Mini reviews: A graphic novel round up!

Good morning everyone!

I am here with some more graphic novels that I’ve read recently. I find graphic novels a great thing to wrap up in mini reviews and they’re always super popular blog posts! This is part 4 (5?) of the ‘Steph reads loads of graphic novels’ blog series (if you want to see the other ones I read, you can check out my ‘2021 reads’ tab in the menu). Let’s get going!

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Amulet: The Stonekeepers Curse – Kazu Kibuishi

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Emily and her brother Navin head for Kanalis, a beautiful and mysterious city of waterfalls, where they hope to find the antidote for the poison that felled their mother. That cure lies in the eggs of a giant serpent atop Demon’s Head Mountain, but the kids’ archenemy, Trellis, is headed for the peak, too. A battle that will engulf all of Kanalis is looming. It’s up to Em to triumph over evil while controlling the amulet’s power . . . without losing herself!

Amulet is one of those graphic novels series that I see talked about everywhere and so far I’ve only managed to get my hands on the first two. I loved the first one, so was really excited to read the second one, and this was brilliant! Book 2 follows on just as book 1 ends. This story follows our characters on some pretty epic battles, their meetings with some strange characters, wisdom-filled trees, a fight to keep power from taking over and the power of working as a team. This is gorgeously illustrated! Really love Leon and I hope he sticks about! I need to get my hands on book 3 now! My kids keep pestering me about getting the next book… so I best track it down ha!

Newsprints – Ru Xu

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Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There’s a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle, the only paper in town that tells the truth. And what’s printed in the newspapers now matters more than ever. But Blue struggles with her secret, and worries that if her friends and adopted family at the Bugle find out that she’s a girl, she’ll lose everything and everyone she cares about. And when she meets and befriends Crow, a boy who is also not what he seems, together they seek the freedom to be their true selves… and to save each other.

Unlike Amulet, this wasn’t one I’d seen much about, but I found it on Abe Books (where I get all of my second hand graphic novels) and took a gamble… and I am so glad I did! This is great! Blue, who’s hiding who she really is, becomes an apprentice for Jack (who himself is hiding who he is). This was interesting, with a wartime twist, and had some great messages about stereotypes! A girl living as a boy because girls don’t do things like be newsboys! Loved the messages about standing up for yourself! I am most intrigued for part 2 (but boohoo I can’t find it at a kind of decent price right now)! Loved the artwork throughout too – graphic novels never stop astounding me!

No Country – Patrice Aggs

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A nation at war. Millions displaced. One family trying to survive… What would you do if your home wasn’t safe any more? Bea and her family are trying to live as if everything is normal. She and her sister Hannah look out for one another, at home and in school. But their country is starting to fall apart. A civil war is raging, and it’s getting closer. Bea is desperate not to leave home, but how long will it be before they have to run?

I love a graphic novel and wow, this is POWERFUL. The brilliant folks of David Fickling Books sent me this and I picked it up as soon as it arrived… and honestly, this blew me away. I eagerly await the second instalment because I need to know what happened! No Country follows the story of a family trying to live in a place divided. You see them go through some pretty tough, life-changing things and just watching it was heart-breaking. This deals with something incredibly real so brilliantly. I hope this family will be okay! I thought this was brilliant! This is a perfect book for Y5/6 to facilitate conversations around this topic.

Georgie and the Edge of the World – Robin Boyden

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Georgia has grown up loving stories of adventure – but she’s never allowed to have one of her own. Her adopted father won’t even let her leave the city of Angleston. So Georgia creates inventions with her donkey friend, Ponky, waiting for the day she’ll finally be able to see the world outside. But then everything changes. A strange bottle washes up on the shore of Angleston, promising an adventure that Georgia can’t resist. It will take her on a journey to the edge of the world…

This was another book from the incredible David Fickling Books; totally different to No Country, but just as great! This is a whole barrel of adventure! Georgia is desperate for adventure. She’s lived her life sheltered and looked after and she just wants to get out and experience the world. What happens when she manages to get herself freed and ends up journeying to some place to discover there’s more to her story than she knows?! I bloody loved Ponky; what a great sidekick he is! I look forward to the second one!

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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!

S x

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