{comic} a secret worth sharing

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes First Second, 2015 My copy was an Advanced Readers Copy thanks to First Second & NetGalley Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students….

{book} not in the least beastly or dreadful

Months later (deep, regret-filled sigh) a post on one of my favorite new books. “A marvelously funny mystery that feels refreshingly original while yet channeling the best of Dahl’s characters and Grimm in storytelling.”-my staff rec at work. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant Random House, 2015. Hardcover, 294. Wondering what could possibly…

{book} never a nothing girl

Icebreaker by Lian Tanner Feiwel and Friends, 2015 (orig. 2013). Hardcover 304 pages “Twelve-year-old Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on the Oyster, an ancient icebreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the ship’s crew has forgotten its original purpose and broken into three warring…

{comics} no sleeping beauty

The Rise of Aurora West By Paul Pope; J. T. Petty; David Rubín (Illustrator) (First Second Books 2014) tradepaper. Having read Paul Pope’s Battling Boy, naturally I was eager to seek out The Rise of Aurora West. We’d met Aurora West in Battling Boy as the recently orphaned (before our eyes) daughter of Arcopolis’ Science Hero Haggard West. The Rise…

{comics} many happy returns

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl By Ben Hatke First Second 2014. That the entirety of Ben Hatke’s The Return of Zita the Spacegirl is an epic jailbreak comes as no surprise. From the very first book in the series, Zita has been held against her will—or has she? We know her slip through the portal…

{comic} brand spanking new, except not.

Battling Boy by Paul Pope First Second 2013. One of the things I like about superhero comics is their ability to both maintain continuity and prove regenerative. Need to reboot a character or story? Will do. Has the essence of the hero and their story really changed? No. Even so, it is still hard to break into…

{comics} lost islands & found creators

Explorer: The Lost Islands  edited by Kazu Kibuishi Amulet Books (Abrams) 2013. tradepaper, 128 pages, incl “about the creators.” Library Loan The highly anticipated second volume to the critically acclaimed Explorer series, “The Lost Islands “is a collection of seven all-new stories written and illustrated by an award-winning roster of comics artists, with each story…

{comics} delilah and her lieutenant

or is it The Lieutenant and his Delilah…? Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (book 1) by Tony Cliff First Second Books, 2013. Tradepaper, 176 pages. first half sample. “Delilah Dirk is the heroine of a series of adventure comics set during the early 19th century. Each story is completely self-contained, and they’re suitable for readers of…

{book} taking the case

Ivy + Bean: Take the Case (Book 10) by Annie Barrows + Sophie Blackall (illus) Chronicle Books, 2013. Hardcover, 126 pages. Modeling herself after a classic film noir detective from her mother’s favorite film, Private Investigator Bean “laughs at danger! […] And she and her assistant, Ivy, are ready, willing, and able to solve any…

meet annelore parot’s kokeshi

Day Twenty-Four: Kokeshi Kimonos Book  by Annelore Parot Chronicle Books, 2011. “With a padded cover and slickly designed pages, this interactive book introduces traditional kokeshi dolls, popular in Japan. Rendered in manga style, the dolls wear kimonos; readers are invited to help one kokeshi select her kimono, assist another as she samples new hairstyles, and lift…

{book} a rebel alliance

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett: An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger Amulet Books, 2013 hardcover, 208 pages + folding instructions. Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight’s back—and not a moment too soon, as the gang faces the FunTime Menace: a new educational program designed to raise students’ standardized test…

{book} the rithmatist

The Rithmatist (bk 1) by Brandon Sanderson Illustrations by Ben McSweeney Tor, 2013 hardcover, 370 pages. SFF, ages 12 & up. More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s…