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Saleena 4/13/22

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  I decided to reread the entire series, and finally got to read v 4 (bought it for myself, and hope to have a copy for the library soon). I am looking forward to the Netflix series, but am always worried they will mess it up. So, Heartstopper is sweet and awesome....if you haven't read it, you should.  In v. 4 Oseman dives deeper into depression, eating disorders and family issues but the optimistic spirit and the love still shines through......sigh......so lovely.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay - Review by Jason!

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Hi All, I am back again with another graphic novel hit! I was assigned this book for Garden State Teen Book Awards (where librarians and library staff read books at vote to determine which ones make it to the official ballot for teens to vote). I enjoyed this book a lot, I was happy to be assigned it because I do not think I would've picked it up otherwise.  It is about a girl who struggles with her sexuality. It goes through multiple iterations of her thinking she is gay, brushing it off just for it to happen again. I think this is a common occurrence for those in the LGBTQ+ community, so this might provide some comfort/justification for someone struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.  It was a quick read, humorously written. I would recommend it to all of you to try it, and it is available at SBPL! Enjoy!

Jason's Last Read - It's Your Funeral by Emily Riesbeck

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It's Your Funeral is an excellent graphic novel by Emily Riesbeck. When a Marnie dies right before she changes her life around she gets stuck on Earth because she hasn't come to terms with her death. Therefore, she is assigned to an interdimensional case worker named Xel who will help her pass on to the afterlife. When that plan goes awry, she ends up interning for Xel's agency.  Overall, I thought this book was excellent. It was humorously written with many unique characters (I loved Carol). Amazing illustrations. Quick lighthearted read. I am hoping for a sequel! It is available to check out from other libraries (if you place it on hold, it will be shipped to South Brunswick!). Thanks for reading! Jason Information Assistant - Teen Services

New titles to consider

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 Forgot about this blog for a bit, so here we are sharing again This book is a smashup of art and poetry that totally intertwines the two into one amazing piece of art.  I was blown away when I read it, and have since been showing it to anyone who will stand still for 5 minutes....and I am buying myself a copy.  The poem and the art are all centered on the Covid Pandemic; the trapped "can't breathe" feeling of quarantine--the worry for family and for the world---all from the perspective of one African American boy.  You can tell this is a work of love from both contributors, Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin.  Stunning.  Go.  Read it.  Now. If you haven't checked out this horror series, you are missing out.  It is up to vol. 4, and I devoured book 3&4 recently.  This is a horror series, so it's violent (monsters killing children and all); but if you enjoy reading about monster hunters and secret societies, you will enjoy this.  Not for the faint of heart due to

Some heart-tugging books

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  Not Your Idol is not what I thought it would be.  Nina is a girl who chooses to dress in the "boys" uniform rather than the skirts the other girls wear, and is seen as "less than" by most of the school.  I thought, from the blurb on the back of the book that this would be a girl attempting to BE a boy novel, but it isn't.....Nina never denies that she is a girl, but has no desire to be seen as one, or at least not the traditional type.  The reasons for this are explored in this first book in the series, but even the back cover acknowledges that it is in response to an assault.  There is a lot of emotion in this book, and it explores the victim roles assigned to women, whether or not dress & attractiveness matter as regards an assault as well as what it means to be struggling with PTSD in the aftermath (although it is never actually said that way).  Some things are focused in a distinctly Japanese way (duh....manga from Japan); but some ideas are universal

A random list of comics & manga I've read this month, Saleena

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Found some really cool new comics while on Quarantine; you'll likely see/hear more on the library's manga/comics blog....(hint hint); but here are the ones with strong ladies to represent.  This series, Sleepless, is not only an original (and very cool) concept; but also has beautiful artwork AND features a lovely lady of color.  Lady Pyppenia "Poppy" is the daughter (illegitimate) of the King of Harbeny.  Her mother is a Queen (or lady of quality of some kind, I forget) of a province far away, where presumably most have varying shades of brown and black skin; whereas Harbeny seems to be mostly caucasian derivatives.  Skin color has nothing to do with the story (which is nice); however, I wanted to point this fact out because...well, you just don't see enough comics of the fantasy genres featuring people of color (sadly).   Anyway, Poppy is unable to (and really doesn't want to) inherit the throne given her lack of legitimacy; and thus is subject to the new ki

Expect the Unexpected: when graphic novelists defy stereotypes, Sarah

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On Two Graphic Novels from Our Library That Have Been Quarantined With me for Three Months... and Counting For the first time in my living memory (and I'm old, I was born last century, last millennium even!), books checked out as far back as February, are still not due back to the library. On the contrary, we are being implored NOT to return our library books, as book drops are only so big, while a pandemic, evidently,  is longer than a piece of string by anyone's guesstimate. So it is I find myself in the company of the same book covers every night as I stare from my bed before sleep, and so it is that the two comic books in my pile, with their dramatic illustrations, jump out at me night after night, at times haunting me, at others soothing. The very graphic nature of a graphic novel's jacket is both its magnificence as a representation of the book's inner artwork and an indication of the (often gory) story within. I lucked out; the two publications that stare back