A captivating series start that will have readers clamoring for more.


From the Cat's Cradle series , Vol. 1

A plucky orphan embarks on an adventure crossing paths with imps, monsters, and other creatures.

Suri, an orphan, has stowed away in a traveling merchant camp that moves through the valley of Galatea. Galatea is located just below a mountain chain known as the Dragon’s Belt, which was split open 500 years ago by the Spider Witch, allowing monsters to enter through the gap. Suri’s true desire is to be a heroic monster tamer, but she spends her time doing odd jobs for the camp’s merchants, entertaining the other youth with scary tales of monsters, and evading the camp leader, Leon, who is constantly trying to chase her out of the camp. One night, she unwittingly comes into possession of some magical twine, which holds powers for a band of caitsiths, catlike shape-shifters, who desperately want it back. In their pursuit, they separate Suri from the camp. Full of moxie, Suri has charmed her way into most of the camp merchants' hearts, as is apparent when they have to pack up and leave without her. Though this book was originally published in 2012, Rioux has reillustrated it. Artwork full of energy and comedic timing brings this steampunk-esque, magical world together as it lays groundwork for what will become a trilogy. Journal pages at the end have more info on the kinds of monsters discussed. Suri has tan skin and dark hair; other characters are racially diverse.

A captivating series start that will have readers clamoring for more. (Graphic fantasy. 8-14)

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-62535-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...


Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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