Great graphic novels: some more mini reviews!

Good morning everyone!

I hope you’re well and keeping safe in this weird old world we are living in! (I feel I have been saying this for months and months… I hope I don’t have to keep saying it for months to come!)

I’m coming at you today with some more graphic novel mini reviews! My reading of graphic novels has slowed down of late (I think I sickened myself of them so I needed a bit of time off ha!), but don’t worry that doesn’t mean that I don’t still love them! My class are still absolutely devouring graphic novels and it’s wonderful to see!

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Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

“Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”

This is one that I had had my eye on for quite a while and I’d seen loads of people talking about it. When I initially bought it, I was unsure whether it would be appropriate for my classroom, but I think with some guidance and putting it in the right hands, I think it absolutely has place in my Year 6 classroom (but no younger in my opinion!). I really regretted waiting so long to read this because it is great! You’ve got a brilliant set of characters: an unwilling villain and a sidekick, who’s more villainous than all, come together to wreak havoc on the town(much to the villain’s despair). I loved Nimona despite all of the terrible things she does! There’s some brilliant humour in this too – some dark humour and some proper wit. There’s lovely friendship in this and the artwork is glorious! I’d read more from this bunch of characters in a heartbeat!

All’s Faire in Middle School – Victoria Jamieson

“Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.”

Now this is one that I bought purely based on the author’s name. We LOVE Victoria Jamieson in my classroom (Rollergirl is one of our most loved books this year) and when I saw this, I needed to get my hands on it. When I read it, I really enjoyed it! Part set on a Renaissance faire, part set in a middle school, you get Imogene’s life as she’s learning to navigate the world. What happens when you go to middle school for the first time and there’s more unwritten rules than you can cope with? Imogene has a lot to contend with here! I loved the messages about doing the right thing and the importance of kindness too! This is slowly going down really well in my classroom (although we have a LOT of questions about renaissance faires ha!)

Awkward – Svetlana Chmakova

“On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away! Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!”

I bought this on a whim as it was recommended in the ‘other people who read x liked this’ section of Abe Books (where I get all of my graphic novels second hand), so I knew nothing about it when it arrived! When I read it, I was delighted. This is a brilliant graphic novel about friendship and rivalry. When the art club and science club go head to head for a table at the school fair, who’s going to win? I really enjoyed the story and the characters in this! Loved Penelope as a character. I really liked the talk about being passionate about something and being good at two things that are so different. I hope there’s more in this series! This is another one that has gone down an absolute treat with the girls in my class especially… I need to try to get my hands on the rest of the books!

When Stars are Scattered – Victoria Jamieson

“Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn’t always easy. The hunger is constant… but there’s football to look forward to, and now there’s a chance Omar will get to go to school…”

This is Victoria Jamieson’s second appearance on this post and for very good reason indeed. This is one of those graphic novels that EVERYONE is talking about. There was SO MUCH CHATTER about this book that it was going to be foolish of me to not get my hands on it when I could. And let me tell you… it’s blooming magnificent. This absolutely blew me away. An incredible story of a young man, his amazing community and his strength. I don’t really have the words for how brilliant this is. It’s powerful and it’s important. I definitely cried a few times too. Just brilliant. Everyone needs to read this. Kids deserve to know these things and to hear these stories. It’s definitely one of those books that will be mulled over for years to come!

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And there we go! That’s this week’s installment of great graphic novels done!

Can you recommend me some graphic novels?
Do you read graphic novels?
Have you read any of these books?

I’d love to chat graphic novels! It’s something I’m still pretty new to, but something I think can revolutionise a child’s reading habits!

S x

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