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Our Secondary School Librarian Recommends her Favourite Graphic Novels

We are very excited to see our Secondary School Librarian, Sarah Marnat Olivera, being featured in the latest edition of City Weekend Parents & Kids.

Ms Olivera was the first contributor to the magazine’s new regular feature where they ask for book recommendations for children and young adults. Her recommendations were for graphic novels for different age groups and in case you missed the issue, we thought we’d share them with you here too.

Have you read any of these graphic novels? If you have let us know what you think by sharing with us on Facebook or Twitter

Corto Maltese Series, by Hugo Pratt. Black and White/Color. First Volume: 1967.

Corto Maltese is a must for lovers of adventure and travel. Comprised of 12 volumes, these stories follow the swashbuckling adventurer and his privateer comrade Rasputin to far-flung destinations and through seemingly insurmountable odds. The stories are told through a magical blend of humour and terrific minimalist art for which Hugo Pratt is specially known. Set in the turbulent days of the First World War, events, while dramatic, are very believable which makes these stories that much more captivating and exciting. A fun and exciting read for kids ages 11 - 14.

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. Black and White. 2000 & 2003.

Persepolis takes the seemingly grim cocktail of politics, religion and women’s rights in Iran and manages to amuse, entertain and educate. Based on the childhood and adolescent reminisces of Marjane Satrapy, we get a personal glimpse of the Ayatollah Khomeni’s 1979 revolution. Readers of all ages will appreciate the beautiful mix of tragedy, humour and humanity. An additional and welcome by-product is its non-partisan look at an oft-misunderstood and ancient nation. Best for kids ages 11 - 14.

Maus, by Art Spiegelman. Black and White. 1991.

A must read since its publication, MAUS deals with one of the darkest episodes of human history by allowing cats and mice to depict events of the Holocaust. Set in Poland during its occupation during the Second World War, we see the story of Vladek Speigelman told in allegorical form. The diminutive form initially diminishes some of the impact only for the ultimate message to hit home all the harder. This is essential reading for everyone. Recommended for teenagers aged 14 - 16.

Nausicaa Series by Hayao Miyasaki. Black and White. 1982.

Nausicaa, originally published in 1982 is arguably as good as the Japanese art form of Manga gets.  Hayao Miyasaki, better known as director of My neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke had delighted us with this early  prophetic tale. It is set in the distant future where much of the habitable world has been destroyed by human activity, where insects have mutated into a dominant race and where resources are scarce. Nausicaa demonstrates the expressiveness of the Manga art form whilst presenting the reader with interesting questions about the world around them and its finiteness. Great for kids ages 11 - 14.

Bone Series by Jeff Smith, Color. First Volume: 1991.

This tale of three related bones characters appears odd and simplistic at first but soon develops into a riveting tale of survival and intrigue. It ingeniously develops into fantasy and historical territory using great art, humour and of course, great writing. Page after page the authors lets us know more and more developments on this medieval and fantasy background. Readers invariably find the characters endearing and sympathetic despite initial reservations. Best for kids ages 7 - 11.

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