Grpahic Novels

Just like there are great graphic novel adaptations of classic literature, the library also has a host of modern classics that combine word and image. These adaptations can make a moving story even more powerful with the addition of illustrations. Here are just a few examples from our adult and teen collections.  

01.08 Wheel of TimeEYE OF THE WORLD
By Robert Jordan and Chuck Dixon
Artwork by Chase Conley
(2011) 

In this first volume of the WHEEL OF TIME SERIES, Ran al’Thor and his friends flee their home village, and are barely ahead of the pursuing Trollocs and Draghkar. Will the young people learn what they need to know in order to survive this dangerous world? 

 

01.08 Enders Game Battle SchoolENDER’S GAME : BATTLE SCHOOL
By Orson Scott Card and Christopher Yost
Artwork by Pasqual Ferry and Frank D'Armata
(2009) 

The Earth is in a desperate fight against a deadly alien race, and one child, Ender Wiggin, may be the key to saving mankind. 

 

01.08 SpeakSPEAK
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Artwork by Emily Carroll
(2018) 

Melinda starts her freshman year at Merryweather High School friendless and an outcast, all because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now, no one will listen to her, but what secrets could Melinda be keeping inside?  

 

01.08 Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesPRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
By Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen, and Tony Lee
Artwork by Cliff Richards
(2010) 

A plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton that causes the dead to return to life. Heroine Elizabeth Bennett is determined to wipe out the zombies, but will a haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy distract her from her mission?  

 

01.08 The AlchemistTHE ALCHEMIST
By Paulo Coelho and Derek Ruiz
Artwork by Daniel Sampere
(2010) 

Shepherd boy Santiago travels from his homeland of Spain to Egypt in search of a treasure in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets several interesting individuals who help Santiago in his quest. Soon his quest becomes more than a search to find worldly goods and turns into a discovery of self-discovery and worth.  

 

01.08 KindredKINDRED
By Octavia Butler and Damian Duffy
Artwork by Nnedi Okorafor
(2017) 

A young black writer from 1970s California finds herself transported through space and time to antebellum Maryland. She soon discovers that her very existence depends on protecting Rufus, a conflicted white child, slaveholder, and progenitor. This is a powerful look at the disturbing effects of slavery on all who it chained together. 

 

What are some of your favorite books that have graphic novel adaptations? Share them in the comments and be sure to look for our favorite nonfiction and classic fiction posts.

clements

I was really saddened to hear of the passing of Andrew Clements on November 29, 2019. In his career as an author, Andrew Clements wrote more than 80 books for young people including picture books, young adult novels, and, of course, his school stories. 

When I was in elementary school, I started reading school stories. I loved reading books about real kids in real situations having believable adventures. As a child, I was a reader who disliked book series, didn’t enjoy fantasy novels, and longed for a little more reality in my books. I still read a lot of realistic fiction, but for me there will always be one author who wrote these stories better than anyone else, and that is Andrew Clements.

frindle The first time I read FRINDLE I was instantly hooked. Here was a book about real kids who were funny, smart, and clever and made the smallest silliest change in the world just by changing the word pen to frindle. As a kid, I was too much of a teacher’s pet to even think about pulling pranks like Nicholas Allen – but I knew if he was in my class I would have started calling all of my pens frindles.

Though I’m sad to hear of the passing of one of my favorite authors, I’m so glad for a chance to look back on his career with gratitude for the role he played in building my love of learning. One of my favorite quotes from Andrew Clements is about why he likes to write stories even though he admits it’s difficult for him to do:

“Three days ago on a windy, drizzly day in New England, I stacked firewood for five hours straight, three cords of wood — had to be a couple tons of the stuff. It was difficult, but all winter now, there will be a cheery fire in the fireplace, and toasty warmth from the stove in my writing shed in the back yard. I like cheery fires and toasty stoves enough to want to do the hard work of stacking wood.

"I know from my own experience that reading a good book can be a life-changing event. So I'm willing, actually happy, to do the work of stacking all those words so they'll give off some heat and light in another's life on a winter afternoon or a summer night. And if I have the ability to perhaps make that happen, then the work becomes fun.”

Winter Hobbies

Are you looking for a productive way to spend your time indoors while winter rages outside? Are you all worn out from finishing yet ANOTHER Netflix marathon? Consider learning a new hobby! Not sure where to start? Take a look at some of these books found at The Provo City Library

01.03 20 Minute Whittling Projects20-MINUTE WHITTLING PROJECTS: FUN THINGS TO CARVE FROM WOOD
By Tom Hindes
(2016)

Why not whittle away those long, dark winter days by whittling away at a small piece of wood? This is a hobby you can take anywhere with you.Bonus: If you feel confident enough you can use your creations as gifts for the holiday season! 

 

01.03 Get CodingGET CODING!: LEARN HTML, CSS, AND JAVASCRIPT AND BUILD A WEBSITE, APP, AND GAME
By Duncan Beedie
(2017)

If you find yourself getting bored with the same old computer games over and over again, you might want to consider creating your own. Make your dreams become (virtual) reality by learning how to code! 

 

01.03 Beeswax AlchemyBEESWAX ALCHEMY: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CANDLES, SOAP, BALMS, SALVS AND HOME DECOR FROM THE HIVE
By Petra Ahnert
(2015)

Spending a lot of time indoors during the winter might also mean spending a lot more money on your electricity bill. Help yourself out by learning how to make candles. You’ll save yourself some green and at the same time create a warm, cozy atmosphere to be enjoyed. 

 

01.03 Why KnotWHY KNOT?: HOW TO TIE MORE THAN SIXTY INGENIOUS, USEFUL, BEAUTIFUL, LIFESAVING, MAGICAL, INTRIGUING, AND SECURE KNOTS!
By Philippe Petit
(2013)

If you really want to make the most of your time indoors “why knot” learn how to tie different types of knots?Okay, okay. Moving on past my failed humor, this is a hobby that can save your sanity and your life. Talk about productivity! 

 

01.03 37 Houseplants Even You Cant Kill37 HOUSEPLANTS EVEN YOU CAN'T KILL
By Mary Kate Hogan
(2006)

If you find that your surrounding landscape is bleak, and bare, and dead, why not bring some colors and life into your living space by caring for a houseplant? Mary Kate Hogan guarantees that even YOU can’t kill the plants she mentions in this book, and besides, plants are pets that you don’t have to take outside in the snow at 5 am to “do their business” (looking at YOU, household dog of 17 years!).

 

Caldecott

Most readers are (at least somewhat) familiar with the Caldecott award – given to “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children” each year. But deciphering which books are Caldecott eligible can be a little tricky. Because this is an award for American picture books, the artist who wins needs to be either a citizen or resident of the United States. So, some of our favorite international illustrators can’t win a Caldecott award – unless they want to move to the States. 

With this in mind, here are five of our very favorite picture books from 2019 that won’t get any Caldecott recognition – because they can’t. 

12.30 Just BecauseJUST BECAUSE
By Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
(2019) 

Mac Barnett is the author of two Caldecott Honorees; EXTRA YARN and SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE, both of which were illustrated by Jon Klassen. His latest picture book, JUST BECAUSE, is a beautiful bedtime book about a curious young girl and her patient father who answers her pre-sleep questions with fantastical answers. The illustrations, which make use of black, white, and grey with accent colors in muted tones, are appealingly retro. These illustrations, a real highlight of this book, come to us courtesy of Isabelle Arsenault, a native of Quebec who still lives and works in Montreal. Don’t expect to see any Caldecott awards attached to the cover of this one, but make sure you don’t miss this one either. 

 

12.30 Small in the CitySMALL IN THE CITY
Written and illustrated by Sydney Smith
(2019) 

I don’t often say that a picture book gives me chills, but this one does that and more. To reveal everything that makes this book so special would be a real disservice to the calm, patient, and very sweet ending, but I will say that this book is very deserving of all five of its starred reviews. A little boy, alone in a big city, speaks as first-person narrator telling the reader everything he knows about being small in the city. We follow this little boy as he travels through his beautiful-ugly city brought to life. The illustrations in this book are incredible. Period. Sydney Smith is a native resident of Canada so this book won’t win a Caldecott, but don’t let that keep you away.   

 

12.30 The Proudest BlueTHE PROUDEST BLUE: A STORY OF HIJAB AND FAMILY
By Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali
Illustrated by Hatem Aly
(2019) 

On the first day of school, Faizah is excited to see her older sister Asiya wear hijab for the first time. Faizah sees Asiya as a princess, and her bright blue headscarf is her crown. At school, not everyone understands Asiya’s hijab and classmates whisper and shout ignorant insults. But Asiya keeps her head held proudly in her bright blue hijab. The bold, royal blue fills the pages of the book literally and metaphorically as a sweeping reminder of pride and respect for hijab. These triumphant illustrations, from Hatem Aly who illuminated THE INQUISITOR’S TALE, are bold, bright, and self-assured. Because Hatem Aly was born in Egypt and lives in Canada, this excellent new book won’t get a Caldecott nod, but should not be missed. 

 

12.30 The Last PeachTHE LAST PEACH
Written and illustrated by Gus Gordon
(2019) 

Australian author-illustrator Gus Gordon is back in a new picture book about two bugs debating who gets to eat the last peach of the summer. As the two bugs (who you will fall in love with) go back and forth debating who gets to eat it, all the other bugs try to remind them that the last peach of summer always looks good but doesn’t taste good – they shouldn’t eat it. This is a fun read-aloud type book where alternating font colors bring the bugs to life. These illustrations are fun – lots of white space with cut-paper collage adds to the lively nature of the book and perfectly accents the big, beautiful, last peach. A surprise twist ending will have readers eager to re-read this one and look for hints. 

 

12.30 Little Doctor and the Fearless BeastLITTLE DOCTOR AND THE FEARLESS BEAST
Written and illustrated by Sophie Gilmore
(2019) 

Little Doctor lives all alone in the deep, dark forest treating crocodiles of their various ailments. The fearsome creatures come from all over to receive reptilian treatment in exchange for stories. One day, Little Doctor is visited by Big Mean, the biggest, meanest crocodile of all; a particularly grumpy patient who won’t open up to Little Doctor – literally. Another picture book that packs a surprise punch, the climax of this book will keep readers guessing. Seeing Big Mean twist and curl and contort to fit into the pages of this book is enticing and the repeating ovular shapes and cool greyish-green makes for a beautiful and lush read. Sophie Gilmore’s debut picture book should keep her name in readers’ minds for a long time, but, born in New Zealand and residing in Italy, don’t expect to see her name on Caldecott lists this year.

 

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