Monday, September 21, 2015

New Titles from Children's Fiction Series

Fall is in the air and the children are back to school. Every parent is familiar with the homework reading time by now.  Often, when a child reads a good book, they would like the story to continue.  Series books are a great way to keep the child interested in reading.  Here are some fun new elementary level books from series to help transform required reading into “can’t stop” reading time.
Fans of Disney’s made-for-TV movie, The Descendants, will devour The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De la Cruz.  This novel is book 1 of the Descendants series.  Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Disney's most evil villains, such as Maleficent, search for a dragon's eye--the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape.
Introduce your young reader the Anna, Banana books by Anica Mrose Rissi.  This illustrated chapter book series covers the joys and challenges of elementary school relationships.  The latest book is Anna, Banana and the Big-Mouth Bet.  After telling her dog Banana about her loose tooth and discovering that some of her friends do not believe in the Tooth Fairy, Anna makes an impulsive bet with a pesky boy who also has a loose tooth.  This book is the third book of the Anna, Banana series. 
Younger children most likely know Fancy Nancy from her fabulous picture books. When young readers are ready to move on, check out the Fancy Nancy illustrated chapter book series, where this most-glamorous girl continues her often over-embellished adventures.  The latest book in the Fancy Nancy chapter book series is Soccer Mania by Jane O’Connor.  As her third-grade class makes its selections for the "Graveyard of Boring Words" and learns about "superb synonyms," slow-footed Nancy enthusiastically plays on the soccer team, with the goal of just being mediocre, or maybe even a little better than average.
Is your child already in the Halloween spirit?  If so, check out Guys Read: Terrifying Tales, Jon Scieszka, Editor.  This is Book #6 of the Guys Read Library of Great Reading.  Eleven masters of suspense including Michael Buckley, Adam Gidwitz, Claire Legrand, Nikki Loftin, Dav Pilkey, and R. L. Stine have come together provide a bone-chilling collection of original ghost stories, perfect for reading under the covers with a flashlight on a school night and then scaring your friends' socks off at the next sleepover!
Big Nate is a much-loved graphic novel/comic book series of our middle grade patrons.  Aspiring cartoonist Nate Wright is eleven years old, four-and-a-half feet tall, and the all-time record holder for detentions in school history. He's a self-described genius and sixth-grade Renaissance Man who lives with his dad and older sister and enjoys pestering his family and teachers with his sarcasm.  Big Nate: Welcome to My World by Lincoln Peirce hits PWPL shelves this month.
Do you have an elementary-aged child? Does the child have a pulse?  If so, they know about Minecraft and probably enjoy it. Tear them away from watching Minecraft Youtubers and set this Minecraft novel in front of them to join Gameknight999's world instead.  In Saving Crafter: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure by Mark Cheverton, a book of the Gameknight999 series, Gameknight999's best friend in Minecraft is dying, and only the User-that-is-not-a-user can save him!  An artificially- intelligent virus as captured after an epic showdown on the shores of Minecraft. Gameknight999, having trapped the virus in an unlikely prison, saved the lives of his friends in the game and was finally able to return to the physical world. Everyone thought the Last Battle was over and Minecraft was safe, but they were wrong. Don’t understand any of this? Don’t worry; your child will get it.
--Heather Steltenpohl, Development Director

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Graphic Novels

Little Nemo: Return in Slumberland
Written by: Eric Shanower
Illustrated by: Gabriel Rodriguez
Call Number: JGN SHA
Fans of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo are sure to appreciate Eric Shanower’s additions to this classic tale. King Morpheus is on the hunt for a new playmate for his daughter, the princess of Slumberland. Traveling into the world of the living, they find a new Nemo, though he’s not very happy about being transported night after night to a crazy, colorful dream land. Shanower, known for adapting the Wizard of Oz series and the Trojan War into comics, is an expert writer, adding to the already established world of Little Nemo, making him feel like a contemporary child. Artist Gabriel Rodriguez, whose work includes Locke & Key and adaptations of Clive Baker’s novels, has a very unique style. The saturated colors, intricate scenery, and thoughtful character design truly transports the reader to a dream world. For more imaginative dreams and a sense of nostalgia, Little Nemo is an excellent read.

Written by: Paul Tobin
Illustrated by: Coleen Coover
Originally published as a digital comic book, Bandette follows the thieving career of an acrobatic burglar known as Bandette! Described as a cross between The Adventures of Tintin and Nancy Drew, Bandette is a Euro-style comic featuring more narrative stories and fluid art than standard American comics. Set in picturesque Paris, Bandette relies on her Urchins and ally police inspector Belgique as she faces other thieves and villains like the Monsieur, Absinthe, Matadori and Il Tredici. While Bandette would never hurt anyone nor steal anything unjustly, from time to time, she does keep a token for herself. Paul Tobin’s writing is sharp and on point, exploring the whimsy of our teenaged protagonist while also creating complex stories. Art by Coleen Coover transports the reader to Paris; you can smell the p√Ętisseries and boulangeries, see the acrobatic skill of Bandette as she jumps from rooftop to rooftop, and feel the breeze off the Seine River. Bandette’s exciting capers are sure to be enjoyed by young and old alike.

Silver Surfer
Written by: Dan Slott
Illustrated by: Michael and Laura Allred
If you’re a fan of the television show Doctor Who, Dan Slott and Michael and Laura Allred’s run on Silver Surfer is the right comic for you. In the Silver Surfer’s latest adventure, Norrin Rad, former herald of Galactus, eater of worlds, discovers an Earthling has been taken to a distant planet and held hostage. After Silver Surfer defeats the planet’s ultimate foe and rescues Dawn Greenwood, they travel across the spaceways before returning to Earth. Much like the Doctor and his companion, the Silver Surfer and Dawn create a unique bond as they face cosmic challenges like the Never Queen and Galactus himself. Dan Slott is an expert of subtle comedy, and each issue of the Silver Surfer and Dawn Greenwood’s adventure teaches you about the worlds they both come from and how they reconcile their differences. Married art team Michael and Laura Allred transports the Silver Surfer to a galaxy filled with psychedelic colors, playful character designs and immersive planetary experiences.

Girl in Dior
Written and Illustrated by: Annie Goetzinger
French author/artist Annie Goetzinger’s latest graphic novel tells of the rise of famed fashion designer Christian Dior. A docudrama, Girl in Doir follows the life of Clara, a fictional fashion reporter, as she attends Dior’s debut fashion show. Her life is turned upside down as Dior takes her on as a model, and she learns the true value of fashion. There is no doubt that Dior forever changed the way women dressed. His revolutionary, progressive designs were inspired by World War II military designs and the floral fields of rural France. Another example of Euro-style comics, Girl in Dior creates sweeping illustrations with water color strokes and is rarely hindered by the 3 x 3 grid traditional to comic books. One of the added values of this book is the back matter; Goetzinger includes a timeline of Dior’s life, the name and duties of each of his over 1,000 workers, explanations of the fabrics he used, and the names of all his collections. 

Written and Illustrated by: Noelle Stevenson
Nimona is a wonderful coming of age story set in a futuristic fantasy world. Arriving at Lord Ballister Blackheart’s secret lair, Nimona is seeking a villain in need of an apprentice. A shape shifter, Nimona is eager to take vengeance to the next level against all the people who’ve tormented her for the sake of science. However, while she looks for the quick solution (death), Lord Blackheart teaches her the value of patience and the fine finesse of destruction. From author/illustrator Noelle Stevenson, author of the critically acclaimed series The Lumberjanes, Nimona explores taking responsibility for your actions within this fantasy world. The subtle mix of fanciful elements, like dragons, shape shifters and witches, along with technologies like video conferencing, refrigerators, and interdimensional orbs, makes this an engaging read. ‘Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!’ is the motto of this book, and it lives up to that motto.

--Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian