Illustrated by Sara Soler
Althalia and her grandmother, are both special witches - they are "bruja", tasked with keeping a natural order between the living and the spirit realm. But, their kind have been hunted for centuries by an order of catholic priests that can trace their lineage back to Cortez himself. Lia and her two best friends use their supernatural abilities to tackle all manner of evil spirits, including renegade demons who escape cursed dolls. One day, while in a museum full of Aztec treasures, tragedy strikes, leaving Lia to take on the world - both living and spiritual - in a grief-fueled rampage. While Lia’s training may not be complete, she is a strong witch, and she’ll suffer no fools, even demonic ones.
We open on a castle under siege, and Lady Talli receiving the final words from her father, Lord Borin, before he sends her and her noble knight, Alan, off on into the wilderness on a speedy horse. Cunning archers see the fleeing pair, and one lands an arrow in the horse’s haunches while other soldiers on horseback pursue. Lady Talli and Alan manage to evade capture in the next town over with the help of a bumbling old man and his grandson. The two agree to take Lady Talli to the port in exchange for lots of money. Lelo, the grandson, and Pavel, the old man, have some secrets of their own - Lelo is a highly skilled fighter with unnatural speed, and Pavel used to be a famous adventurer and treasure seeker. The four are helped along the way by true believers who recognize Talli for who she really is: a descendent from the Moon Goddess, and the last Summoner.
Taproot by keezy young
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.
Vol 1 : The Tea Dragon Society, Vol 2, the Tea Dragon Festival, Vol 3, The Tea Dragon Tapestry
Greta is a young, aspiring blacksmith in a fantastical world with many animal-human hybrid beings. She finds a tea dragon in the market one day and rescues it from becoming dinner for some hungry wolves. Greta returns the tea dragon, Jasmine, to her master Hesekiel, a local tea house proprietor. When Greta becomes interested in tea dragons, Hesekiel and his partner, Erik, bring Greta into their fledgling Tea Dragon Society, comprised of themselves and a foundling named Minette. In the second volume, we see Erik and Hesekiel in their past adventuring days. Erik takes Hesekiel back to his village where Rinn, his niece, is trying to find her place in village life. Rinn finds a dragon who has been asleep for eighty years who was supposed to be guarding the village, but was put to sleep by the creature Erik and Hesekiel are here to take out. In the third volume, Greta has the opportunity to become a blacksmith apprentice to a well-respected master as long as she smiths a piece that inspires him. Minette, meanwhile, is struggling with her lack of memories and some of her residual powers we found out about in volume one. Greta continues to care for her tea dragon, Ginseng, who is mourning for its former master.
Willow loves to be out in nature, especially in the woods behind her house. This is where she finds herself after an episode of anger directed at her big sister. While wandering, trying to contain her little monsters of emotion, she runs into Pilu, who has also run away from home, and isn't sure she wants to go back. With some careful questioning, Willow discovers Pilu is actually a tree spirit, and she lives in the magnolia grove that was so special to Willow and her mother. Willow decides it's better for both of them to go home, so she agrees to lead Pilu back to the grove. While journeying, a terrible storm rages, and Willow loses control of her little monsters and has to exert a control over them she never knew she had in order to save herself and her new friend.
Fights by Joel Christian Gill
Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence is an autobiographical memoir of Joel’s childhood. As a small boy, he is forced to learn how to fight in order to protect himself from kids at school and in his neighborhood. He makes the assertion that children are sponges so can only absorb so much violence and negativity before it explodes out of them, often violently as well. As he grows, Joel learns to control his outbursts and tries to get away from the constant threat of violence, but he is frequently the target of other people’s anger. As he becomes a teenager, he becomes a target for other males well don’t like how popular he is with the ladies, and he also gets on the wrong side of drug dealers.
Vol 1: Bright World
Amparo is a teen prankster, desperately trying to impress the super-smart Iolanthe, but succeeding in only stressing out their mother and abuela. When a talking cat comes to Amparo's bedroom, Amparo becomes convinced that the magical cat can grant them their wish: to be a better person Unfortunately, the magical cat is a better trickster than Amparo, and steals their name and identity. The former Amparo is doomed to Bright World, a vibrant, terrifying land squished in between the mortal world and what lies beyond. Fierce creatures feed on humans and use memories as currency, and it's all former-Amparo can do to survive! They become an indentured servant to cafe owner, Mimi, who dubs them "Paola," but Paola soon finds a new master - El Ciervo, a creepy "doctor" who specializes in performing medical procedures on humans. Now "Fawn," Amparo must fight their way out of Bright World and back to their life before they become a demon only worthy of Bright World.
Lemonade Code by Jarod Pratt
Illustrated by Jey Odin
In a not-so-distant future, or perhaps an alternate dimension, everyone is gifted in science and math. Robbie is no exception - he’s a super, super genius. Mad scientist Robbie decides to create a state of the art lemonade stand that will mix customers any flavor lemonade they want. His profits will help fund his super secret genius project. But when new girl, Daphne Du-Ri sets up her lemonade stand right across the street, she derails all of Robbie's plans. Her lemonade somehow resonates with people, and they can't get enough, while with his, the gimmick is sure to wear off. Robbie and Daphne go head-to-head in a battle for the neighborhood's very soul.
Girl Haven by Lilah Sturges
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.
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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