Aya-Chan, Mitsuki’s best friend from her childhood, is back in Japan, back playing basketball, and just finished a tournament opposite Mitsuki’s new Fab Four basketball friends. But there’s something very different about Aya - she’s not a girl! While Mitsuki wrestles with this new information, and how it fits in to all her memories of Aya, Towa is determined not to lose to Aya in any way. Mitsuki tries to fit in with some girls in her class by inviting them to karaoke, but she’s an afterthought the whole time. She confesses her lack of friend making skills to Kyōsuke, one of the four basketballers, and he promises to get to know her better and be a better friend. Mitsuki doesn’t quite trust the offer but also doesn’t want to snub a chance at a friend! Aya finds out Mitsuki works at the Words Café across from the basketball court where they meet, and after one of her shifts, he’s very forward and promises to take her on a date after the next tournament. Mitsuki isn’t sure still how to handle Aya being a boy, let alone asking her on a date!
Illustrated by Nate Powell
The final book in this trilogy picks up with events early in 1963 when a church in Birmingham was bombed, and four young girls were killed. John Lewis and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and other Civil Rights groups came together after that bombing to try to get more representation on a state and national level since their local politicians were going to continue to turn a blind eye to violence. They organized into the Freedom Democratic Party and tried to take part in the Democratic National Convention, but drew the ire of LBJ in his re-election campaign. Larger demonstrations were necessary as violence mounted and became more blatant. Lewis and his fellows conceived of a march from Selma, Alabama, to the capital in Montgomery, an event that is now referred to as "Bloody Sunday" because of how badly law enforcement officers beat demonstrators. After that terrible day, another march was planned with Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr., and this time, they were successful in reaching Montgomery. The finale ties together Lewis and Aydin discussing commemorating all the important work of Lewis' life into a comicbook.
Ascendance of a Bookworm: I'll Do Anything to become a Librarian! Part 1: If there aren't any books, I'll just have to make some!, illustrated by Suzuka
In the last volume, Myne gathered some reeds and cut them down very small in order to make papyrus. In this volume, she starts weaving her very thin strands together, but it’s just too hard of work for her small hands. Her mother weaves cloth on an apparatus in order to prepare for Tuuli’s baptism ceremony coming in the summer, and Myne wants to make a hairpin for her to liven up the outfit. Dad makes a small wooden crochet needle and hairpin, while Myne crochets a few flowers. Myne decides that she next wants to try making clay tablets, but she needs to build up enough strength to actually walk to the forest first. The first goal is to make it to the gate: if she makes it, Otto will teacher her how to write while she rests, then she can come home. Myne helps Otto with some of the math on his year end under report, so he thinks having her as an unofficial assistant would be great! Myne finally makes it to the forest and finds some clay, but the tablets don’t turn out the way she wants them to.
Mari has been stuck in a classroom by herself, forced to practice reviving things, while havoc goes on around her. Miriam and the demon she summoned, whose name is also Alice, apparently have a long history together. Lady Alice the demon sets things in motion between two other countries to spark a war, and the country they’re all in must decide which of their alliances are strongest. The countries then discover that it was the witches who started everything in their quest to get back at the humans for generations of abuse. The country starts attacking the school they’re all in just as Alice discovers Mari’s mother is in the witch’s crypt below the school. Lady Alice dares Mari to try and resurrect everyone she’s killed, but it turns out that everyone has misunderstood Mari’s powers from the beginning.
Draconia is on the brink of war with Nadasha, all in the name of the Priestess Princess, which is annoying little Asahi. Ruri decides she has to go talk to Asahi, regrettably, to maybe stave off a war that will get people killed. The talk doesn’t go well - Asahi does some pretty impressive mental gymnastics to get out of seeing Ruri’s points, so Ruri leaves, dejected. Meanwhile, her abrupt trip has sent the Dragon King into an absolute frenzy. He wants to go after Ruri, send search parties, appeal to the fairies - anything but run the kingdom. Ruri’s return stops the kingdom-wide panic, and the Dragon King finally gets back to some of the paperwork that’s been piling up. But soon, the news of war reaches them, and the Dragon Army must start preparing for what’s to come.
Illustrated by Stephen Green, colored by Rico Renzi
After the Shaman tried to rip the War Club out of Kadyn's body in the last bit of volume one, the boy and his father, Gil, are once again separated by light years. Gil and the Shaman end up on the menacing Space Leviathan who attacked the temple on the Sacred Moon in volume one. With them is Monkey and Dolphin, who spent most of volume one tagging along with Kadyn. Meanwhile, Kadyn is stranded in wild space with Dalla, and he’s not sure he can trust her after what she pulled with the evil shaman. The dark spirit inhabiting the Shaman leaves him and infests Gil, which gives him the ability to commune with the Leviathan and see a path to Kadyn. Swirling around all of this is still the magic War Club and what its power means for these space people and creatures. Kadyn must do some soul searching in addition to searching for his dad.
Vol 1: Japanese Cuisine, illustrated by Akira Hanasaki
Tōzai News has decided to commission a special news story - The Ultimate Menu. Yamaoka and Yūko are seeking some of the best of Japanese cuisine. Yamaoka is estranged from his father, who runs a Gourmet Club and especially loves Japanese cuisine, and the two often bump into each other to disastrous effect. In their pursuits, Yamaoka and Yūko delve into many parts of Japanese cuisine: how to use Dashi correctly and subtlety, knife skills and how it changes the flavor of food, how chefs cannot smoke because the tobacco transfers onto the flesh of fish, Japanese tea ceremonies, the artistry of sashimi, and so much more.
This collection brings together three Japanese folktales where there is something very tempting that must not be opened. The first tale is of a young boy who saves a turtle and is invited to come under the sea to a magical kingdom. He stays for what he feels is a short amount of time, but when he goes back to the surface, it has been 30 years, and his family is gone. The queen of the ocean gave him a box before he left, and if he opens it, he’ll be taken back to the Ocean Kingdom. In the second story, a master tells his apprentices not to open a jar that supposedly contains a deadly poison, but they suspect has something delicious that their master wants to horde for himself. In the third tale, the main character saves a crane in the forest one day, and is visited by a beautiful young maiden the next. She is caught in a snow storm and he offers her shelter, and it turns into a much longer stay and an eventual marriage. In need of money, so goes into another room to spin some cloth and begs her young husband not to open the door despite what he might hear.
In the previous volume, Chise stopped a little dragon from going on a huge rampage, but the cost is that she is now suffering from a dragon's curse. According to Elias, there are no known ways to break the curse. Chise tries to console him by reminding him she has a shortened life as a Sleigh Beggy anyway, but Elias is consumed with trying to find a way to save her. The two are visited by Marielle, a witch with a very special coven who claim they can break Chise's curse, but there's a price: she'll have to join the coven. Chise visits the coven to figure out if they're telling the truth or not, and Elias worries he might mose her forever.
Illustrated by Manuel Preitano
Willow loves her broken community of Down River in Gotham, and she often is found at protests trying to get City Hall’s attention. Her mom is a brilliant professor fighting brain cancer, so out of desperation, Willow gets mixed up coordinating an illegal gambling ring for her mom’s former friend, E. Nigma. Willow enjoys the work and the money that allows her to secure treatment for her mom, but her friends notice she’s slipping away and not as involved in saving the community anymore. One night, Killer Croc attacks Willow, telling her he’s protecting Down River from E. Nigma and warns her to stop helping him. The attack leaves Willow with special powers and the ability to talk to dogs. She discovers Poison Ivy has been working with E. Nigma to lower property values in Down River to make gentrification more attainable, but Willow draws the line when the next target is her favorite delicatessen.
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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