Check out our weekly suggestions!
Are your students looking for book recommendations?
Send them to browse through the picks for this or past years.
For the picks from 2022 click here
For the picks from 2021 click here
For the picks from 2020 click here.
For older picks click from 2019 click here.
For the even older picks click here.
If adolescence is about figuring out who you are, then perhaps the next step into adulthood is figuring out how to be yourself in a world that might not want you to be. This is the conflict that lies at the heart of Needle & Thread, another young adult graphic novel from the new Mad Cave Comics young adult imprint, Maverick. In their final year of high school, main characters Noah and Azarie find themselves both facing this problem. At the outset their identities seem to be as diametrically opposed as possible. Noah is a quiet kid, the child of a firefighter and a police officer, who was once lambasted by the entire class for daring to discuss his dream of being a costume designer. Outgoing Azarie, the child of a famous mother and a politician father, is a cheerleading valedictorian whose every move is lauded by her peers. Noah is Afro Latino, middle class, with one close friend - Hiroki. Azarie is white, affluent, with thousands of social media followers.
Throughout this coming-of-age story, both Noah and Azarie have to discover that it's not always easy to be who you are in a world that thinks it knows what you should be. Refreshingly, there is no star-crossed lovers romance in this plot! Instead, the story focuses on the platonic and complicated friendship that Noah and Azarie have to work to develop over the course of the text. Writer David Pinckney's characters are by turns funny and flawed and the text makes brilliant use of epistolary elements - like texts and cell phone notifications - to aid in crafting the tale. Artist Ennun Ana Iurov, a newcomer to graphic novels, has a unique style honed by her work on 'zines. Though it takes a little getting used to, the pastel palette and rich detail bring the story to life. Though there are a few places where the story falls a little flat.
Alicia is PhD Student in Literacy and English Language Arts Education at North Carolina State University. Prior to entering the PhD program, she taught high school English (9th Grade, African-American, YA, and British Literature). Her passion is culturally relevant and critical pedagogies, with a particular interest in multimodal texts and inclusive literary practices.
She also loves: Star Trek, videogames, graphic novels, cartoons, and podcasts.