Tag Archives: graphic novels

YA Superhero Graphic Novels for Any Age

I am a huge fan of superhero stories and comics but I’ve recently fallen out of touch with all of the new releases and keeping up with single issues. Instead, I have slowly started to become obsessed with the new line of DC and Marvel original graphic novels aimed at young readers and teens. These stories contain all of our favourite superheroes but they re-imagine our heroes as young teens. Whether you have been a fan of these superheroes for years and are looking for a fresh take on their origin stories or you are just looking for a quick introduction to some superheroes, here are some amazing books to get you started!

As always, the links below will take you the VPL catalogue where you can request the books for yourself.

Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Lê and Andie Tong.

While this novel doesn’t re-tell the story of more famous Green Lanterns such as Hal Jordan or John Stewart, it is a wonderful novel about family and legacy. In this graphic novel, 13-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother’s jade ring when she passes away. He soon starts to realize that the ring is not just a ring and he is chosen to be a new Green Lantern of Earth. This is a wonderful story as it can be read both by fans of superheroes and those who know very little about them, as the novel mainly focuses on Tai’s connection with his grandmother and his relationship to his city and how to protect it using his new powers.

Continue reading

Manga for the Casual Reader

Love in Focus, Vol. 1 (Love in Focus, #1) by Yoko NogiriManga can seem intimidating for new readers because of long series, such as One Piece that has over 100 volumes. It’s hard for readers to get into the form if you don’t know where to start.  As an avid manga reader, I decided it would be great to recommend some series that are really short or even stand-alone volumes so any reader can pick them up! Despite some (untrue) preconceptions about how most series typically focus on high school drama or are way too sports-focused, there are so many great mangas that have hidden depth.

For the first recommendation, I have to recommend Yoko Nogiri’s Love in Focus series. It is one of my all-time favourites and only has 3 lovely volumes. It features Mako, an aspiring photographer who takes after her grandfather. Mako travels to the countryside and finds herself in a new dorm where she makes new friends who share her passion for photography. While there is a bit of a love triange in this one, I adored the art style and Mako’s thoughts and experiences with photography especially as it relates to her connection with her grandfather. It’s a series that’s ideal for binge-reading, so I recommend requesting all 3 volumes at once.

Continue reading

The Power of Fairytale: The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

The Magic Fish by Trung Le NguyenI know graphic novels are sometimes seen as not “true literature”, especially those for young audiences, but I can confidently tell you that if you read The Magic Fish, you will change your mind. This wonderful story really emphasizes the power of language and how some emotions can’t be expressed in words, and this book does that through the power of fairytales.

This book stars 12-year old Tiến Phong who reads stories with his mother, Hiến, to help improve her English. The stories they share together are often put in juxtaposition to Hiến’s memories of leaving Vietnam as a refugee or to Tiến’s experience in figuring out his sexuality. The duo used stories to connect and to share what they couldn’t really put into words themselves. The illustrations were just lovely and really helped convey the beauty of the stories. I loved that the illustrations tended to be one colour, such as all purple or all red, but still conveyed depth through slightly different hues. Some of the fairytales, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s version of “The Little Mermaid”, may be familiar to readers but since I am not a huge fairytale reader, I found the stories all new and exciting. The illustrations were not only beautiful, but the words in the fairytales were also really well-written as well.

Continue reading