Illustrated by Meaghan Carter, letters by Joamette Gill
Ash and his new friends from the Pride Club stumble upon a spell that transports them to the world of Koretris. What Ash believed to be a novel written by his absent mother turned out to be an entire world filled with magical creatures. Koretris is a haven for girls, so how did Ash get here? It turns out that Koretris is in trouble - threatened by The Scourge - and the citizens hope that Ash has the same magical gifts as his mother. The friends must save the queen and Koretris, and Ash must embrace his true self if he is to save everyone.
Vol 1: Quest to be the best, illustrated by Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Quin is a sophomore trying to stay out of trouble in New Orleans. After some of the horrific events of his life, including living through Hurricane Katrina ravage his city, Quin just wants to build the ultimate security system to keep his family safe from as many harms as he can think of. His crush is involved in community activism, and he becomes inspired to help his community. He’s also trying to dodge bullies, mostly so they don’t find out his secret - a meteor shower that ravaged the city after the hurricane gave Quin and many others super powers. Quin is indestructible, at least as far as he knows. A recent spike in crime has Quin working with the other enhanced heroes he’s only ever read about. Quin acts fast to save his neighborhood and his family from the evil machinations of a criminal mastermind.
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Abel continues his search to cure himself of the mysterious mark on his chest, and the terrifying ability he has to turn into a cyclone when he loses his temper. He leaves the traveling Carnival group, afraid he will cause more death and destruction, but, within days, Bobby decides to search for him and help him come back to his new family. Abel’s quest leads him to the Winter Woods where a reunion with family from his past doesn’t go quite like he hopes. He then stumbles upon a city that isn’t known for being super family-friendly, and he gets swept up by a decades-long slave-labor plot.
Yasmina is an aspiring young chef who fills her dad’s lunchbox with delicious and fresh foods. He works at a French fry eatery, but she insists on fresh ingredients that she often obtains from a neighborhood garden. That is, until a big conglomerate comes in, buys the land, and razes the gardens to plant potato fields. Yasmina resorts to stealing veggies and herbs from a neighbor’s garden on the roof of her building, but she’s eventually caught and made to stop. She tries to spend her meager savings on some fresh foods from the market, but she instead finds all the fresh ingredients have been replaced by potato crisps in bags, and her fellow townspeople are going nuts for them! Yasmina and her friends from the garden must get to the bottom of the mystery of these potato crisps and why they’re turning the townspeople into crazy animals, and her upstairs neighbor may have something to do with it all.
Hudi's always had health problems, stemming from the removal of a lung when he was really young. His health concerns are compounded by his weight, and his doctor advices his parents to get him into sports. But, Hudi would much rather tell jokes and make people laugh than run or diet. Enter Chunky, Hudi’s imaginary mascot, here to cheer on Hudi as he tries out several sports: baseball, where he can only get on base if he's struck by the ball; soccer, where he has some success using his large stature in the role of goalie; swimming, which he really enjoyed until he hurt his thumb and can't get it wet; and football, where the aggression of the sport clashes with Hudi's jovial nature. Complicating things is a strained relationship with his father, who is extremely athletic.
Louie is a fierce, passionate high schooler who cares deeply for her struggling small town. Southborough is a tourist destination made famous by a sasquatch sighting decades ago. Businesses have depended upon the tourist income for survival, but traffic to Southborough has slowed in recent years. The town has become a target for a tech mogul who begins buying up businesses and properties as a future headquarters location. Louie’ dads own Squatch Burger, a local eatery, and the latest target of Start-up.com’s land grab. Louie makes it her mission to save her dads’ business, and her entire town, from disappearing forever.
Tami is a young boy questing through the world, charged with becoming a man. He was cast out of his village and told not to return until he achieves his goal. Tami has fought monsters and saved princesses, but he is still not a man. A wiseman tells him he must travel far to the north, climb an unscalable mountain, and take the Flower of the Witch who lives there. Tami ventures to this place and continues to fight monsters along the way. Defeating one of the monsters inadvertently sparks a conflict between the villagers who live at the base of the witch’s mountain, and Yabra, the daughter of the slain monster. The villagers and Tami fight side by side to protect everyone and defeat Yabra, which puts Tami in a difficult spot. He must choose between completing his quest or saving everyone.
Backderf's latest novel is a meticulous account of the events of May 1-4, 1970 at Kent State University. The storyline follows Jeff, Allison, Bill, and Sandy, the four students who were killed during anti-Vietnam-war, anti-military conflicts on Kent State's campus, as well as several of the wounded students and a few of the soldiers of the National Guard. Rising tensions between student protestors and National Guardsmen were stoked by sleep-deprived soldiers and commanding officers, a governor infused with law-and-order politics, and persistent student protests that were unrelenting for several days. Throughout, there are pages of exposition offering insights from Backderf's extensive research.
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Abel and his father live in a trailer in a town called Farmington in Middlewest. Abel decides to circumvent dad‘s controlling instructions and hangs out with his friends for a day. He is caught shoplifting, and the father completely loses his temper. This introduces an inexplicable monster to Abel’s life. He runs away from home to find someone who can help him with a strange mark that appears after the monster attack, and a kindly old man in a strange dilapidated home tells him to find his sister who works for a traveling carnival. The sister reveals that the magic eating away at the boy could result in another monster being born. She lacks the specific knowledge for how to help him but pledges to research for the solution while he works off his debts at the carnival
After the death of his mother, musician Erik travels back home for her funeral and stumbles upon a mystery of her past. Erik enters his mother’s study late at night and finds a ghoulish figure clutching a photograph of a strange musician. The man in the photo captivates him, and he chalks the ghost up to grief. Erik begins to dig into who the musician could be, and his search leads him to the former owner of a jazz club in New York. A room full of mementoes from the club give Erik some clues into the man’s identity, but furthers the mystery of the ghoul who now haunts him.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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