Books in Brief: Sand, Swine, and Shadows
The first in a presumably five-part series, Sand Warrior creates a unique and colorful world. Oona’s sister was destined to light the ancient beacon to restore their planet and make it healthy again, but Oona is unable to control her Sand Castles. It’s precisely on this day that another planet chooses to attack, forcing Oona to team up with two others and causing her to realize she has powers and abilities that she has yet to discover. The world-building and set-up of this first volume was a bit confusing at times, but I believe readers will want to move on to Part II, which will be released later this year.
Pigs Might Fly by Nick Abadzis and Jerel Dye
ISBN 978-1-62672-743-4 $22.99 hc
First Second, c2017
Our heroine Lily, who lives in the Pigdom Plains, is a resourceful, smart, talented, and accomplished swine. But her father doesn’t see her intelligence or her skills. Instead, as Warthogs fly their planes overhead, threatening the peace and serenity of the Pigdom, her father is working in overdrive to find a solution that Lily might already have. When Lily sets out on her own she is captured by the Warthogs and discovers her father’s former assistant is behind it all. It will take unexpected allies and much courage to save the Pigdom. There’s lots of adventure and wonderful characterizations, even if having swine and warthogs as central characters seems a bit bizarre. Intricate drawings and vivid colors will grab readers, and the surprise ending hints that there’s more to come.
Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and Anissa Espinosa
ISBN 978-1-59643-877-4 $16.99 pbk
First Second, c2017
Greg has never had a shadow, which made him one of the oddities of Lancaster. When he meets and falls in love with a ghost, Eleanor, it unleashes the dark side of his shadow and could threaten his entire town. This book is a perfect mix of heartwarming and ominous, with solid storytelling. The black and white drawings lend the perfect pitch to the story. Offer this to fans of Friends with Boys or Anya’s Ghost. It’s not all spooky, but there’s enough for horror fans.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at William E. Grady CTE HS in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, she curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics and worked in the same middle school library for 20 years.
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