I’m not super “in” when it comes to graphic novels. I do try, but there’s so many that are 50 book series’ that I get bogged down and only like the ones that are standalone. I recently read the first Lumberjanes and it was hilarious. Not super surprising since the author also wrote Nimona and I liked that as well (although my review says otherwise..)
Anyway, Real Friends was quick and stands by itself. It’s a memoir of Shannon Hale’s experience in fourth and fifth grade and what it was like to try and make friends. Real friends. Not those catty girls who don’t really want to play with you but let you sit with them at lunch or are only nice to you because their mom is friends with your mom. I cringed reading some of the things that were said or done to poor Shannon but in hindsight those things were probably also done to me. Growing up is hard y’all.
I liked that at the end Shannon made a decision that a book that was trying to send a positive message might not have made. Shannon told a girl she couldn’t be in her group of friends because she was mean and made her feel bad about herself. In any other book Shannon would go home and have a heart to heart with her mom about how you have to be nice to everyone and she should let the mean girl in her group. But Shannon didn’t talk to her mom and she didn’t go back and change her mind. Everything was not fine with that girl and they did not become life long friends. And I liked that. Because not everyone will be your friend and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, especially if they’re mean to you. That is a positive message too.
Now that I said the thing I like I’m quick going to say the thing I didn’t like. Here it is. Shannon Hale throws Jesus in there at the WEIRDEST times. It makes no sense. Yes, she mentions going to church. But all of a sudden Jesus is sitting with her in a bush as her only friend. It was unnecessary and awkward.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with pictures
HelloooO! Battle of the Books contenders have arrived! These are the ones. I haven’t read ANY of them. What on Earth does that say about me?
ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN by Gavriel Savit
FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie
FREEDOM OVER ME by Ashley Bryan
GHOST by Jason Reynolds – want to read!
THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill
THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge – have checked out ONE MILLION TIMES
MAKOONS by Louise Erdrich
MARCH BOOK THREE by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell – read book 1
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA by Julie Berry – have checked out HALF A MILLION TIMES
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela Turner and Gareth Hinds
SOME WRITER! by Melissa Sweet
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
THUNDERBOY JR. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales
WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad
WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER by Grace Lin – read book 1
WET CEMENT by Bob Raczka
For the last few years, I can’t remember how many, NPR has done this virtual concierge of their best book suggestions for the year. I like it, but I’m a list person so some part of me misses the basic list. See for yourself and you can how you feel. Please note, there are way more in this concierge thing than on a regular best of 2016 list because of the algorithm they have to choose different topics. 309 books!
I looked at them all. Because, why not? I have read, 11 of them. To completion! I have tried to read, or almost finished as I like to call it in Goodreads, 13 of them. That’s 8% – rounding up. Haha. Let’s include one more layer. There are 24 of them I have checked out and brought to my house but never opened, or only read the first few pages. That puts me up to 15% so I feel a bit better. Anything above 10% and I’m golden. Who can really compete with NPR?
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is sure to be another hit with the middle grade crowd. I enjoyed it, all her reads are very quick (Smile, Drama & Sisters). I can’t say I loved this one as much as the others. The others are very relate-able. Problems with braces, bullies & family dynamics. This one has ghosts. Not as a plot device but real ghosts. Now I don’t know, maybe you believe in ghosts, but it seems that the problems in this book are solved by ghosts and that’s not going to happen in real life. Unfortunately. I also don’t think anyone will be flying around any time soon. But there are some family dynamics and friendship issues happening so I think it will still be enjoyed by those who love Raina’s books.
I picked up this book because it was written by the same lady who does the Babymouse series and those are super popular at my library. Sunny is sent on “vacation” to visit her Grandpa in Florida. She’s stuck at a retirement home type community and doesn’t know what her parents sent her there for the summer. Luckily she finds another kid named Buzz who is obsessed with comic books. However, she’d still rather be at home. Eventually she finds out why she was sent down south away from her family. Did she do something wrong? A great graphic novel for those who liked Smile or Drama by Raina Telgemeier.
Someone else had a lovely review of Nimona. She’s on the PW list for best YA novels of 2015 so perhaps I just have bad taste in books. I reviewed it as a so-so.
This was a seriously personal graphic novel. Craig has doubts about his faith that I imagine resonate with lots of people who grew up in the church and have very religious parents (like myself). I love his drawings and I’m so glad he didn’t listen to the people around him who told him his art could not glorify God. Whether he draws for God or not doesn’t really matter, he’s an amazing artist. I loved how all of the chapters started out with him and his brother sharing a bed as children. What a great relationship, even if bad things happened to them in their younger years they had each other. I like that he seemed to rectify that relationship in his later teens and later when he came back for his graduation / wedding. In contrast, I didn’t like how the “relationship” with Raina had no serious closure. Sure, he called and told her he didn’t want to talk to her anymore but then nothing. No mention of how she never tried to call after that or contact him. It seemed a very abrupt ending to a relationship that was the main basis of the first 300 pages. I’m not one for open ended conclusions unless it’s specifically that way to set up for a sequel, and in this case there is not (as far as I know anyway). However, I enjoyed it a lot and I could see a lot of my questioning personality in Craig.