A touching, relatable story of identity, sisterhood, and friendship.

TWINS

From the Twins series , Vol. 1

Sixth grade presents new challenges for the Carter twins.

It’s the first day of school, and African American identical twins Maureen and Francine Carter are having mixed feelings. Maureen is nervous about middle school: She has a new confusing schedule, cadet corps, and, worst of all, classes without Francine. She worries that middle school will swallow her alive. Francine, however, is looking forward to everything sixth grade can offer. She can’t wait to be in new surroundings, try new classes, and grab new opportunities to shine, like joining the student council race. Outgoing Francine is all set to start campaigning, but when Maureen decides to run as well, it threatens to tear the two apart. As Francine pushes to stand out, Maureen yearns to fit in, and neither sees eye to eye. Johnson, in his first graphic novel, encapsulates the rocky transition from the comfort of elementary school to the new and sometimes-scary world of middle school. The sibling bond is palpable and precious as each conflict and triumph pushes them apart or pulls them together. Wright’s illustrations fill the pages with vibrancy and emotion. The diverse student body, careful touches in the Carter home, and background elements in the mall scenes stand out for their warmth, humor, and realism. The small details that differentiate Maureen and Francine, while maintaining their mirrored features, are delightful.

A touching, relatable story of identity, sisterhood, and friendship. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-23617-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DRAMA

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

Did you like this book?

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 14

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

more