Mini reviews: groovy graphic novels!

Morning everyone!

Now normally, I don’t do this many mini reviews, but since I’ve read SO MUCH over the holidays, I’m doing a few mini review posts over the coming weeks so that I can give every book space on my blog. If I wrote full reviews for every book I read I wouldn’t have time to do ANYTHING else ha! I’m more than happy to talk about any of the books I do a mini review of though, so just shout if you want to know more!

I’m reviewing 4 graphic novels that I absolutely adored recently. Graphic novels are just new to me (as in the reading of them ha) and I’ve had a blast reading these ones!

The Witches – Penelope Bagieu

Yes, this is that famous Roald Dahl story told in graphic novel form and MY GIDDY GOSH. This is one of my favourite Roald Dahl stories, so when I heard there was to be a graphic novel version, I almost lost it. The amazing people at Scholastic were very kind to send me a copy and I JUST LOVE IT. I love it so much that I am considering NOT putting it in my classroom (and if you know me, you KNOW that my class library is my prized possession, so this is a big thing ha!). Anyway, this version is GORGEOUSLY done and there’s so much more added to the story while not taking way from the original. The characterisation of the humans, witches and the mice is wonderfully done. The illustrations give me such life and I can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on this! I hope this is the start of a trend of doing Roald Dahl books as graphic novels cause that is something I can get behind totally! This is an absolute victory and if you’re doing the Witches, or are a fan of the story, I can 100% recommend it!

The Cardboard Kingdom – Chad Sell

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters–and their own inner demons–on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be–imagine that!

This is an absolute victory. It’s so gloriously done. This is a graphic novel about the incredible power of your imagination, superheroes and friendship! A group of kids in a neighbourhood get together to fight evil (and some of them to BE evil). I love that each of the different chapters are a different character and how they came to be, and you get a look at their home lives too. There’s some brilliant explorations of family, divorce, dressing up, bullying, finding friends, being yourself and so much more! This made my heart so very happy and hearing there’s another one coming is JOYOUS BEYOND JOY. The illustrations are so incredibly well done and the story weaves together magically… JUST SUPER.

The Mr. Wolf’s Class – Aron Nels Steinke

Mr. Wolf has just started teaching fourth grade at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he’s got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, a new student who is trying to make friends. She might have something in common with Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-and-tell. Aziza just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. Meanwhile, Penny, who is VERY sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing! This delightful new series captures the everyday — and unexpected — ups and downs of a fourth-grade classroom.

This was another of those ones that I’d seen online and I’d been curious about, so when I found a cheap second hand one (which is how I’ve bought ALL of these graphic novels for my classroom… I can’t afford to buy brand new copies of everything as much as I’d like to!), I knew I needed to get my hands on it. This is a brilliant graphic novel about the first day of school: you follow a new teacher and his class on their first day. Things go a bit wrong and it’s filled with humour and love! This proper made me chortle and the teacher in me saw a lot of teaching life in this! I reckon kids will love this! This is the first graphic novel in a series (I’ve already bought book 2) and I’m looking forward to reading the second one!

Roller Girl – Victoria Jamieson

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

I’d seen people talking about this for MONTHS. It was one of those that I’d had my eye on, but never got round to reading/buying… and I regret that now! It is PROPER FUN. I’d love to be a roller derby girl (I reckon I would NOT be good at it though haha). This is the story of Astrid, who goes to try out for roller derby after seeing it with her mum, but her best friend doesn’t go with her, so she has to navigate a brand new social situation without her friend! There’s some amazing messages about self belief and friendship in this. I loved Astrid as a character and I thought it was great to see her spectrum of emotions! I think this will go down a storm in my Year 6 classroom!

And that’s it for this week’s round up of graphic novels! You can find my other graphic novel round up here: Kids Graphic Novels: mini reviews.

Can you recommend some kids graphic novels?
Are you a graphic novel reader?
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a graphic novel?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Massive thank you to Scholastic for sending me a copy of The Witches, and my bank balance for allowing me to buy the others (ha!).

S x

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