Memoirs, big families and road trips, oh my: Wednesday Roundup: Graphic Novels
In our second edition of Wednesday roundups, today we focus on graphic novels.
What’s Been Suggested
We have a good group of graphic novel suggestions so far with very different titles but similar themes… a memoir one about traveling (A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING) to a memoir about a camp for families going through tough times (SUNSHINE) to a memoir detailing immigration from Vietnam (FAMILY STYLE). Then there’s yet ANOTHER traveling title (CLASS TRIP) and another immigration story (PARACHUTE KIDS) Then there’s straight up silly (BEAKY BARNES: EGG ON THE LOOSE) to a hilarious and honest portrayal of a Latinx family (MEXIKID) to a classic retelling (BEA WOLF) to another book about a big family (SQUISHED).
After looking at all these titles, I think there’s a lot of strong possiblities for the Newbery and sadly I think I need to remove BEAKY BARNES from my possibilities. It was fun and very unique, but I’m still unsure on the audience (or even who to recommend it to) and don’t think I can even make a case for all the Newbery criteria.
It wouldn’t be a true graphic novel post if I didn’t make a shout out to “HOW CAN A GRAPHIC NOVEL WIN THE NEWBERY WHEN THERE’S SO MANY ILLUSTRATIONS?” To which I’ll say as always, you’re still judging on the text, seeing if the visuals take away from the quality, and there’s history: NEW KID (2019) and honor titles EL DEAFO (2015) ROLLER GIRL (2016).
I listened to the audio book of MEXI KID and have been thinking about it a lot. I really appreciated Pedro as a character and thought he was super honest and relatable, the way he described his views on his abuelito, his need to help his other siblings, and his trying to be helpful when the older kids left- rang really true and relatable to any reader. I think the secondary characters (siblings and family members) were developed well and I liked that there weren’t too many intense plot lines. I think MEXIKID is a definite Newbery contender!
What’s Still Out There
I don’t think there’s any more graphic novels on my TBR list, but I’m always worried about missing anything. Any big graphic novels I should be looking for? Let me know in the comments, and thoughts on any graphic novels this year!
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 email@example.com.
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