Graphic novels: the return of the mini reviews

Hello everyone!

I’m here again with some mini reviews of graphic novels I read during the Summer holidays. I had an absolute blast reading and familiarising myself with graphic novels during the Summer. I will continue to read more as the year goes on, but here’s my thoughts on 4 more that I read!

Arthur and the Golden Rope – Joe Todd Stanton

“Imagine a vault so cavernous that it could contain all the world’s greatest treasures and relics, from mummified remains of ancient monarchs to glistening swords brandished by legendary warriors. Who could be in charge of such a vault and how did he come into possession of such a unique collection? Who is…Professor Brownstone?”

This is the first of a series of graphic novels by Joe Todd Stanton and one I’d seen around chatted about by teachers here, there and everywhere, so when I saw a copy going cheap online, I decided to get my hands on it… and I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT. This has so much that I love. It’s teaming with mythology and we all know that I love a bit of mythology! It was so brilliantly done with some gorgeous illustrations. I know I will be using some of these pictures to inspire writing in my classroom. This is one of those glorious “rooting for the underdog” kind of books and I’m here for it! I’m very excited to get to more books from this series! High hopes after the victory of this.

The City of Ember: the graphic novel – Dallas Middaugh (adapter), Jeanne Duprau, Niklas Asker (illustrator)

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked – but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all – the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness-But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

Now this, which I didn’t know at the time of reading, is a novel written years ago and might even be a film? But to me it was something I’d NEVER heard of and I hadn’t seen many people talking about. It was just something I took a risk on because it was a kids graphic novel. Despite knowing nothing about it and hearing very little about it, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! I thought it was great! A dystopian story of sorts: two children want more for themselves than their strange, dark city. Their curiosity and ingenuity help them find something interesting, and their bravery stands proud. Featuring a typically oppressive mayor, some shifty guards and a gorgeous lady who helps in a greatest time of need. There’s sadness, oppression, light and kindness in this and I really enjoyed it. Will be perfect in my classroom! I really hope there’s to be more from this because I’d love to know what happens next.

Hilda and the Troll – Luke Pearson

“Meet Hilda. She can never sit still for long without setting off on another adventure. Wandering sea spirits, lost giants and strange wooden men; Hilda’s outings never quite fall into the realm of the ordinary. When she stumbles upon a mysterious troll-shaped stone, however, things take a dramatic turn for the unexpected, even by her standards. But of course, as Hilda so adeptly points out: “Such is the life of an adventurer!”

This is another one that I’d seen EVERYWHERE. Teachers of twitter love this and rightfully so! I actually bought a copy when it first came out, but never got round to reading it and then I put it in the school library, so I didn’t actually own a copy. I picked it up cheap online and decided to give it a go and I’m so so glad. It’s a gorgeous story and Hilda is a brilliant main character. I bet there’s loads of kids who would LOVE to be friends with Hilda… and I certainly can’t wait to read more of her tales. This is full of warmth and joy. It made me chuckle a lot (which is always a winner!) and the illustrations are PROPER on point.

Ghosts – Raina Telgemeier

“Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.”

Like City of Ember, I’d not seen much about this, but I was very curious about it when I’d read the blurb, so I decided to give it a go! And my god am I glad I did! This is a lush story! Cat and her family move somewhere new to help her little sister’s health and when she gets there, all they talk about is ghosts. Cat hates being away from her friends and she’s not particularly keen on this new place they’re living. Add this to the fact that Cat is terrified of ghosts and her sister seems to be embracing them entirely, she’s NOT happy. However, with the help of the people around her she warms to the idea of ghosts and the celebration of life. I loved the colour and life in this (yes, despite the fact it’s about ghosts!). I really appreciated the conversations and representation of Maya’s illness in this too.

And that’s it for this today’s round up of graphic novels I’ve read recently. I’ve put a pause on buying some graphic novels at the minute – I’m curious to see how my children take to them!

Have you read any of these?
Have you got any recommendations for kids graphic novels?
Are you a graphic novel reader?

Talk to me in the comments! I’d love to talk about these books!

S x

One thought on “Graphic novels: the return of the mini reviews

  1. Shans_Shelves says:

    Great reviews! I loved Graphic Novels by favourites include Taproot by Keezy Young, Always Human by Ari Walkingnorth, and Heartstopper by Alice Oseman 🙂💕


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