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Summer Reading 2016: Graphic Novels

Find all of the Urban School book recommendations for summer 2016

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets by Craig Thompson
Recommended by Amanda Moore, English

This book will appeal to fans of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, and Relish by Lucy Knisley.

In previous years, Amanda has recommended Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (2012), Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (2013), and Fairyland by Alysia Abbott (2014).


Chew by by John Layman, Rob Guillory (Illustrator)
Recommended by Library Leaders

Set in a post avian flu-out-broken America, "CHEW" follows two interesting members of the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration) who are now the leading detective agency in the US, as they solve food related mysteries. This graphic novel is absurd, disgusting, intriguing and actually quite complicated. It is also a fast and immediately rewarding read, what more could you possibly want.

The book will appeal to fans of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Bone by Jeff Smith, and Hellboy by Michael Mignola.

The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf

The Arab of the future: growing up in the Middle East (1978-1984) by Riad Sattouf
Recommended by Courtney Rein, English Department Chair

Are you interested in knowing more about the history of Syria and Libya but struggling to know where to begin? Did you enjoy the way Persepolis uses art to communicate the intersections between the personal and the political in describing the 1979 Revolution in Iran? If so, you'll love the graphic novel The Arab of the Future! Author and artist Riad Sattouf, whose parents are French and Syrian, offers a funny, moving, and information-rich story of his upbringing, moving around Europe and the Middle East. 

This book will appeal to fans of Maus by Art Spiegelman, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

In previous years, Courtney has recommended Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (2008), The Bone People by Keri Hulme (2011), Swamplandia by Kerry Russel (2013), and Citizen by Claudia Rankin (2015).


Killing and Dying

Killing and dying by Adrian Tomine
Recommended by Library Leaders

Adrian Tomine's Killing and Dying is an assortment of short, powerful visual vignettes. These stories are deceptively simple and mundane (especially in their neutral-toned and banal settings), but their simplicity lends them power. The first story ("A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture") is almost lighthearted: it features a man becoming obsessed with plant sculpting. But the darker themes that string together all of the stories (themes of loneliness, inadequacy and dysfunctional relationships) never really disappear beneath the surface. Funny, thoughtful and stunningly beautiful....

This book will appeal to fans of Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes, and The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.