Honestly, this book was SO much more than I expected! I had heard about it through the librarian grapevine and read reviews, but for some reason kept it at the back of my TBR saying "I'll read it eventually." Y'all. This book needs a new cover because the one it has makes it feel immature and honestly middle-grade-esque but AMERICAN PANDA is GREAT! As a hispanic-American woman, I related to the main character, Mei, with the pressure to make your family proud, to be obedient, and to find a husband and have babies to secure your family name. BUT we know how I love a good ol' rebellion, ;) but AMERICAN PANDA isn't about the rebellion. It is about a Taiwanese-American girl, Mei, who LOVES dance, but her family has decided that is attending MIT to become a doctor while her mother chooses a husband for her. And while Mae tries SO hard to obey her family, she finally learns what I have been preaching for the past few years: you can't put a price a YOUR happiness and you have to do what is right for YOU.
AMERICAN PANDA is about so much more than just a girl struggling with her identity and with her parents; it is about finding yourself and challenging traditions that are done just for traditions sake. It is about women standing up for themselves. It is about spouses having a say in the way that their children are raised, and those children being happy and being given the opportunity to choose and fight for their dreams and being allowed to fail.
This book was everything. I loved every second of it. Thank you, Gloria Chao. I hope that not only other Asian Americans can relate to this book and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone, but also EVERYONE who wants to break away from family traditions and gender ideologies.
The second Spill Zone picks up right where the first one ends, and while we still don't REALLY know the exact cause of the Spill, many questions were answered in this sequel. Addie must save her sister, Lexa, from whatever Verspertine is, while the Koreans want to know more about the Spill in P-Town. This time, though, Vespertine needs to make a choice, and the Koreans need to learn more for the "Brilliant Comrade." With the help of a Korean boy who has also been changed by the Spill, Addie has much bigger problems than just taking pictures.
There is much more action in this book than the first one, and definitely much less confusing. I gave it 5 stars for the action and even more gorgeous drawings this time. While some of the monsters look like they were drawn quickly and hastily, the use of colour was beautiful and something I haven't seen in another graphic novel.
I really hope that this isn't the end of the series!
This is officially one of the coolest comics that I have ever read solely because it has a CULINARY CONSULTANT as part of the creative team! They create a world where food is a part of the story-although we aren’t there yet because this is only the first issue! So far, we know that the main character, Xoo, has two disabled parents and she runs their restaurant with her talking dog. Her uncle has come to live with them as her caregiver because the state says that she can’t run a restaurant as an underage and undocumented chef. This was a recommendation from Austin Books and Comics that I’m glad I purchased! I expect big things from this comic! :)
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!
The world has been invaded by aliens that abduct teenagers and children from their families, people who are identified as "strong," and loaded up into robots that are taken to other planets (I assume). In this particular graphic novel, the two main characters, Sam and Wyatt, are twins who are trying to help other people from their town while searching for their parents. Wyatt, who has autism, classifies the aliens and helps Sam escape them. The two deliver food and supplies to other people under the code name "Bird One." When the aliens trick them by using a video of their parents to lure them to them, one of them is taken and the other has to find a way to save them on their own.
While the plot took a while to pick up, I enjoyed this graphic novel. The theme of working together and looking past weaknesses is one that really shines through the illustrations. The people of Elizabethtown learn to work together despite their differences to rally against the aliens that are ripping their families apart.
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!