Review: Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab

Title: Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab
Author: Huda Fahmy
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Adams Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Popular Instagram cartoonist and Muslim-American Huda Fahmy presents a hilarious, relatable, and painfully honest new collection of comics that break down barriers and show how universal our everyday problems, worries, and joys actually are. 

At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt a little out of place. Huda Fahmy has found it’s a little more difficult to fade into the crowd when wearing a hijab.

In Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda navigates the sometimes-rocky waters of life from the unique perspective of a Muslim-American woman, breaking down misconceptions of her culture one comic at a time. From recounting the many questions she gets about her hijab every day (yes, she does have hair) and explaining how she runs in an abaya (just fine, thank you) to dealing with misconceptions about Muslims, Yes, I’m Hot in This tackles universal feelings from an point of view we don’t hear from nearly enough.

Every one of us have experienced love, misunderstanding, anger, and a deep desire for pizza. In Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda’s clever comics demonstrate humor’s ability to bring us together, no matter how different we may appear on the surface.

Review:

This is a hilarious comic collection! It is both entertaining and informative.

Huda shows many of the misconceptions that people have about Muslims in this story. People constantly as her if she’s hot in her hijab (Spoiler: She is hot). They also think she’s wearing it against her will, but she chooses to wear it.

There was also a lot of humour in the story. Huda shows how different movies could be with her in them. She places herself in movies such as Harry Potter (where Umbridge sends her for a secondary inspection), Scarface (which she renames Scarfieface), and American Horror Story (renamed to Hijabi Horror Story). These movies show how little Muslims are represented in pop culture.

I grew up in an area of Toronto with many Muslims. I could relate to many of the things she said of this book because many of my friends were Muslim while I was growing up. It’s amazing how people can ask so many ignorant questions, just because of something she wears on her head. I hope this book can change the way people see Muslims.

What to read next:

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

Have you read Yes, I’m Hot in This? What did you think of it?

Review: Super Mario Adventures

Title: Super Mario Adventures
Author: Kentaro Takekuma, Charlie Nozawa
Genre: Graphic Novel, Children’s
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 11, 2016 (first published in 1993)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Super Mario Adventures, inspired by the bestselling Super Mario video game franchise, is a collection of comics that originally ran in Nintendo Power magazine in 1992-93. 

The peril-plagued Princess Toadstool is kidnapped by the diabolical deadbeat Bowser but super plumbers Mario and Luigi hatch a plan with their new friend Yoshi to rescue her. Are the Super Mario Bros’ plans a pipe dream? Can they stop the Koopa King before he forces the Princess to be his bride?! 

Long out of print, this stunning, full-color graphic novel is now available once again!

Review:

I’ve always loved playing Super Mario video games! I was so excited to find this graphic novel. It tells stories in the Mario world.

These stories were interesting because they tell some origin stories for the characters. For example, Princess Peach was originally called Princess Toadstool because she was from the Mushroom kingdom. The Toads lived in the castle with her. I loved reading these stories and seeing where the characters come from.

I would love to see more Super Mario graphic novels or books. I would definitely read them, and the games are still so popular with kids today. For now, this is a great story!

What to read next:

Sonic the Hedgehog Archives: Volume 1 by Michael Gallagher, Dave Manak, Patrick Spaziante

Have you read Super Mario Adventures? What did you think of it?

Review: The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #4)

Title: The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #4)
Author: Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Papercutz
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 1, 2006
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy gets a call for help late one night from a girl she befriended over the phone when getting technical support to help fix her computer. When the line goes dead, Nancy is determined to get to the bottom of things. Soon, Nancy, her Dad, and friends George and Bess are on their way to India to find Kalpana, the girl who wasn’t there! It’s only a matter of time before Nancy is captured by Sahadev the crime lord and is being sacrificed to Kali! Ages 8 to 12.

Review:

This graphic novel had a silly premise. Nancy became friends with a telemarketer in India. When the girl, Kalpana, called Nancy, she discovered that she was a fan of Nancy Drew, so they kept chatting. However, one day Kalpana went missing. Coincidentally, Nancy’s father was going on a business trip to India. Nancy and her friends tagged along to search for her friend.

It was a little strange that Nancy would drop everything to go find a girl who she had only spoken with on the phone. She didn’t know the girl well, but she was willing to travel across the world to find her. It may make Nancy seem like a great friend, but it was also foolish because she had no idea who this girl could be.

Though I had problems with the plot, the graphics in the book were great. I love how there was a depth of field because certain parts of the images were in focus while others were blurry or out of focus. It made the images look real. There was also movement in the pictures by making them look blurry on the edges to show people or things moving.

Despite the silly premise, I think Nancy Drew fans would like this graphic novel.

What to read next:

The Fake Heir (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #5) by Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase

The Ocean Osyria (The Hardy Boys Graphic Novel #1) by Scott Lobdell, Lea Hernandez Seidman

Have you read The Girl Who Wasn’t There? What did you think of it?

Review: The Witch Boy (The Witch Boy #1)

Title: The Witch Boy (The Witch Boy #1)
Author: Molly Ostertag
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

Review:

This story looks at gender norms within a magical setting.

In this society, all of the girls are witches and all of the boys are shapeshifters. There are no exceptions. Aster wants to be a witch so he spies on the girls’ training. He gets caught many times but he persists. He hasn’t found the animal he will have to shape shift into yet, and he wants to learn magic. However, things take a dark turn when the boys start to go missing while searching for their shapeshifting animal.

I liked the way that this story explored gender norms. Just because the girls were supposed to be witches, doesn’t mean that Aster can’t join them. He shouldn’t be penalized for being a boy. This is true in real life where things are divided by gender, starting with baby clothes and toys. Dolls are for girls and trucks are for boys. However, these stereotypes are wrong and limiting to children.

The ending of this book was great and surprising. I loved this story!

What to read next:

The Hidden Witch (The Witch Boy #2) by Molly Ostertag

The Nameless City (The Nameless City #1) by Faith Erin Hicks

Have you read The Witch Boy? What did you think of it?

Review: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel

Title: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the movie. Now submerge yourself in the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel. 
Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. 
Series creator Rick Riordan joins forces with some of the biggest names in the comic book industry to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Review:

This is a great graphic novel adaptation of The Lightning Thief. I read the first two books in the Percy Jackson series a couple of years ago, so I wanted to read the graphic novels to refresh myself before I continue with the rest of the series.

This graphic novel is a great way for kids to read the stories. I studied Greek mythology in university, so I was already familiar with the characters before I read The Lightning Thief. It could be confusing for kids who are just being introduced to these characters, because they have detailed histories that were created thousands of years ago. Being able to see the story take place in the images could make the story easier for reluctant readers to understand.

Some of the smaller battles were cut out of the book, which made it a pretty short graphic novel. This was great for me, since I just wanted to read through it to remind myself of the stories. However, this adaptation doesn’t replace the novel because some parts were summarized or left out for the graphic novel.

What to read next:

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti

Have you read The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel? What did you think of it?

Review: Sincerely, Harriet

Title: Sincerely, Harriet
Author: Sarah W. Searle
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Harriet Flores struggles with boredom and an unrequited crush while learning to manage her chronic illness through a long, hot, 1990s summer in Chicago. She uses her imagination to cope, which sometimes gets her into trouble, as she makes up fantastical fibs and wonders if there are ghosts upstairs. One neighbor, Pearl, encourages Harriet to read and write, leading Harriet to have a breakthrough and discover the power of storytelling.

Review:

This story was really emotional. Nothing too dramatic happened, but some of the things that happened were really heartbreaking.

Harriet has Multiple Sclerosis. It isn’t revealed until close to the end of the book, but she has symptoms throughout the story. She drops things and stumbles sometimes, so I knew something was happening with her. She becomes close friends with a neighbour whose son had polio when he was a kid. They bond over this shared history with chronic illness.

One of the saddest parts of the story was when Harriet would send her friends postcards, pretending to do things in the city. She mostly stayed home, but she made it seem like she was doing lots of activities. The girls didn’t return her feelings, and told her to stop sending letters. It was so sad to see her be rejected like that.

This is an important story because it has a main character with a chronic illness, which isn’t common, especially in children’s books.

What to read next:

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk

Have you read Sincerely, Harriet? What did you think of it?

Review: All’s Faire in Middle School

Title: All’s Faire in Middle School
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dial Books
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The author of Roller Girl is back with a graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the Renaissance Faire.

Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all. 

Review:

This is a great story about fitting in.

It can be difficult to find your place in middle school, but it’s even harder when you’ve been homeschooled all of your life. Imogene grew up at the renaissance fair where her family works, but she decides she wants go to public school for middle school. She faces problems that she has never encountered before.

Imogene wants to fit in with the other kids in her class, but she has a very different family life from theirs. The popular girls won’t let her associate with the one other student who goes to the renaissance fair. Imogene has to deal with all of the typical problems of peer pressure and pressure to get good grades, while hiding the truth about her family’s background.

The renaissance fair looks like so much fun! This is a great story with a medieval twist.

What to read next:

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Have you read All’s Faire in Middle School? What did you think of it?