The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis
In this steampunk retelling of the classic Italian story, Pinocchio, a wooden automaton is haphazardly delivered to the outlawed alchemist, Geppetto. But unlike most subservient automata, Pinocchio asks a lot of questions and thinks! Why is Pinocchio here? As Geppetto and Pinocchio ponder the question, they are swept up in the midst of a war zone between the magical kingdom of Abaton and the imperialistic Venitia. The pretentious cricket Maestro provides comic relief as Geppetto and Pinocchio identify their role in these perilous times. This interesting twisted fairy tale should suit fans of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Liesl Shurtliff’s Rump.
Compass South by Hope Larson
Charles Dickens meets Robert Louis Stevenson meets Doug Tennapel in this seafaring comic book about orphaned twins Alexander and Cleopatra learning to survive in 1860’s New York as young gang members. When a burglary goes sour, the twins exchange information with the police for a ticket to New Orleans to begin a con of their own devices. Just when they think they’ve landed their lottery ticket to a better life, they meet a set of twins with the same deceptive itinerary! Garnish that with a disgruntled gang member from the past, and you’re in for a rip-roaring tale that will keep you on your toes. Hope Larson is the Eisner award-winning author of the graphic novel: A Wrinkle in Time. Readers who enjoyed Craig Thompson’s Space Dumplins will satiate their appetite for fast paced adventures with her new graphic novel.
Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
Not only does Amber have a brutally long name: Amber Alexandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto, she is also half Italian and half Japanese, which makes things molto confusing. Amber is starting 6th grade, which isn’t a walk in the park when there’s a super scary bully in your talk therapy class, you lack a smart phone like everyone else, and you don’t have a….Dad. How is Amber going to survive these in between years and be a thoughtful big sister? Written with a similar spunk as Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, this accessible book tackles real problems while remaining hilariously sarcastic and poignant. It is refreshing to see a protagonist navigate her identity as a bi-cultural tween in contemporary American culture. Dream On Amber also addresses bullying, single parent household, and self esteem.
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
The present conquerors call the great city DanDao, but the dwellers in the outskirts know better. The city is nameless, because it is defeated every 30 years. The 30 years is upon DanDao as the rulers feverishly train the next generation of soldiers. Naïve and absentminded, Kaidu begrudgingly shoulders his new responsibility as a future Dao soldier. His pensiveness reroutes him to a feral and magnetic girl of the city streets, a skral girl named Rat, who opens his eyes to the reality of the tumultuous political landscape he inhabits. With a strong female character, action oriented plot, and vibrant art panels, The Nameless City is a quality graphic novel that should suit fans of Kibuishi’s Amulet series.