A collage of what I've read since my 1/19/2016 2016 Reading List post. Edited to the best of my blogging attention span abilities.
Long Tail Kitty was very cute and extremely clever. I really like Lark Pien's art. A great choice if you need a smile and an excuse to say a few positive-sounding, "Awwww's..."
Jeff Mack did a nice job with Clueless McGee. Great humor sounded by fun drawings. I really enjoy these text-heavy yet simple graphic novel-style books. Simple... As if. Mack put a lot of work into this, as do Jeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If they do, they're not your friend. :P
Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan was a beautiful book. I admit that I was getting anxious as to when the (or any) action would start. But this wouldn't have been nearly as great without Applegate's amazing character development. Curse my literary impatience. Ivan contains possibly the finest ending to any book I've read. Awards-shmawards I always say, but I think it earned that John Newberry stamp on the cover.
SuperMutant Magic Academy. I was expecting a long tale in graphic novel form. And that's what I got. Kind of. But I got so much more than expected. Jillian Tamaki expertly wove a story via a series of single (sometimes multiple, but too multiple) pages containing between one and six (or so) comic panels. They tie together so well, and there is so much thought put into each page. After I was done I read it again. And then I ordered a copy online. Awards-shmawards and all that, but I really hope this wins something. It would be a crime if you didn't give it a look.
Boxers, and then Saints. These must (MUST) be read one after the other. Gene Yang is one of our greatest storytellers. With written word and image he gives us a lesson in modern Chinese history that is epic, uplifting and heartbreaking. Yang is an absolute genius.
The seed for Elle Luna's The Crossroads of Should and Must began as a blogpost that was urged to become a book. I never visit the self-help section at libraries or bookshops. Can there be a cure-all book that suits every individual? Of course not. But I've read and enjoyed Austin Kleon's Steal Like and Artist and his follow-up, Show Your Work. So I suppose I do subscribe to self-help, as it relates to art. And that's how I approached Luna's book – from an art perspective. It helped me consider and accept a new position with a company that provides Mathematics and ELA lessons to schools and families, with an emphasis on bilingual learning. I found my "must" within this book, and it played a role in my accepting an amazing job.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling. I've been reading the Potter series with Jake, and, like millions of others, we've been enjoying every word. Even her frivolous use of "reckon." I always connected that with the old West...
I often judge books by their covers. Books. Not people. Books. So my initial assumption was that Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill was going to be a graphic novel about early America, the Constitution, maybe with a a Roman twist (AmeriCUS?) I was so wrong. Despite my failed assumption, it's a great book about a middle-schooler finding his way and finding his voice in a town where some closed-minded people just can't mind their own bee's wax. Highly recommended.
I need to start rereading Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series (I've only read the first three...) in anticipation of the next book coming out super soon. Explorer - The mystery Boxes is a great collection of short graphic stories by a variety of illustrators and writers (See? I try to put illustrators first when I get the chance.) Very entertaining, while serving as a sample platter of talent whose other works should be searched out.