The Latest In Progress
Nick Bertozzi takes the powerful story of Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914 and does a superb job of bringing it to life in this graphic novel. Using black & white drawing, Mr. Bertozzi skillfully weaves a story of facts about Shackleton’s past and his current expedition with the human face of Shackleton & crew and their struggle to survive. Needless to say some of the story is horrific and Mr. Bertozzi wisely throws in hints of humor to counteract the horror via penguins, the dogs, and potty humor. Shackleton’s story of perseverance is perfect for teens and tweens who love adventure stories. Ten to fourteen. Ruth Compton
During the night, four friends sneak into the forest hoping to catch a bird. Chris Haughton uses a bold blue palette for the forest and the friends which gives the reader a sense of sneaking up on the bird. Alternately, he uses a pink & purple palette for the animals which provides a striking contrast to the blues. Of course, what’s most striking is the failed attempts of the bigger kids versus the perfect attempt of the littlest kid to catch the bird. This is a beautiful & quirky book that kids and parents will love. Up to seven. Ruth Compton
After Tariq, a black teenage boy, is shot by a white man, a neighborhood struggles to figure out exactly what happened and why. This book shows how eyewitness accounts can conflict and a tragedy can mean something to people beyond those directly affected. Fourteen and up. Michelle Miller
With stark powerful pictures a tradition Inuit tale comes to life through the tale of the life of a young boy whose harsh treatment by his mother causes him to seek revenge. The ending is not sweet. Up to Seven.
Sara Farizan writes a powerful coming-of-age story where Leila doesn’t struggle with her own feelings towards girls so much as how her family, friends and fellow students will feel. Ms Farizan’s evocative prose pulls us into the high school milieu where the vagaries of students push and pull on Leila’s life, where means girls exist regardless of whether they kiss boys, girls or both, and where one finds true friends by being true to themselves. Luckily for us, Leila grows into her truth and stands up to the bully. It's an excellent read for any teen – gay or straight. Ruth Compton
The call went out in 1893 for a structure that would be built by Americans to outshine France's Eiffel Tower. The Chicago World's Fair was approaching and engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. had a winning idea. Lively, cartoon-like illustrations usher in the tale of a man who would not take no for an answer. Up to Seven. -Anne Womack