Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mini Reviews: The Graphic Novel edition (2)

by Reina Telgemeier

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. (description from

I actually really liked this graphic novel. It was interesting because not only was it a good story with a character that was very relatable, but it turns out it's a memoir! The events really happened to the author.  Cool.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
by G. Neri
illus. by Randy Duburke

Eleven-year old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid? As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble? Did he really kill someone? And why do all the answers seem to lead back to a gang-the same gang to which Roger's older brother belongs? Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty is a compelling graphic dramatization based on events that occurred in Chicago in 1994. This gritty exploration of youth gang life will force readers to question their own understandings of good and bad, right and wrong. (description from 

I didn't really enjoy this graphic novel all that much.  I think it's an important topic, and one that many children/teens in urban areas will relate to, but I just didn't connect to it all that much.  I didn't really like the illustration style and found Yummy to be a character I couldn't really muster all that sympathy for...

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