Anyone who knows me knows, I don’t do read-a-thons. Unfortunately, I am much too busy, and read WAY too slowly to actually read during a designated time period. Pair that with the pressure of reading a lot in a little amount of time, and you have a recipe for disaster. However, I will say that one of the perks of being a librarian is having first access to new materials. Not only do (in some case) we order materials for the collection, but we get to look at, read and evaluate the materials when they come in new. Today, we had a LARGE cart delivered to Youth Services with brand new materials. They ranged from board books, to picture books, beginning readers, chapter books and YA. But the first things I always look at when carts are delivered are the graphic novels. Not only are they exceptionally popular among youth readers today, but I quite enjoy the medium as a reader myself. I think that what they do is unbelievable. You are getting the content and themes of a full length novel, but have added a photo element that often times enhances the stories they accompany.
So what does all this have to do with read-a-thons? Well as I stated, a cart with all new materials was delivered to our workroom today. I immediately grabbed a large stack of new graphic novels that I was interested in and placed them on my desk. I don’t have a lot of time to read them before they have to be placed back on to “the floor” but I would like to read them now while I have them in front of me. SO I thought it might be fun to participate in my own personal Graphic Novel Read-a-thon.
For the week of June 22nd – 28th, I am going to try to read a novel a day. I have started off well so far, but here are my reading plans for the rest of the week:
Monday June 22nd
I have been anticipated this since Jamieson posted about it on Twitter. Victoria Jamieson is probably one of my favorite graphic novelists right now, so as soon as a new book was announced, it was on my radar. This one was different though. It tells the story of a Somalian refugee and his young brother. They spend a number of years in a refugee camp in Kenya, hoping to be reconnected with their lost mother. At just a few years old, Omar is designated caretaker of his younger, and disabled brother. Both heartbreaking but with many optimistic undertones, this story was absolutely beautiful. Something everyone should read, children and adults alike. As I mentioned, I started this read-a-thon off well by reading this entire story in one day. I am hopeful to do the same with the rest of these titles.
Tuesday June 23rd
We love a book with the TW printed right on the cover! But in all seriousness, I picked this up for the title, and now I am even more intrigued. “Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging.” I am a sucker for a hard hitting, sob-fest kind of story. It tackles a lot of tough topics in humor and detail, so readers beware. I am looking forward to diving into this. Also, the art reminds me of Bob’s Burgers and I am here for it.
Wednesday June 24th
I THINK (?) I heard about this initially on Super Space Chick (Youtube)? The Lost Carnival is an alternate origin story for Batman’s famous sidekick Dick Grayson. Aside from the Gatsby-esque vibe cover, I am also a sucker for a Batman story, ESPECIALLY one that I think my brother (the self acclaimed Batman expert) might not know about. I vaguely remember hearing that they change his backstory a bit (hence the “alternate”) but I am curious to see what direction they go in. As many fans of the franchise may know, Dick Grayson got his start in a circus as a high flying trapeze artist with his family. Unfortunately (as it happens in Gotham), one of their shows is disrupted by I believe Two-face, who them murders the poor boy’s family. Bruce takes him in, and he inevitably becomes Robin. His history I can only recall by bits and pieces of things I have seen in the past. This is high on my list, and MAY be a consideration for purchase if it is as good as I am hoping.
Thursday June 25th
Continuing with my own personal efforts to diversify my reading, I picked this one out of the pile. I am able to call myself out and say that I am unaware of a lot of African folklore, mythology and history. Dare I say it, but this gives me Tales of Beedle and Bard vibes. It is a collection of illustrated African stories, geared towards middle grade readers. I think this will be a wonderful introduction to the culture, and entice some curiosity in me.
Friday June 26th
Shocker. Yet another Raina Telmeier-esque style story aimed at the middle grade crowd. It sounds like all the books that came before it; Best Friends, Sunny Side-Up, Awkward, Emmie series, etc. but that is what makes it a must read for me. Kids are always looking for “book-a-likes” and those lists can only be so long. Kids can be discouraged when they read something they really love, but can’t find anything similar enough to it to be satisfied. I have a running list of those “not like everyone else” stories with Smile-like illustrations because they are in constant demand. I hope for a day when they are no longer the go to story, but can still enjoy them while they are prominent.
Saturday June 27th
Say it with me.. WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS! This one is the story of a young college bound South Korean girl who convinces her traditional mother that it is a good idea for a woman to get an education in 1983. It is said to contain “political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading.” In the politically charged world we currently live in right now, it would serve us well to read about the experiences of the rebels before us. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from them. Also- it is always enjoyable to read about people who value their intellectual freedoms, and the ability to read.
Sunday June 28th
“Classic folktale transformed into a feminist fairy tale?” WHERE DO I SIGN UP? This “gothic graphic novel” tells a story that I am not familiar with. For those of you unaware, the summer reading theme this year is “Imagine your Story” which makes this the PERFECT summer to read new folktales/fairy tales. A girl grows up with dreams and plans, but all that is shattered when Bluebeard shows up looking for a wife, and he has his eyes on Eve (our MC). Oddly enough, his other wives have all disappeared, so what kind of things will Eve find beyond her childhood? The art in this one is extremely intriguing so I am looking forward to paging through this.
So that’s my Read-a-thon lineup. What do you think? Am I too ambitious? Do you think this is the way I can finally defeat a read-a-thon?