In the run-up to Christmas, I thought I’d replace my usual short-fiction posts with something a little different. If you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously interested in books. In case you’re looking for a few suggestions for Christmas presents, I thought I would put together a few posts that recommend books in a specific genre. For each book, if you click on the title, you will be taken to my full review of the book. If you click on the cover, you’ll be taken to Amazon where you can purchase a copy of the book (and support my blog in the process – thanks!)
I thought I’d start with graphic novels, since we’ve read a couple this year that were read and reread.In fact, these are all going to be middle grade to teen targeted books who all happen to feature a female protagonist.
First off, I’m going to recommend Smile by Raina Telgemeier. If you have a child that’s about to get braces and is nervous about the process, you definitely want to give them this book. If you have a child in middle school or about to enter middle school, you also want to give them this book. Not only does Raina walk you through the process to rearrange her teeth to replace lost front teeth, but you see her learn what makes a real friend and how to focus on what you enjoy. We read Sisters as well. It was good, but if you can only get one, get Smile.
Next up in my trio of strong girls learning to believe in themselves is Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. Again, we have a middle school-aged girl growing up and perhaps away from her childhood friends. Astrid is fascinated by roller derby and can’t understand why her BFF isn’t into it as much as she is. Astrid sticks with roller derby anyways, even though she’s not very good at first and doesn’t know anyone. Throughout the book, we can see an exploration of friendship and relationships and how so many things change in middle school, but you always have to stay true to yourself.
Finally, I’m going to recommend El Deafo by Cece Bell. Our family isn’t the only ones who loved this book since it received a Newbery Honor medal. It is also an autobiographical graphic novel, aiming for slightly younger than the previous books. The main theme of this book is feeling different because of a disability, since Cece is partially deaf and has to use a Phonic Ear to hear in the classroom. Not only do we have all the normal difficulties of growing up, but we get to see how Cece and those around her deal with her disability. Definitely a great introduction to showing compassion for anyone who might be different from the norm in a lighter setting because it’s full of pictures of rabbit people.
Hopefully one of those books looks good enough to gift this Christmas. Our family (both the kids and I) have certainly enjoyed each of the books on this list.
If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!