The Eisner Award Nominees for 2019 have been announced. Here are the nominees for the categories that are specifically for children and teens. Explore many of the other categories for great picks for young readers who love comics!
BEST PUBLICATION FOR EARLY READERS (up to age 8)
Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer by James Kochalka
Petals by Gustavo Borges
Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable
This Is a Taco! by Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley
Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri
BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS (ages 9-12)
Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
Crush by Svetlana Chmakova
The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks (also nominated for Best Coloring)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR TEENS
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Gumballs by Erin Nations
Middlewest by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona
Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway by Cate Seaton and Kit Seaton
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (also nominated for Best Writer/Artist)
Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval (also nominated for Best Writer/Artist and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist for interior art)
Focused by Alyson Gerber (9781338185973)
Clea loves to play chess; it’s her favorite thing to do. She likes it a lot better than her classes at school where she struggles to pay attention and follow directions. She’s also having a lot of emotional outbursts now that she’s in middle school. Clea knows that it’s because she’s just stupid and that she doesn’t try hard enough. She thinks that no one around her wants to tell her the truth. Then Clea gets tested for ADHD, and she discovers the reason for her issues at school. Still, it isn’t as simple as just taking medication and having a written schedule. In fact, before she realizes it, Clea has managed to drive her best friend away with her behavior. Clea must start figuring out how to manage her ADHD, her personal life and keep her schoolwork in hand, all while trying to be chosen for chess tournaments on the weekends.
Gerber has once again created a female protagonist who struggles with something beyond their control. I deeply appreciated Gerber’s focus on Clea finding a voice to ask for what she needed and her ability to fall down and get back up again. The book also shows ADHD not as something to blame but as a true issue that a person must manage and deal with on a daily basis. Gerber writes with a sensitivity about ADHD that comes from experiencing the issues herself.
As with her first book, readers will discover a lot to relate to with Clea. Simply understanding invisible disabilities more clearly is helpful for all readers. Those who face similar challenges will find a main character worth cheering for on these pages. Clea works incredibly hard even when she fails, thinks of others often, is a great sister and friend, and still can’t fix this issue on her own. It’s a testament to the power of getting help on a variety of levels.
A personal look at ADHD, this novel is a compelling and thought-provoking read. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from ARC provided by Scholastic.