{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} Jellyfish & Grief & Marvelous Writing

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin Little, Brown & Co., 2015 Advanced Reader’s Copy thanks to Publisher & NetGalley in exchange for a fair/honest review. After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world…

{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…

{comic} BFFs

Little Robot by Ben Hatke First Second, 2015. Advanced Reader Copy (thank you First Second/Net Galley) in exchange for a fair review. When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad…

{comics} el deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell. Amulet Books 2014. Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid…

{picture book} Hatke’s creatures

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke First Second 2014. When Julia’s house finds a new place to settle, she puts a sign out for lost creatures to combat her own sense of loneliness. But now a new conflict has arisen and a list of chores is her solution. Ben Hatke, whom we have…

{comic} revealed

Hidden : A Child’s Story of the Holocaust Written by Loïc Dauvillier; Illustrated by Marc Lizano Color by Greg Salsedo; Translated from the French by Alexis Siegel First Second Books, 2014. Ages 6-10; Grades 1-5.  Encouraged to talk about her evident sadness, a grandmother shares her memories long hidden about her experience as a child…

{book} mirrors

Zetta Elliott offered a free copy of her book to interested reviewers. Please do not believe that I proceeded to read and review The Magic Mirror with bias. If you’ve spent any real length of time here on ‘omphaloskepsis’, you know I’m a fair and balanced reviewer, but I felt it should be clarified nonetheless. The Magic…

{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} good literature

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt, and artist Isabelle Arsenault translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou Groundwood Books, 2013. orig. Jane, le renard & moi (Les Éditions de La Pastèque, 2012) Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — Hélène…