I hope you are all well! I am back today with some more mini reviews. I’m not yet caught up on all of the books I’ve read recently, and I’m really quite enjoying writing mini reviews! I’d love to know your thoughts on my mini reviews – are you a fan? Do you prefer my longer reviews? Do you really now care? (ha!)
Making Friends – Kristen Gudsnuk
“Sixth grade was SO much easier for Danielle. All her friends were in the same room and she knew what to expect from her life. But now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes, and she is completely lost. When she inherits a magical sketchbook , she draws Madison, an ideal best friend that springs to life right off the page! But it’s not easy navigating the ups and downs of relationships! To make matters worse, Danielle has drawn the head of her favorite cartoon villain, Prince Neptune. He’s also come to life and is giving her terrible advice. When she rejects him, he goes on a rampage and Danielle and Madison have to set aside their differences to stop him!“
I really enjoyed this! The perils of not having any friends is a real thing that lots of young people go through! But what happens when you add in a magical sketchbook that can bring anything you want to life? Well you get Making Friends: a brilliant story about the importance of making friends, being honest and listening to good advice! I loved the messages about choosing to be friends, and how to make friends in this! You can’t beat a good bit of evil in your ear from the hunk from TV. The girls in my class are really enjoying this and I’m desperate to get my hands on more!
Smile – Raina Telgemeier
“Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.“
If you’ve seen any of my posts about graphic novels, you’ll know that I’ve read A LOT of Raina Telgemeier books! I bought them in dribs and drabs (thanks to buying second hand and losing track of what I’d bought ha!) and this is one of the last ones I’d read from Raina! I do need to go out and see if there are more. I thought this was great. As a braces wearer myself (I had 4 teeth taken out!) I totally could sympathise with Raina! A great story about getting braces, friendship, growing up and going to high school. This (and Raina’s other books) has gone down really well with my class (boys and girls alike!).
Act – Kayla Miller
“Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city with her best buds! But when Olive finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. She’s prepared to do whatever it takes to be heard—even if it means running against Trent and Sawyer, two of her closest friends, in the student council election! With intense campaign competition and emotions running high, can Olive make a big change and keep her friends?“
In true ‘Steph buys graphic novels’ style, this is the third book in a series and I’ve not read the others… however it did NOT stop me from absolutely adoring this! I read it in one go because I thought the story and the characters were brilliant. Olive is a wonderful main character – when she sees an injustice at school, she decides to use the opportunity to run for class representative to do something about it. This is gorgeously political without being too much. There’s brilliant messages about friendship, injustices and empathy. This could be a brilliant opener to having some conversations about injustice and unfairness in classrooms!
Drama – Raina Telgemeier
“Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!“
Callie is a massive lover of theatre and she’s going through a lot – boys, friends, ambition. This is a book that teenager me would have absolutely adored – there’s so much in this that I can really appreciate. There’s a lovely coming out scene with one of the characters. I enjoyed this! If you’re looking for a graphic novel author to start off with, you can not go wrong with Raina Telgemeier in my opinion! After reading this, I think it’s more well suited to KS3 than KS2, so I’ve offered it to one of my secondary teacher friends (but as ever, you know your children/classes so I’d just say give it a read before you just blindly put it in your classroom!)
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! However, if you have ANY recommendations, please chuck them at me!
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 and other graphic novels!
One thought on “Graphic novels: the mini reviews strike again!”
Raina Telgemeier is an auto-buy author in our house. My 11yo ADORES her books. We’ll be checking out Act and Making Friends. Thanks for highlighting them here!