Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CLA Book Buzz 2014, First Second Part 1

This week I was very lucky to hear from a panel of publishers on their upcoming books. There were so many (!!!!) that I am going to have to break up reporting on these by publisher and then maybe even by their books.

I am going to start with First Second Book, who came and talked about many graphic novels--several appropriate for teens, and several I was really excited about.

The first book I want to talk about is Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke. I loved the illustrations. They were beautiful, detailed and full of fantasy. A dream come true for any girl or boy. I was trying to explain it to my mother and here is what I came up with:

Julia is sort of a new Pippi Longstocking. It is about making family from friends, taking responsibility. And I think maybe there might have been an allegory about stuffed animals in there somewhere. At least that is what I thought when Patched Up Kitty was introduced.

I give this 5 stars for illustration and 4 stars for writing/content--this could have had so much more and I still wouldn't have tired of the story! But, as I was forewarned, this is more of a graphic novel/picture book and meant for a much younger audience than me.

Here is some of what I want to know:

  • Did Julia's House come to the sea on the back of a turtle? It looks like it. Is Julia friend's with the turtle, does the house move often? 
  • What are some of the creatures that come to the house, I don't recognize all of them and I want to know more. 
  • And please, please tell me about the repairman! 

The next book I read was Andre the Giant by Box Brown. Andre was apparently a very famous wrestler. I assumed I was going to be reading the back story of the character he played in The Princess Bride. Completely my mistake, but if Goodreads can be trusted, I am not alone.

Carefully researched with a detailed bibliography, this is a well-executed graphic non-fiction work. I actually learned quite a bit about the sport and showmanship of wrestling. As it was non-fiction it was more fact based than character driven, and that would have involved me as a reader more--but then it would not be the resource that it is. I wish that the teens visiting my library had to do reports on biographies. I think this would be a great choice for reluctant readers.

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