ages 11-18

Teens! Volunteer at the AADL this summer!

Hey, teens! Are you interested in volunteering at the library this summer? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 18, you can! We need your help with program prep, filling summer game prize shop orders, and with hosting the tons of great programs that take place over the summer including the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival and the Detroit Circus’ performance at the AADL!

Visit www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer to fill out the application form and find out information about orientation dates and times. You’ll also find a link there to the permission slip, which needs to be printed out and signed by a parent or guardian and brought to one of 6 orientations taking place over the course of the summer. At these orientations, you’ll learn about volunteering at the library and have the chance to sign up for the volunteer shifts you’re interested in, so bring your calendar!

At the end of the summer, you’ll get a letter from the AADL emailed to you that states the number of hours you volunteered helping us out.

Questions? Email teenvolunteer@aadl.org or call (734) 327-8326. See you this summer!

Loved the book? Check out the graphic novel!

Whenever a much beloved book is adapted into another form, whether it's a graphic novel or *gasp* a movie starring Brendan Fraser as your favorite character (and thus ruining the image you had of that character forever) there is always the temptation to scoff at the adaptation.
I mean how can it compare to the awesomeness that is the original book? The answer is, quite often that it can’t, and it shouldn’t.
While adaptations can often be enjoyed by those who are already fans, the idea behind them is often to appeal to a new audience, as well as the old.
So if you’re ready to take the plunge into new adaptations of some amazing books check out the following.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman follows Nobody Owens as he grows up in a graveyard, raised by ghosts.

The Infernal Devices adapted from the smash hit series by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments.

Maximum Ride adapted into a Manga from James Pattersons hit fantasy series.

Vampire Academy is an adaptation of the wildly popular Vampire Academy series.

And last but no means least Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass has been adapted into a wonderful graphic novel, originally published in France. The art is breathtaking and worth reading if you’re a fan or not of the original series

Teen and Adult Crossover Graphic Novel: Special Batman vs Superman edition

With Batman vs. Superman just around the corner now is the perfect time to read up on both superheroes and maybe the Batman vs. Superman graphic novel.
Now this list is not everything that the library has of these two seminal heroes but rather some of the best graphic novels that we have of Batman and Superman (I'll put a link to a search for everything we have on them at the end of the post).

Let's start with Batman (because I think he's the best, feel free to tell me why I'm wrong or right in the comments).
Batman:Under the Hood is one of those graphic novels that has fans both loving and hating it. It takes one of the old supporting characters from Batman and re-imagines them as a violent anti-hero: The Red Hood. This graphic novel has everything that you could want from a Batman story and controversy aside it is a must read for any fans of the series.
Another Batman series that has fans conflicted is Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn which re-imagines the characters of Batman and Robin, almost reversing the dynamic between them with Robin being the scowling broody hero and Batman being more lighthearted and spontaneous hero that fans would often expect Robin to be. This series is definitely worth a read if you are willing to put preconceptions about what the various characters should act like. It makes a nice break from some of the darker Batman stories.
The last Batman story is Batman and the Mad Monk. This story is one of the first times that Batman has to fight a supernatural villain and it makes from a nice change from the run of the mill criminally insane that we so often see him fight.

The first Superman crossover graphic novel is Superman:Red Son This is one of my favorite Superman stories, it takes Superman's origins and asks the question, what would have happened if he had been raised in Soviet Russia instead of the United States. This change in origin makes for a wonderful story in which we get to see some of our favorite characters engaging with Superman in a way that they have never before (this is a must read for all fans and non-fans alike)!
The next Superman is The Death of Superman. This is one of the first times when the mortality of Superman was put to the question. Could Superman die, and how might this happen. This story is one of the most iconic ones in the history of Superman.
The final superman story is Superman: Exile this story takes place after Superman has broken his oath to never kill and he places himself into a self imposed exile from earth and learns that he cannot run from himself. This is a very different kind of Superman story with lots of introspection, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in action or that it’s boring in any way shape or form, instead what we end up with is a story that strives to bring deeper understanding to just who Superman is.

As promised here’s a link to a search for all the graphic novels the library has on
Batman and Superman

Is the grass greener on the other side of the wall?

I'm not normally a fan of graphic memoirs, often I find them to be only of interest if you are a fan of the artist already but there are several graphic memoirs that despite having never heard of the author prior to picking up the graphic novel that have endeared themselves enough that I've read them multiple times. One of those graphic memoirs is The Other Side of the Wall by Simon Schwartz. The novel is set in the 1980's in Germany and follows the Schwartz family as they move across the wall from East Germany to West Germany in search of freedoms that they could not have in East Germany. This period of time is incredibly interesting and Schwartz manages to capture a lot of the emotions that his family went through, as well as documenting their personal history.
This graphic novel is wonderful and will open up a world that might otherwise be impossible to see. Germany in the 80's was on the brink of change, and it is in this precipice that Schwartz sets his graphic memoir.
The artwork is simple but at the same time conveys a huge amount of information about that period in time.
So if you're looking for a fantastic graphic memoir, or to learn about post war Germany, then The Other Side of the Wall is for you!

Giant Days brings Giant Entertainment

I'm a big fan of Boom! comics and their various imprints. They are the company who brought us Lumberjanes, and Mr. Stuffins (the best comic you'll ever read about a James Bond-like teddy bear). Now with Giant Days by John Allison, they have made a wonderful slice-of-life comic for the teen reader.

The comic follows three freshers (this is the British term for new university students) as they go about their lives during the first year of university. The stories are not grand and epic like Lumberjanes but rather they are small and meaningful. You really get to know the characters and there are opportunities throughout the comic to connect with what's going on with them, whether that's boyfriends, toxic friendships, or rescuing a friend from a trashy nightclub (and many many other such real life adventures).

The artwork is superb, with each of the characters and the locations really having a strong sense of individuality. So if you're looking for a comic that really connects you with wonderful characters, then Giant Days is a must read!

It's Hard to be evil on a part time wage.

It sure is hard being the devil and a lord of a vast demon host when you only get part time hours at the local McRonald's restaurant. But Sadao Mao (as the Devil now call himself) is doing just that. Originally from another world called Ente Isla the Devil and his arch nemesis the Hero Emelia are thrust through a magic portal into our world. Left without their magic they are stuck and the Devil and his demon companion have to live in a tiny apartment and work part time jobs just to pay the bills.
This Manga based on a Light Novel and Anime of the same name is fantastic. It will keep you guessing as to what the real motivations behind the demon lord of Ente Isla truly is. The series has everything, action, adventure (and possible a little love) so if you're looking for a light hearted look at the Devil and his companions you can't go wrong with The Devil is a Part-Timer and the library is getting volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3!

Crossover Graphic Novels January Edition

Another year another wonderful selection of graphic novels that are great for young and old alike. This month brings some awesome graphic novels from some supremely talented artists and authors!

First up is Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll. This book takes the slavic folktale character Baba Yaga and reimagines a world in which she might live, and indeed do well enough to need an assistant. Whoever chose Emily Carroll to do the artwork for this book deserves to be applauded for their forward thinking. The artwork is a wonderful mix of simple and complex. Everything “ordinary” is drawn simply and really gives a sense of the “normalness” of them while Baba Yaga and other such extraordinary things are clearly drawn as different from the normal. The story itself really benefits from this style of art. As for the content of the story, it is more than just another reimagining of a folktale that are so popular at the moment. It truly strives to use the folktale as a frame for the story and not the other way around.
So if you like the weird, the extraordinary and people outthinking the “bad guys” then this book is for you!

The second graphic novel(s) in this month's crossover blog is the wonderful “Chronicle of Claudette” series which include the volumes Giants Beware and Dragons Beware. The first volume follows young Claudette as she goes in search of a local giant to slay and make her mark on the world. The Second follows as she attempts to get the famous sword Breaker that her father lost when trying to slay a dragon. The dragon took the sword along with her father's legs and one arm! The artwork is cute at times, but don’t let that distract you. The story is engrossing and will keep you reading.
So if you like giants and dragons, and awesome young protagonists who do what no one thinks they can, then this graphic novel is for you!

Lastly (and I’ll hope you’ll forgive me for this) I’m not going to point out a new series, but rather highlight that we will be getting volumes 2 and 3 of Lumberjanes!!! So if you’ve read the first volume Beware the Kitten Holy and loved it half as much as I did you should request to be added to the hold list for the new volumes because they are awesome, and if you haven't read the first volume you should go read it as soon as possible! It won lots of awards last year and for good reasons!

2015 Thumbs Up award from the Michigan Library Association winner

Every year the Michigan Library Association gives out the Thumbs Up award that recognizes books that offer an outstanding contribution to young adult literature. This years winner is Through the Woods by Emily Carroll.
The book has 5 graphic stories in it each one a complete "fairy tale" type story. The artwork is just phenomenal and the stories gave me chills. Th stories included in the book are Our neighbor's house - A lady's hands are cold - His face all red --My friend Janna - The nesting place and each one creates a great feeling of the "weird" that really works great in tandem with the artwork.

So if you are interested in a great series of short weird graphic stories then give the 2015 Thumbs Up award winning Through the Woods a read!

Gruesome folk(ish) tales in comic form.

The Saint's Eyes and other stories by C.Frakes is a collection of stories that all share one thing in common, they are all weird in the original sense of the word. They have something out of the ordinary, something slightly mystical and sometimes gruesome to them. My favorite of the stories is a woman talking about her life and the curse that she's been placed under. At first you don't notice anything strange but as the panels progress you get a better understanding of just who the woman was.

The artwork is simple, but it works with the style of stories that are being told. The simple lines and lack of shading in the comics give it a whimsical feel that plays well with the stories and creates something that is great.

If you enjoy short stories told in comic form and folk tales then The Saint's Eyes and other stories is definitely for you!

Comic artist spotlight: Marguerite Debaie

Marguerite Debaie is a Palestinian-American artist who has been writing comics about the Palestinian-American experience and they are great. Her first book, in two volumes, The Hookah Girl and other Stories are humorously poignant observations from someone who has grown up as a Christian Palestinian in the US. These two volumes manage to capture what it was like for Marguerite growing up. The art is beautiful and at times it manages to capture in time a moment of great importance for us to share with the artist. So check out Volume 1 and Volume 2

Her second book A Voyage to Panjikant is a beautiful piece of historical fiction that follows a family from 7th Century Sogdiana (now known as Uzbekistan) who are in the midst of the silk road. This first volume is short, but you can see the time and care that went into making it. The coloring is by far some of the most beautiful work I’ve seen in some time, Debaie really captures the vibrancy of the culture. If you are interested in historical-fiction comics then you need to read A Voyage to Panjikant.

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