A Librarian Reads…

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Yaichi’s twin brother, Ryoji, left Japan to move to Canada years ago and has recently died. Now his Canadian husband, Mike, is coming to visit, and Yaichi has no idea how to react. His young daughter, Kana, has no such problem. She is excited to learn about her uncle. Through her innocence and enthusiasm, Yaichi begins to question his assumptions and beliefs.

This graphic novel, the first in a series, takes a hard look at how Japanese culture and the queer experience intersect. Recommended for readers in high school and up.


2019 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens is a list of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18, prepared yearly by YALSA. The full 2019 list can be found here.

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by Anne Frank and Ari Folman. Illus. by David Polonsky.
This is the first graphic edition of Anne Frank’s diary; a young girls poignant writings during her years of hiding in Amsterdam. This beautiful retelling is a feast for the eyes. Anne Frank’s story, already so powerful and unforgettable is brought to life in full color. Even if you have read and reread her story, you will be drawn to this new version.

Crush by Svetlana Chmakova. Illus. by the author.
Perfectly capturing the challenges of friendship drama and the anguish of first crushes in middle school, this is the story of Jorge Ruiz, sweet, gentle, and strong, who is crushing on Jazmine, strong, kind, and intelligent. Jorge must navigate his friendships and romantic interests and the drama that ensues.

Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction by Jarrett Krosoczka. Illus. by the author.
A memoir about being raised by grandparents and finding art as a way of communicating and self-expression while dealing with family addiction and absenteeism.

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin. Illus. by Giovanni Rigano.
Ebo’s older sister left Ghana and now his brother has disappeared, leaving a note saying he’s taking the arduous journey to Europe to seek a better life. Alone and refusing to be left behind, Ebo catches up with his brother so they can make the trip together, living on the streets, negotiating with human smugglers, and struggling to survive.

My Brother’s Husband, Volume 2 by Gengoroh Tagame. Illus. by the author.
Yaichi has been struggling to fully understand and accept his brother’s husband, Mike. Spending time together during Mike’s visit to Japan, Yaichi and his daughter realize just how important he is to their family.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden. Illus. by the author.
Mia becomes the newest member on a ship that travels through space reconstructing historical ruins for new use. Though quiet and unsure of herself, she fits in with the crew and eventually reveals her true purpose for taking the job; finding her lost love.

Royal City, Volume 2: Sonic Youth by Jeff Lemire. Illus. by the author.
In volume one, the story of the Pike family is set up with older brother Patrick Pike returning to his childhood home in the wake of his father’s stroke and his brother’s death. In this volume, the reader is taken back to the year 1993, following the then-teenaged Pike siblings and glimpsing the last week of Tommy Pike’s life.

Royal City, Volume 3: We All Float On by Jeff Lemire. Illus. by the author.
The final volume of this series brings readers a thoughtful and unique exploration of loss, grief, family, and acceptance.

Silver Spoon Volumes 1, 2, 3, & 4 by Hiromu Arakawa. Illus. by the author.
Yuugo Hachiken has always been a great student, but instead of going to a regular academic high school, he decides to enroll in Ooezo Agricultural High School instead. This city boy was hoping to coast through high school, and an agricultural school is sure to be easy, right? Wrong! Instead of doing math problems, and reciting poetry, he’s waking up at 5AM to do chores, raise piglets and learn to ride a horse.

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. Illus. by Emily Carroll.
Melinda is shunned at school because she called the cops at a summer party, but what everyone doesn’t know is that she was sexual assaulted there. In this beautifully illustrated graphic adaptation of the original novel, Melinda works on coming to terms with what happened to her and learning how to speak about it.

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. Illus. by the author.
This minimalist text takes a journalistic approach to describing the political and social implications of the Syrian refugee crisis It features the stories of individual refugees, while also focusing on local and global trends contributing to the crisis.

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
Winona’s father locks the pantry to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them. Lucille’s mother and her drug-dealing brother demand all her time and energy. Finally they realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.

Gut Check by Eric Kester
Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football. It’s his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. A big win could be just what their town needs to rebound from a fishing season devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother’s secret is worth risking his scholarship future.

Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry
Ellis worries that the world is about to end. When she meets Hannah in her therapist’s waiting room, Hannah calls it fate. Ellis is scared of the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
By day, Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell (Graphic Novel)
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. They’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world every Autumn. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1. Now Josiah and Deja are seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye. What if their last shift was an adventure?

A Librarian Reads…

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Once & Future, Book One)

Ari is a refugee from Ketch, the planet barricaded from the rest of the universe for daring to speak out against the tyrannical Mercer Company which basically controls the entire galaxy. Rescued outside the barrier as a child, her very existence is a threat to Mercer. When she accidentally crash lands on Old Earth and finds a sword, she takes it, hoping it might be worth enough to allow her and her adoptive brother Kay to hide out a while. But when she pulls the sword from its ancient tree, she awakens ancient forces. Merlin has been waiting for centuries for the next reincarnation of King Arthur, and this time it’s Ari. He hopes she will be the one to complete the cycle and achieve the goal of uniting all of humankind. Along with Merlin and Kay, Ari gathers her knights one by one, fulfilling her destiny. But taking down Mercer won’t be quite so easy.

A compelling blend of fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and comedy, this novel is recommended to readers in seventh grade and up who enjoy those genres and stories that break stereotypes and expectations.

* Book listened to on Audio CD

Featured Series

Finishing School by Gail Carriger

In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is surprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.

1) Etiquette and Espionage

2) Curtsies and Conspiracies

3) Waistcoats and Weaponry

4) Manners & Mutiny

What’s New?

Check out these new titles in the Teen Corner at the Moline Public Library. Click on the title to go to the catalog to find the book or place a hold.

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé
Skye is tired of always having to save her sister, Deirdre. When they move to an isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws. She becomes fixated on the swampy woods behind their house, building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones. After Deirdre disappears, something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre.

Mayhem and Madness: Chronicles of a Teenaged Supervillain by J A Dauber
Bailey is pretty average—he runs track, gets decent grades, and has an unrequited crush. When he finds a super-powered flying suit of computerized armor under his home, he needs to know where it came from and if it can help him find his long-missing father. One day he’s getting beat up by the captain of the football team, the next day he’s robbing banks on Fifth Avenue, stealing diamonds from Tiffany’s, and zooming through aerial dogfights. But how much bad is Bailey willing to do to bring his dad home safely?

Skyjacked by Paul Griffin
Six friends who attend Manhattan’s elite Hartwell Academy are returning from an end-of-summer camping trip together on a private plane. Everything seems normal… except one of the regular pilots is sick, so there’s a replacement; Cassie is starting to get violently ill for no clear reason; and they realize the plane is flying west, not east. Soon it’s clear: the plane has been hijacked. Can they make it into the cockpit and overpower the hijacker? And if so, can they land the plane? Emotions are running high, and choosing who to trust is a matter of life or death.

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen (The Merciful Crow, Book One)
Fie’s Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime. When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, he offers Fie a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns. But the queen isn’t the only one Jasimir needs protection from.

Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew
Darya has looked after her little sister, Nika, since she was a baby. Now Nika is starting school. Maybe Darya can find a job with her own tidy desk. Perhaps even a boyfriend. But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Darya’s life plans are fractured. Stalled. She is afraid. What if she never knows real love? What if she never finds somewhere she belongs?

A Librarian Reads…

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Jim and Will have been best friends forever. They live next door and were born only minutes apart. Where Will is cautious, Jim is wild, which is why they make such a great team. One day a lightning rod salesman comes to town, telling the boys a serious storm is headed their way and will strike Jim’s house. He is so convinced, he gives Jim a free lightning rod. But the storm doesn’t hit that night. Instead, a carnival comes to town even though it’s October. And this isn’t just any carnival. It is designed to discover your deepest desires and worst fears to trap you forever. Now the boys must save each other, even if they don’t want to be saved.

This classic from 1962 is featured in the 2019 Illinois Reads to celebrate the many wonderful works of Illinois native Ray Bradbury. Recommended for readers in high school and up.

* Book listened to as e-audiobook through Hoopla.