Best Graphic Novel of the Year!

Here's what kept me busy this weekend.  I'm still plugging away at The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, which is better savored. 

Hunter Moran Saves the Universe by Patricia Reilly Giff
Holiday House, 2012
Recommended Grades 3-5
Realistic Fiction/Crazy Adventure (128 pages)

I wasn't blown away by this story, but I can certainly see some major boy appeal to it.   Young readers will like the mystery and adventure around trying to figure out what Mr. Diglio buried in his backyard (the twin boys in the story think it is a bomb).  There is trouble with parents and siblings, middle of the night rendezvous, and weird townspeople.  The problem for me was how quickly one thing ran into the next, never giving my mind time to create a world where these characters lived.  I think young readers might have trouble picturing the story unfold and have trouble keeping characters straight, as there are many minor characters.

Cardboard, by Doug Tennapel
Graphix, 2012
Recommended Grades 4-6
Fantasy (283 pages)

LOVE.  I love this book because it is funny and crazy and heartwarming. 
When Cam's dad gives him an empty cardboard box for his birthday he doesn't let it get him down. Together they work to create something amazing out of that plain box.  Rich kid bully, Marcus, across the street taunts Cam for being poor.   Magically, the man Cam and his father created out of cardboard comes to life and becomes a member of their family.  Use your imagination here, it works :)  What follows is jealousy and cardboard creations gone mad.  Marcus gets his hands on the magic cardboard and begins creating terrible and dangerous monsters.  When Marcus needs help most he finds that Cam, the boy he constantly put down, is the one there to help him.  The artwork is absolutely amazing.  Yucky Marcus could not have been more perfectly visually created.  Fast paced, deep storyline, creative, stunning artwork, this is what graphic novels are all about.  You could do some great things with characterization using this book.
It gets my vote for best graphic novel of the far :)
I just get such a kick out of Marcus, he is soooo despicable and yet so lovable by the last page.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations Nicole! I love graphic novels and I can't wait to check out Cardboard.

    This year, my pick so far is Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. The story is about Maggie, the younger sister to three older brothers who is going to public high school after being home-schooled her whole life. Not only does she struggle with the typical challenges of balancing trying to fit in while at the same time discovering your own identity, Maggie has secret...

    1. Maggie has secret....what?! You now have left me hanging! Would you say Friends with Boys is age appropriate for 7th/8th grade, or 9th and up? If it's okay for middle school I will give it a read for review. Thanks for the comment and the recommendation. Sharing favorites is the best :)


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