Illustrated by Sana Takeda
Twins Milly and Billy have some polar-opposite parents - their father is open, honest, and loving; their mother, Ipo, is cold, chain-smokes, and cares only for her plants. Despite the lack of love they might have felt, the two have grown up, gone off to college, and returned to run a fairly successful restaurant that's surviving during COVID precautions. The biggest blight on their lives is the house across the street, where their elderly neighbor was murdered, and the plant life has taken over the structure. No one seems to be interested in buying the place in its current state, so Ipo forces the twins to help her get the place back into shape, including taking care of the supernatural entities that still haunt the space.
Illustrated by Jon Sommariva
While panhandling in the subway one day, Luz is bumped onto the train tracks and saved in part by her friend Bee, but mostly a stranger named Paco. Paco turns out to be an orphan just like Bee and Luz, so Bee invites him back to their hideout: a trailer in a junkyard. There, he meets Felix, Gracie, and Justin. Paco asks them all if they wish for a better life, and when they say yes, he and a fairy whisk them away to Neverland! Paco has brought them into the middle of a war between the Neverlanders and the pirates from Otherland who want to harvest the magic from the island.
Book 2: Muad'Dib, adapted by Brian K. Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, illustrated by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín
Paul and Jessica are trying to survive in the terrifying desert of Arrakis. They are equipped with stillsuits, which help keep them from dying of dehydration, but they also have to be careful not to attract the giant sandworms nor the attention of the Harkonens, who are still looking for them or any survivors from their hostile takeover in volume one. The two search for the Fremen and hope to win them to their cause against the Harkonens, who are sure to make like difficult for them as they have before.
Adapted and illustrated by Renee Nault
This dystopian story follows Offred, a handmaid to a powerful man in a relatively new society based on the Old Testament of the Bible. For many reasons, many of the people in Gilead are infertile, so fertile women are trained and assigned to powerful men for procreation. Offred is sent to the home of Mr. And Mrs. Waterford in the hopes that Frederick Waterford will impregnate her and the family will be able to have a child. Offred manages simple chores with her partner, another handmaid, attends the birth of a child from another handmaid, and navigates a scandalous friendship with Commander Fred. She also shows how Gilead was formed and the torturous training she went through to become a handmaid, as well as ponder often what happened to her daughter and husband she had before the fall of America.
The Oates move to Newfoundland to be closer to their family and to help console a branch who just lost a loved one. Not long after, a creature of darkness lurking in the woods kidnaps the youngest daughter, Beth. While the adults scour the forest for the child, the other Oates children, Ben and Lynn, decide to take matters into their own hands. Armed with a flashlight, they venture into the forest and are transported to The Elphyne, a world in between Earth and the next, where fae and other magical creatures live, and where the magic and imagination of children can shape the entire world. The two must overcome their own fears and use the magic to their advantage to save their sister and rid the word of The Corruption that is destroying entire populations of magical creatures.
Illustrated by Tri Vuong
It's starts as just another day for Grandpa of going to the store to get more tomatoes for Grandma's best Spaghetti, but when a machine boy falls to Earth, Grandpa must summon his karate skills of his youth to save everyone. He ends up awaking the heart of the metal boy, who goes on to train with Grandma in the karate arts. Machine Boy loves helping others, even if it's mostly rescuing cats from trees, and listening to his favorite crime-fighting superhero band. A little piece of Machine Boy breaks off and becomes fairly sentient, and Machine Boy keeps him as a pet, but the piece quickly outgrows the hiding place and then turns into a ravenous machine-eating robot who begins to devour parts of the city. Machine Boy, an unlikely friend from school, and the super band team up to get the robot under control and save the city.
Illustrated by Robin Robinson
While Isabel's upbringing among the elite of San Francisco in wake of the Great Fire may have some considering her fortunate, neither of her parents particularly know how to interact with her, and she is often told to be "seen, not heard." While visiting her sculptor father in Carmel for the summer, Isabel mysteriously traverses the veil between the fairy realm and the human realm, and she immediately gets pulled into a life-or-death quest that will determine the outcome of a brutal war between the two halves of fairydom: seelie and unseelie. She quickly makes a few friends who also want to see her quest fulfilled, and she'll have to rely on them and her strange magical abilities to deliver a stolen necklace to the princess of the seelie.
Illustrated by Rowan MacColl
Alexa moves in with her grandpa in Savannah after her parents are arrested for nonviolent offenses. Her google-able past makes her an instant target for the school bullies, but she also finds some friends a group of three girls: Chloe, Skye, and Fae. The four blow off some steam after school one day with a drunken bonfire in the forest, and they come back with more than they bargained for. All four start exhibiting signs that they've delved into the Fae world and are slowly transforming into fairies. To make it worse, Alexa's grandpa starts dating a woman who also seems like she has fairy magic, and she's not leaving Alexa's family and friends alone until she restores a powerful fairy to the Fae world - someone she feels is in Alexa's friend group.
Vol 1: Jewel of the Gravesend, illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
Zatanna Starr, the daughter of renowned Coney Island illusionist Ezra Starr, is not a fan of crowds and performing. She’s much rather hang out with her friends or boyfriend and ride Coney Island’s coasters, grab cotton candy, walk her pet rabbit, or laze around at the beach. Her whole life changes when they visit a traveling band and find Mirror Script, a backwards script trick magicians used to use to hide their spells and tricks. Everyone else seems to have difficulty reading it, but Zatanna is able to read it just fine. What's more, whatever she reads comes true, and she can't figure out how this illusion is working! Diving deeper into this mysterious world unlocks other secrets about her family and her past that she must confront in order to truly understand what she's capable of.
This story follows a gardener who can see ghosts, and a ghost who has fallen in love with the gardener. Hamal tries to go about his day at the nursery where he works, but customers constantly complain about his odd behavior and how he talks to himself. But Hamal is actually talking to the ghosts, including his best friend, Blue. Blue and a few other ghosts keep getting swept into a creepy, dead forest. A reaper approaches Blue and reveals there is an unlicensed necromancer in the vicinity, and asks for Blue’s help, but Blue is sure it's Hamal, and he can’t betray him like that. The reaper catches up to them anyway, but gives Hamal a way to make balance between the world of the dead and the world of the living - work for the reaper, but the jobs aren't as gnarly as one might think working for a creature of death.
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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