As long-standing fans of this blog will know, I discovered a love of graphic novels this year, and well… I am STILL reviewing the many many I read this year (and I still have many to READ!). Today I’m reviewing 5 graphic novels for you all!
Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds
“After Will’s brother is shot in a gang crime, he knows the next steps. Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with Shawn’s gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, Buck walks in, Will’s friend who died years ago. And Dani, who was shot years before that. As more people from his past arrive, Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he’s doing.“
Now before you rush to buy this for your primary school kids… I’d personally say it’s more KS3 appropriate, but as ever, that’s my opinion, so you may just want to read it before you chuck it into your KS2 classrooms!
I am a big big fan of Jason Reynolds (having read everything he’s written that I can get my hands on) and when the people of Faber asked me if I wanted a copy of Long Way Down (the graphic novel version), I jumped at the chance! I read it in one go… and my gosh, it is a total and utter rollercoaster. Rules, rules, rules. What happens when your brother dies and it’s your job to right a wrong? When you’re met by people who you thought you’d lost? Confusion, anger, but no tears. Rule number 1. This is incredible. Jason Reynolds has done it again. And the illustrations, the way this is laid out, is just exceptional. You go through the ringer in this. This blew my mind in more ways than I could even begin to talk about. Hard-hitting, meaningful and just brilliant.
Glitch by Sarah Graley
“Izzy has an incredible secret — she can enter the world of her new video game! She meets Rae, a robot who says Izzy is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss. How is this possible?! And how can she fight for this virtual world when she’s got a whole real life to keep up with: her family (though she could do without her mom’s annoying cat), and her best friend, Eric. Things get even weirder when Izzy loses a life while inside the game, and she starts to worry about what might happen if she gets a Game Over for good. Meanwhile, Eric has been super upset with Izzy since she’s been keeping secrets and bailing on their plans. Can Izzy survive Dungeon City and save their friendship?”
This was one I read and then immediately took into my classroom… and I think this is one of the ones that has been read the most out of all of the graphic novels in my class library. The kids are just adoring it, and I don’t blame them! This is great. It’s charming, funny and brilliantly done. All gamer’s favourite things… getting a new game early! But what happens when you get sucked into the game and it’s your job to save the world? Or is that a lie? I really enjoyed this! The illustrations are properly brilliant too.
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
“Zita’s exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she’s about to find out that fame doesn’t come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you’ve got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc… while wearing your face?“
This, like Glitch, has gone down an absolute storm in my class library and my kids are constantly asking me if there’s more of these! I enjoyed this! There’s a great bit of girl power and space battling going on. Pair all of that with a story with mistaken identity, fighting robots and some unlikely allies, and you’ve got something that’s a winner with a big group of kids! This has some great humour, great messages and gorgeous illustrations. I shall be hunting down the next one next time I’m purchasing graphic novels that’s for sure!
Mr Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club – Aron Nels Steinke
Mr. Wolf’s students are settling into their new classroom, and Randy, Aziza, and Margot realize they have some questions: 1. What happened to Aziza’s favorite Frisbee? 2. Is the girls’ bathroom really haunted? 3. Where is Mr. Greens, the teacher who disappeared? To answer these questions, the three friends start a mystery club! What could be more fun? Meanwhile, Abdi is wondering what happens to the balls that are accidentally kicked over the fence during recess, and thinks he’ll be a hero if he can find his best friend’s football.
One of my class’ favourite things to come out of my graphic novel buying is DEFINITELY Mr Wolf’s Class. I would say almost all of my 30 kids have read and loved the 2 I have in the library (with many many requests for me to try and get my hands on more!!). And I’m not surprised: I loved the first book in this series, and this one is just as fun! With mysteries to solve and birthdays to celebrate, what’s not to love? Poor Mr Wolf… he’s constantly covered in something with a mischievous bunch of kids to keep him on his toes. They are great kids though!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you have any recommendations for graphic novels for me to buy that would work for my Y6s, I’d love to hear them! Even better if you can tell me how to get them cheap second hand, ha!