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Thursday Afternoon Book Review

July 27th, 2023

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(Photo by Rawley/use with permission only, please)

Today’s reviews: graphic novels for young readers.

Francine Pascal’s “Sweet Valley Twins,” an oldie but goodie series for ages 4th grade and up, is being reissued in comic book form. “Teacher’s Pet,” adapted by Nicole Andelfinger, with illustrations by Claudia Aguirre, is first on the shelf (RH Graphic/Random House Kids, 2023, 200 pages, $13.99). California sisters Jessica and Elizabeth are back, and in rare form. Who will be cast as the lead in the upcoming ballet recital? And will Jess ever get to go to the beach with her friends and just relax? The graphic novel format suits the series — the drawings are reminiscent of the Archie comics. The book includes an excerpt of the upcoming Sweet Valley release, “Choosing Sides.”

Underwater party! Here is “Shark Princess: Shark Party!” written by Nidhi Chanani, with color by Elizabeth Kramer (Viking, 2023, ages 5 and up, 79 pages, $12.99). This fun read for summer has a hardbound cover (perma-bound, as it’s known in the publishing industry — no dust jacket, and sturdy). Kitana and Mack are off on new adventures. Mack is ready for the shark party — playing games, dancing, meeting new sharks and having fun. But Kitana has other plans. So many puns, bright colors, and lots of shark info are wrapped up in this book.

“Enlightened,” written and illustrated by the gifted Sachi Ediriweera, is an outstanding new biography about Buddha. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, 2023, tentative release date end of September, $13.99 paperback, $22.99 hardcover.) The graphic novel, aimed at young adults (grade 7 and up), truly is a groundbreaking work. The art is done in a two-color palette, and is beautiful. The storyline (lightly fictionalized, but based on historical facts) follows the young Prince Siddhartha from the palace at Kapilavastu, in the plains of central Nepal, to his later years, when he becomes the sage who founds Buddhism. Good resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about Buddhism.

All for now!


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