Posts Tagged ‘Graphic Novels’

Mock Newbery Nominee: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

by Morgan Reeves on January 3rd, 2018
Mock Newbery Nominee: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham Cover Image

The new year is here as is week six of our Mock Newbery summaries and reviews. Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham is the next nominee for you to consider. If you haven’t picked this graphic memoir up yet, you are missing out on a relatable story about friendship and the struggle to fit in.

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ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2017: Best of the Best

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2017

It’s here: the Iowa City Public Library’s Top Picks for 2017!

Staff members nominated nearly 100 books released in 2017 as their favorite reads of the year. Those that made this list were nominated by more than one person, which truly makes them the Best of the Best.

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
  • Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (published in Britain in 2016; released in the U.S. in May of 2017)
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  • Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
  • Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre
  • Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Glass Houses by Louise Penny
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman
  • Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  • My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Volume 1 by Emil Ferris
  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Our Best Book Overall for 2017 is The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

This debut novel was nominated by more staff members than any other book this year, which makes sense given all the other Best of 2017 lists it has appeared on this month. If you haven’t read it, be sire to check out a copy before the movie is released!

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2017: Graphic Novels

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2017


When you think of graphic novels, the mind often pictures superheroes. While individuals with extraordinary powers certainly are a familiar feature in these colorful tomes, graphic novels introduce us to real life heroes. They are inspirational, yet have the power to challenge how we think. The graphic novels released this year include bigger-than-life stories and illustrated versions of ordinary happenings that speak to everyone.

Our nominations for the Best Graphic Novels of the year include both children and adult titles. Children titles can be found in the Children’s Room.


  • Pigs Might Fly by Nick Abadzis
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  • My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Volume 1 by Emil Ferris
  • One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale
  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale
  • I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
  • Paper Girls, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn

Mock Newbery Nominee: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

by Morgan Reeves on December 12th, 2017
Mock Newbery Nominee: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani Cover Image

In the third installment of our Mock Newbery summaries and reviews you’ll have a chance to decide if Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani is a story worthy of your vote. This graphic novel follows Priyanka, a second generation Indian-American, as she struggles with questions of identity and family secrets.

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ICPL Mock Newbery Awards

by Morgan Reeves on November 21st, 2017

Our mock awards fun is expanding to include Mock Newbery Awards this year. The real Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.  For our Mock Newbery, we will vote online on ten titles released in 2017 by authors currently living in or citizens of the USA. Voting will be open from December 1st through January 31st on our Kids page. You don’t have to have read every book to vote, but read as many as you can as these are all fantastic reads. I will post book reviews of our nominees each week, so check back in if you just can’t read them all.

We’ll announce our winner on February 5, 2018 and find out if we are right when the real Newbery Medal honors are announced on February 12, 2018.

Take a peek at ICPL’s Mock Newbery nominees:


Real Friends

by Angela Pilkington on November 3rd, 2017

Last week Publisher’s Weekly announced their best books of 2017 list. While looking over the children’s list I came across a couple titles that I had somehow missed, so I have set out to read them before the end of the year.

The first one I grabbed was Real Friends by Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale, with artwork by LeUyen Pham. This graphic novel is a semi autobiographical account of Shannon growing up from Kindergarten to fifth grade and finding her real friends.

If I told you this book did not bring up memories of my own childhood and finding friends or that I am now going through this with my own 10 year old daughter, I would be lying. I can vividly remember my mother soothing my tears and giving me her best advice on how to deal with the cruel words or actions of the girls. I now have her advice and this book to talk to my daughter with when situations, like being a part of the club arise’s.  Like Shannon in the book, there were days when I was part of the club and other days when I suddenly found myself on the outs.

That said, I still really enjoyed this book and Shannon’s story. LeUyen did a wonderful job with her artwork to bring out the emotions from Hale’s characters with facial expressions. You will truly feel Shannon’s insecurities, her happiness, her sadness, and her confusion. More importantly, though, you will feel. You’ll be feeling the entire time, but you’ll root for Shannon, and a lot of that comes from Phan’s artwork.

This story was perfect for my 10-year-old and really for any child. Real Friends looks at the complex relationships among elementary school girls and by reading it together we were able to discuss important feelings and our reactions. The book echoes to readers that good friends don’t treat you badly and that in the end, all the hard work and the journey that comes with it are worth it.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

by Mari Redington on October 14th, 2017

pashminaAll of the Children’s librarians were abuzz this week after voraciously reading Pashmina, the first graphic novel from artist Nidhi Chanani. Born in Kolkata, Chanani brings her Indian heritage and her talent and love of art together in this story about Priyanka, a young girl who knows very little about India. As a second generation Indian American, Priyanka is torn between two worlds. She tries not to stand out too much at school by shortening her name to Pri, and she doesn’t understand all of the Hindu traditions her family practices at home.

India is her mother’s homeland which she fled at a young age and where she has vowed to never return. Pri can only imagine what it would be like to live in India until she discovers a forgotten pashmina in her mother’s belongings that transports her to beautiful and fantastical Indian landscapes too good to be true. She doesn’t realize the truth about why her mother left until a cash prize from an art contest allows her to travel to India to stay with her aunt. Pashmina explores bicultural and immigrant culture clashes as well as a feminist look at ways women are constrained by patriarchy. Chanani’s beautifully drawn images uses color to draw a clear contrast between Pri’s real life which is shown in pale neutrals and her wondrous visions of India, bright and vivid like the cover art. capture


by Casey Maynard on August 18th, 2017

nightlights-coverNightlights by Lorena Alvarez is a delightfully creepy and beautiful graphic novel. Part fairy tale, part nightmare with an ending open enough for sequels, this is journey you won’t want to miss. While the visuals are enough of a hat tip to other artists to catch and enjoy–Cartoon Saloon, Vera Brosgol, Emil Carroll etc.–Alvarez’s use of color, negative space and overall pacing are unique and memorable.


Nightlights is Alvarez’s first graphic novel, so be sure to watch for more from her in the future!Nightlights


2017 Book Madness: Time to vote for the Sweet Sixteen

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 13th, 2017

The Book Madness brackets have been updated to show titles advancing to the Second Round.


Banned Books

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

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Drum Roll, Please…

by Casey Maynard on January 3rd, 2017

Image result for caldecott medal pngThe votes have been tallied with more than 100 cast for our Mock Caldecott nominees. Of the fifteen titles chosen we are naming one winner and five honor books as there was a tie for the fourth space. Without any further ado, let’s get to which titles you chose to represent ICPL’s first Mock Caldecott Award.

And the Winner is…

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