From Category: Graphic Narrative
By the Stanford Graphic Novel Project. This fictionalized account of a real-life hunger strike to protest prison conditions exposes the horrors of solitary confinement and the inspiring struggles of families to stay connected to their incarcerated loved ones. The e-book is free to download for your computer or tablet.
By Maia Kobabe. Playful, emotionally vulnerable, and even cozy, this graphic narrative is a coming-of-age memoir centered on Kobabe's discovery of eir nonbinary and asexual identity. Gentle, accessible artwork with a sophisticated color palette gives the story an intimate feel, as if a friend or family member was sharing confidences with you. As well as being entertaining, this book is a good educational resource for teens and adult allies as well as queer folks looking to understand themselves.
By Jarrett Krosoczka. This graphic narrative memoir intertwines the author's tumultuous relationship with his heroin-addicted mother and his discovery of his vocation as a professional cartoonist. The result is a lovingly detailed scrapbook of working-class family life in Worcester, MA, with sepia-tinted artwork supplemented by original documents and childhood drawings. Krosoczka was raised by his maternal grandparents, who come across as well-rounded and beloved characters, often gruff and no stranger to alcohol indulgence, but with steady devotion and an unglamorous and patient work ethic that he learns to emulate. Krosoczka's popular graphic novels for kids include the Lunch Lady and Star Wars: Jedi Academy series.
By Molly Knox Ostertag. This lovely middle-grade graphic novel features a youth whose magical skills transgress the gender roles of his community. All the girls in Aster’s extended family are supposed to become witches, and the boys, animal shapeshifters who defend them from evil spirits. However, Aster’s passion is for witchery. With the help of Charlie, a non-magical girl from the neighboring suburb, he uses his forbidden talent to fight a monster in a way that only he can. Charlie, who has two (off-page) dads, is uniquely sympathetic to Aster’s dilemma because she’s a female athlete struggling for equal opportunities at her school. Both children are people of color, and Aster’s extended family includes a variety of ethnicities. The artwork, in cozy earth tones, is clear and expressive, and not too scary for younger readers.