the tension in Rose’s family. Printed in dark blue ink, Jillian Tamaki’s illustrations feature strong, fluid lines, and the detailed backgrounds and stunning two-page spreads throughout the work establish the mood and a compelling sense of place.

Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated—a triumph. (Graphic novel. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-774-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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