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The Washington Post's Best Graphic Novels of 2018

Graphic novels are one of our most popular categories, and we're glad to see these selections included on the Washington Post's list of the Best Graphic Novels of 2018.

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      Pilu of the Woods

      by Mai K. Nguyen

      Aug 2019

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends. But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger…and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.

      Full-color illustrations.

      Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir

      by Julie Bertagna

      Aug 2019

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      John Muir led an adventurous life, starting with his wild and playful boyhood in Scotland to his legendary exploits in America, where he became an inventor, a global explorer, and the first modern environmentalist—and even made friends with a president! His heart was always in the outdoors and he aimed to experience all he could. Most importantly, though, John Muir told the world about the wonders of nature. His words made a difference and inspired people in many countries to start protecting planet Earth—and they still do.

      Key character list. Time line. Glossary. Source notes. “Parks Are for You.” Full-color illustrations.

      The Good Son: A Story from the First World War Told in Miniature

      by Pierre-Jacques Ober

      Aug 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      It is Christmastime, 1914, and World War I rages. A young French soldier named Pierre had quietly left his regiment to visit his family for two days, and when he returned, he was imprisoned. Now he faces execution for desertion, and as he waits in isolation, he meditates on big questions: the nature of patriotism, the horrors of war, the joys of friendship, the love of family, and how even in times of danger, there is a whole world inside every one of us. And how sometimes that world is the only refuge. Its publication coinciding with the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this moving and sparely narrated story, based on true events, is reenacted in fascinating miniature scenes that convey the emotional complexity of the tale.

      Map. Author’s note. Note on artistic process. Full-color photographs of scenes created with miniature models.

      Nico Bravo and the Hound of Hades

      by Mike Cavallaro

      Jul 2019

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      Got a problem? At Vulcan's Celestial Supply Shop, you can find the magical merchandise to set things right. The seasoned staff—a kid named Nico Bravo, a sphynx named Lula, and a unicorn named Buck—pride themselves on providing “legendary service and expertise in all areas of the arcane.” But Nico's world is about to be turned upside down, and it's all thanks his latest customer: Eowulf, the pint-size descendant of the monster slayer Beowulf. Determined to carry on the family business, this would-be warrior plans to slay Cerberus, the terrifying, three-headed hound of Hades. There's just one problem—Cerberus is the only thing preventing the hordes of the Underworld from entering the land of the living. Can Nico stop Eowulf from unleashing a zombie apocalypse?

      Full-color digital illustrations.

      Operatic

      by Kyo Maclear

      Jul 2019

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      It’s almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it’s hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can’t stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn’t been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends. Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria’s life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life?

      Bibliography. Full-color illustrations.

      Hot Comb

      by Ebony Flowers

      Jul 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm—a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself. “My Lil Sister Lena” shows the stress of being the only black player on a white softball team. Lena’s hair is the team curio, an object to be touched, a subject to be discussed and debated at the will of her teammates, leading Lena to develop an anxiety disorder of pulling her own hair out. Throughout Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. “Change your hair form to fit your life form” and “Kinks and Koils Forever” call customers from the page.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Click

      by Kayla Miller

      Jun 2019

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      Out of stock
      Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?

      Full-color illustrations created with inks and digital color.

      Rocket to the Moon!: Big Ideas That Changed the World

      by Don Brown

      Jun 2019

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” when the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it wasn’t just one man who got us to the moon. The Moon Landing explores the people and technology that made the moon landing possible. Instead of examining one person’s life, it focuses on the moon landing itself, showing the events leading up to it and how it changed the world.

      Time line. Further information about Rodman Law. Source notes. Bibliography. Author’s note. Index. Full-color illustrations.

      Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

      by Mariko Tamaki

      Jun 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: Break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem.

      Two-color illustrations penciled with graphite, then inked and colored in Photoshop.

      Sanity & Tallulah

      by Molly Brooks

      May 2019

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn't long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it's too late?
      Two-color illustrations.

      The Giver (Graphic Novel)

      by Lois Lowry

      May 2019

      Graphic Novels Middle Plus

      Out of stock
      In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life. Witness Jonas's assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.

      Interviews with the creators, Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell. Full-color illustrations created with blue pencil, pencil, ink, blue ink wash, and gray ink wash.

      Mera: Tidebreaker

      by Danielle Paige

      May 2019

      Graphic Novels High Plus

      When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry—the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution?

      Full-color illustrations.
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