Review: The Adventures of Superhero Girl

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Title: The Adventures of Superhero Girl
Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Source: Library
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores, and have a weakness for kittens, and a snarky comment from Skeptical Guy can ruin a whole afternoon? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings her skills in character design and sharp, charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, superhero battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world.

Review:

Superhero Girl is just an ordinary girl who works as a superhero. She has a brother with lots of superpowers, but she can only leap over tall buildings. She must keep her secret identity separate, but she forgets to take off her mask sometimes.

I loved how Superhero Girl is really just a regular person. She doesn’t have a tragic past, which caused her to become a superhero. She has to deal with ordinary life, but she also fights lots of ninjas.

I also loved the Canadian references. There were jokes about Tim Horton’s. She encounters a hilarious “League of Villainous Canadian Stereotypes.” It wasn’t a huge part of the story, but it was nice to see so much of Canada included in the story.

One thing I would have liked was for the comics to be separated into chapters. Some of the comics had scenes that continued for many pages, but some were just one page long. These comics were originally published online and they would have been separated then, so I wish they were also divided up in this book.

What to read next:

  • Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Faith Erin Hicks

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  • Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson

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Have you read The Adventures of Superhero Girl? What did you think of it?

Review: Archie’s Weird Mysteries

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Title: Archie’s Weird Mysteries
Author: Paul Castiglia, Fernando Ruiz
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone is used to hearing Archie tell wild stories and tall tales, especially in his “Weird Mysteries” newspaper column, but when vampires, werewolves, aliens and Bigfoot start popping up, it’s up to Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead to get to the bottom of it!

There’s always something strange going on in a little town called Riverdale… jump into the mystery!

Review:

When I was a kid, I loved watching the TV show Archie’s Weird Mysteries. In it, Archie and the gang came up against strange things in Riverdale, including werewolves and vampires.

I was surprised when I saw this graphic novel, because I hadn’t thought about the show in years and I had never seen a comic version of it before. It was actually a TV series before it was a comic book. Since the show was so popular, they decided to make comics based on the episodes.

The stories in this graphic novel were great. One of them was a crossover between Archie and Scooby-Doo, where Archie and his friends were dressed as Scooby and the gang and they drove the Mystery Machine. Another one was confusing because it literally summarized an episode, but then it started a new story.

This is a great graphic novel for Archie fans!

What to read next:

  • Jughead, Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson

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  • Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla

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Have you read Archie’s Weird Mysteries? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Pashmina

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Title: Pashmina
Author: Nidhi Chanani
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

Review:

Last year, I saw this book everywhere, so I was curious to read it myself. It was great!

I liked the way that Priyanka discovered her history throughout the book. She had a lot of questions about her life, including who her father was, but her mother didn’t give her any answers. She felt much more comfortable with herself and her relationship with her mother once she finally got all of her answers.

The pashmina was a magical item. It gave Pri a taste of what India would be like, which made her want to go there. However, the pashmina only shows one side of things. Not all of India looks the way it did in the fantasy. There is also a lot of poverty that Pri wasn’t expecting.

I really enjoyed this story. It showed how Pri learned to combine her two cultures, American and Indian.

What to read next:

  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

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  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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Have you read Pashmina? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 1

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Title: Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 1
Author: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio, Adurey Mok
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

READ THE LATEST, SUREFIRE TOP-OF-THE-CHARTS NEW RIVERDALE SERIES!
JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS VOL. 1 is the first collection of an all-new take onthe world’s biggest comic book band. Marguerite Bennett (DC Comics’ Bombshells, Marvel’s A-Force) and co-writer Cameron DeOrdio team with Audrey Mok (Heroine Chic) to retell the origin and story behind the music for Josie, Valerie, and Melody.
Friends, countrymen, lend me your long tails and ears for hats–the Pussycats are back! In this series kick-off, Josie’s getting the band together to help achieve her dreams of musical stardom. But for the group to last, it needs a strong foundation of friendship and trust. Can the girls get going, or will Alexandra Cabot’s plotting put a stop to the whole thing? Don’t miss comics’ supreme songstresses’ return to the limelight in this exciting first volume!

Review:

I loved the Josie and the Pussycats movie when I was a kid, but I think this is the first Josie and the Pussycats comic that I’ve read!

This story tells the origin of the group. Josie McCoy is a twenty-four year old girl who lives in Riverdale. Her love of animals leads her to a charity concert, where she forms a band with her roommate Melody and their new friend Valerie. Though these characters come from Riverdale, like Archie and the gang, these girls are adults so it isn’t the same scenario as the kids at Riverdale high.

I really enjoyed this book. There was good tension between Josie and her former friend and arch nemesis Alexandra. There were loads of puns and references. At first they were funny, but then there ended up being at least two puns or references to pop culture on every page. It got a little annoying by the end. I think there should have been less puns and more conflict.

Overall, this was a great book. I can’t wait to read the next volume.

What to read next:

  • Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 2

  • The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats

Have you read Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)

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Title: Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)
Author: Mike Maihack
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Library
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A funny, action-packed graphic novel featuring a young Cleopatra — yes, THAT Cleopatra — who’s transported to the future and learns it’s up to her to save the galaxy!

When a young Cleopatra (yes, THAT Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, REALLY far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian. She enrolls in Yasiro Academy, a high-tech school with classes like algebra, biology, and alien languages (which Cleo could do without), and combat training (which is more Cleo’s style). With help from her teacher Khensu, Cleo learns what it takes to be a great leader, all while trying to figure out how she’s going to get her homework done, make friends, and avoid detention!

Review:

This book is a really cool combination of ancient Egypt and science fiction.

Cleopatra travels in time from ancient Egypt into the future. She is a teenager, and struggles with her studies and the fact that she will become queen, and she is shocked when she lands thousands of years in the future. Her surprise at time travel wasn’t too dramatic but I think if it really happened to her, she would have been freaking out rather than adjusting to her new life just fine.

I flew through this book. It was really funny at times. There were lots of talking cats in charge of the school! Cleopatra was quite the fighter, which made for some exciting scenes. I also never imagined that space in the future would look so similar to ancient Egypt.

This story was very fast paced, with lots of stuff packed in! I’ll definitely be continuing this series!

What to read next:

  • The Thief and the Sword (Cleopatra in Space #2)
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  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
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Have you read Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)? What did you think of it?

Review: Positively Izzy

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Title: Positively Izzy
Author: Terri Libenson
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Award-winning comics creator and author of the bestselling Invisible Emmie Terri Libenson returns with a companion graphic novel that captures the drama, angst, and humor of middle-school life. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer Holm, and Victoria Jamieson.

Middle school is all about labels.

Izzy is the dreamer. There’s nothing Izzy loves more than acting in skits and making up funny stories. The downside? She can never quite focus enough to get her schoolwork done.

Bri is the brain. But she wants people to see there’s more to her than just a report card full of As. At the same time, she wishes her mom would accept her the way she is and stop bugging her to “break out of her shell” and join drama club.

The girls’ lives converge in unexpected ways on the day of a school talent show, which turns out to be even more dramatic than either Bri or Izzy could have imagined.

Review:

This is a good book about middle school.

I liked that these girls had to deal with conflicts like getting poor grades and being grounded. These are real things, which could mean that you miss out on school events.

Brianna’s mom works at her school, which I think was kind of obvious from the way she acted at the beginning. But we had to wait a while for the big reveal that her mom is a teacher. I think she was overreacting to that. My mom worked in my school office for many of my elementary school years, and it was so handy to have my mom there! I loved it. If I felt sick or needed anything, I could always go downstairs and see her.

I liked the big reveal at the end of this book. I was wondering through the whole book what the connection between the two stories was, and I liked the ending. However, I wish we didn’t have to wait until the very last page to figure it out.

What to read next:

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier

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  • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

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Have you read Positively Izzy? What did you think of it?

Review: Secret Coders (Secret Coders #1)

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Title: Secret Coders (Secret Coders #1)
Author: Gene Luen Yang, Mike Holmes
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Welcome to Stately Academy, a school which is just crawling with mysteries to be solved! The founder of the school left many clues and puzzles to challenge his enterprising students. Using their wits and their growing prowess with coding, Hopper and her friend Eni are going to solve the mystery of Stately Academy no matter what it takes!

From graphic novel superstar (and high school computer programming teacher) Gene Luen Yang comes a wildly entertaining new series that combines logic puzzles and basic programming instruction with a page-turning mystery plot!

Review:

I really enjoyed this book!

It shows kids how to use coding in the real world, not just on a computer. Actually, there weren’t any traditional computers in this book. The kids found a robot, which would respond to commands that were programmed into it. The janitor used the robot for practical reasons, like cleaning the yard, but also for secret reasons too.

There was a twist involving a teacher that I didn’t see coming. There is also a mystery that involves Hopper’s father. I have no idea where that storyline is going to go, so I really want to continue the series.

The story ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m going to have to read the next one soon for find out what happens!

What to read next:

  • Paths & Portals (Secret Coders #2) by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
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  • The Friendship Code (Girls Who Code #1) by Stacia Deutsch, Reshma Saujani, and Sisi A. Johnson
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Have you read Secret Coders? What did you think of it?