Beastly Puzzles by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler
Fun and frustrating at the same time, much to everyone’s delight.
Chapter Two Is Missing by Josh Lieb, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Funny and fast, this chapter book is a silly mess that really works.
Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates
A lovely look at immigration through the eyes of a child.
Harold & Hog Pretend for Real by Dan Santat
Smart, funny and just what Mo would want.
Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina
Medina focuses on hope and love throughout the book, never allowing it to bog down and keeping the pace brisk.
Mister Shivers Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories by Ma Brallier, illustrated by Letizia Rubegni
This easy reader is a wonderful choice for older children who need a simpler text. The book is full of shivers and delights for those who love a good creepy story.
This Is MY Fort! by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
What Is Inside THIS Box? by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
A wild and interesting new easy reader series.
Cub by Cynthia Copeland (9781616208486)
This graphic novel looks at life in middle school during the 1970’s, a time filled with bullies, bell bottoms, and possibilities. Cindy is in seventh grade and dealing with being one of the prey in a school with plenty of predators, particularly mean girls. Cindy plays dead and doesn’t react to the comments of people like Evie Exley, so they leave her alone. Cindy loves reading and creating art, so when her favorite English teacher suggests that she become a writer, Cindy jumps at the chance. Soon she is working as a cub reporter for the local paper, accompanying a real reporter to meetings and events around the community. She starts taking photographs and learns to edit her writing to be appropriate for a newspaper. She also finds her voice and a group of friends who are just as unique as she is.
Middle school can be painful but this graphic novel is a breath of fresh air. While it does address the larger issues of middle school bullying, it is truly about simply being yourself in the midst of it all and finding other kids who are doing the same thing. There is a touch of romance here, but only a touch that is just right for the seventh grade setting. The focus on self-esteem and following your dreams is a call for all young girls to find their own paths and then work hard to reach their goals. Cindy is an example of someone who makes mistakes, learns from them, improves and reaches goals that she may not have realized she even had in the beginning.
The art in this graphic novel is immensely approachable, embracing the seventies setting with fashion, hair styles, and the cars being driven. The time period is a large part of the story as Watergate is breaking just as Cindy starts being a cub reporter. Journalism is an inspiring profession both in the seventies and today, something that is worth commenting on in today’s world.
A graphic novel with a strong female protagonist who follows her own dreams. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from ARC provided by Algonquin Young Readers.