Underrepresented genres: Graphic Novels worth nominating?
With just a one day left for December Heavy Medal nominations, I’m in my usual mad scramble to make sure I haven’t missed anything. As Steven kindly reminds us, we can’t read all the books! However, one category I know I’ve been slacking in is graphic novels and we only have two titles nominated so far: THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO and A SHOT IN THE ARM.
Both of these titles were on SLJ’s Best Graphic Novels of 2021 list. And here’s a few more that are on my “maybe nominate” short list.
ALLERGIC by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter
On her tenth birthday, Maggie is excited to get a dog until she learns she’s allergic. When coming to terms, with her allergies Maggie learns about herself and her place in the family. The interpretation of themes and multiple layers of family relationships, and relationships to self is what makes this title shine. Through realistic and pure dialogue, Maggie comes to terms with herself and her future.
That’s so cool that your dad’s an artist.
What do you parents do?
My mom’s a social worker and my dad’s a computer tech for an engineering company.
What about you, what do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’ know… I used to want to be a vet.
CHUNKY by Yehudi Mercado
CHUNKY is a fictionalized memoir of author Yehudi Mercado’s youth. Hudi has a slew of health issues accredited to weight and is thrust into the rocky world of organized sports. The natural title to compare this to is STARFISH and I think both titles have excellent development of plot. I particularly think Mercado’s use of the imaginary friend Chunky, helps move the book along and make it unique.
JUKEBOX by Nidhi Chanani
Music, time-traveling, and social unrest- Jukebox has a lot of themes happening therein another title that has the similar bright colors and relatable characters of ALLERGIC, the SMILE books etc. etc. The abundance of themes can be a bit much in this title, but I appreciate the musical connections and presentation of a not-easy task.
Of these three titles, I think ALLERGIC is the one I’m most likely to nominate tomorrow. But I do keep thinking of CHUNKY and it can be a good comparison to STARFISH. Are there any other graphic novels that you are thinking about?
Filed under: Book Discussion
About Emily Mroczek-Bayci
Emily Mroczek (Bayci) is a freelance children’s librarian in the Chicago suburbs. She served on the 2019 Newbery committee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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