Over the past few months, I've been trying to read more manga to have a better idea of what a great one would be to nominate for the Mav list, so after some searching, begging and comic-book store and library scouring, I present to you-the first manga I've ever read -RWBY by Shirow Mawa.
The story is simple, four kids attend Beacon academy, where they train to be hunters and huntresses of Grim-monsters that live on Earth and harm humans. The first letter of each team member's name make the team name RWBY for Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang. There is a backstory to each member of team RWBY, but the drawings made it difficult to differentiate between flashback and the actual story.
The illustrations are solely in black and white and there are many KCHA and SNG sound effects that don't seem to make sense unless you read them out loud. The team goes out to hunt (don't know how or why that happened but it did and we later find out that this was a training simulation put on by the "educators" at Beacon) and find a group of four Grim-snakes with impenetrable armor who morph into one super-Grim. Team RWBY must work together (despite their leader who only seems to be concerned with weapons and making up names for combat moves) to save the community from this monster.
Overall, I don't think that I would read this again or continue the series because I was lost in illustrations, but I'm just a manga NOOB.
This graphic novel is awesome! It is Diverse, Inclusive, magical, and fun! Moonstruck is set in a universe where centaurs and lesbian werewolves work together in coffee shops that serve everyone. Two werewolves, Selena and Julie are in the very beginning stages of a relationship and are still getting to know each other when they go on a date that includes Chet, their centaur friend, who ends up becoming human in an evil magic show and loses his horse butt. While funny, the graphic novel does an amazing job of showing how disastrous and emotionally traumatizing this is to him. The girls and their friends have to help find the evil magician that put on the magic show, get Chet’s butt back, and stop him from hurting others all while trying to figure out their feelings and new relationship!
The main character, Julie the werewolf, is pretty whiny and emotional, but she is a great representation of how feelings of others need to be respected and how to be kind. Overall, this was a great book!
Clara Shin lives with her dad in L.A and is the class clown. She likes to "stay in the shallow end" of feelings and make jokes of everything, but when she and the class president, Rose, get into a fight at prom and almost burn down the school cafeteria, she is forced to work with Rose in her dad's food truck all summer. As the two work together, Clara learns about having to face your feelings and what real friendship and relationships are like.
I loved every second of this book, so much so that I couldn't put it down and finished it in a little under a day. Clara is very real and relatable, her journey from class clown to actual person was easy to follow. I'd love to see a spinoff or novela about her dad and his realtionships being a single dad or her mom's adventures as a social media influencer.
The Way You Make Me Feel is another book that I will be reviewing and booktalking in a Junior Library Guild webcast next month!
My first book sketchnote in a LOONNGG time! THE LOVE LETTERS OF ABELARD AND LILY is a super sweet romance between a boy on the autism spectrum and a girl with ADHD. I LOVED it so much that I finished it in a day! I also really liked that it was set in Austin so I could actually picture where events were taking place! I used the Apple Pencil and the Doodle Art app, which is why there’s an awkward border on the left. 😂😂. I’ll be booktalking this book and a few others in a Junior Library Guild webinar next month-check back for details!
ALL SUMMER LONG, a graphic novel by Hope Larson (illustrator of the Wrinkle In Time graphic novel) was a fun, quick read. 📚Austin and Bina have been friends their entire lives and spend every summer together. The summer before eighth grade, though, Austin goes away to soccer camp while Bina stays home and learns how to play guitar and indie bands. A really sweet sort of friendship and growing apart while staying friends and growing into who you are.
I have not read THE GOLDEN COMPASS novel, nor have I seen the movie, but for someone who has always wanted to understand the hype around the series, but hasn't had time to read it, this graphic novel was PERFECTION! The illustrations are gorgeous and make keeping track of characters much easier than having to remember all of the names. I had no trouble at all understanding and following Lyra's story. It begins at Jordan College where she is under the care of the "Master" and overhears Lord Asriel speaking about "dust" to the other scholars. Roger, her best friend, gets taken by the "Gobblers," who are the General Oblation Unit, who we later learn are trying to find a way to separate children from the daemons (outward extension of their soul) to use the energy and dust created from the separation to find a way to get in to the "other world." This was where I got confused and had to do some digging, but thankfully, as the book goes on, we learn more about dust and this other world that is referenced. When Roger is taken by the Gobblers, Lyra sets out to bring him home but meets Mrs. Coulter (who is actually her mother) who is charming and buys Lyra nice dresses, but Lyra thinks that she is hiding something and wants to take the alethiometer from her, so she runs away. Lyra meets a band of "Gyptians" who tell her about her origins and who her true parents are and why she is being hunted by the General Oblation Board, she also meets their astronaut, Lee Scoresby, and an armoured bear named Iorek Byrnison. With these people, she sets off to the North (the Arctic) to find all of the children who have been taken by the Gobblers as well as setting Lord Asriel (who she learns is her father) free from the armoured bears. Lyra's team is a great way of showing readers that people of all different backgrounds (and species-haha) can work together successfully.
While the story was a bit hard to follow at times and required A LOT of re-reading, I thought the graphic novel was amazing. The pages displaying the aurora borealis were absolutely stunning. When Lord Asriel explains what Dust is to Lyra (and the reader) it is easy to understand with a visual explanation that the graphic novel offers. Overall, I give it four stars for amazing illustrations and a great story.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of Spill Zone. It is about Addie, who rides into where a nuclear spill destroyed a town called "Po Town" (what used to be Poughkeepsie) and photographs what is left and growing in the Spill Zone. She sells her photos to support her little sister (who has a stuffed bear that seems to be possessed by something from the Spill Zone) because their parents were in Po Town when whatever happened happened. It is never really clear what exactly happened to the town. Addie gets a million dollar offer from one of the collectors who buy her art and takes it hoping that this will be the last time that she has to go in to the zone, but based on the drawings in this graphic novel, it seems that this may not be the last time she visits the Zone.
I really liked the drawings in this graphic novel as they help you to really see what and how this town was destroyed. It reminded me of a downplayed Resident Evil or Silent Hill-just as creepy, but with more conspiracy behind it. The government (or someone else) brings in a Korean boy-but the reader is never really told why other than to show that he has been touched by the nuclear radiation and wants to meet Addie, which makes there seem like there is much more going on then we are told. The book ends on a cliffhanger, which was annoying because there are still so many questions to be answered. Overall, I gave it 4 stars because it kept my attention and the drawings really save it from being lame.
I actually really enjoyed this book! I couldn’t put it down. Mega Princess is super cute and incredibly relatable despite being a princess. Mega Princess shows that a princess can be more than just frilly dresses and riding horses. This princess wants to be a detective and does so by finding her lost baby brother when he has been abducted. She demonstrates strength, good character, and poise in the faces of danger and adversity. She also will show students how to work with others in dire times that they don't normally get along with. She’s Fierce and fearless-just what girls need right now 💛