Three Shadows

Three shadowy figures on horseback have invaded the peaceful lives of Lise, Louis, and their son Joachim. It soon becomes apparent that they are there for Joachim. Lise and Louis will stop at nothing to protect him.
In Three Shadows, Cyril Pedrosa has created a beautiful and poetic fable about love, possession, and grief. Pedrosa's characters are full of wonderfully fluid movement and, following the mood of the story, he is able to switch effortlessly from a sketchy abstract expressionist style back to straight up cartooning. Simply beautiful. Pedrosa is a French cartoonist who drew for Disney (Hunchback of Notre Dame & Hercules) back in the 1990s.


In Laika, Nick Abadzis beautifully and compassionately tells the sad tale of Sputnik II and Laika, the Russian dog who became Earth's first space traveler. Abadzis carefully blends fact with fiction to show the human side of the overtly political Soviet Space Program of the 1950s. Unfortunately, we all know that Laika's story does not have a happy ending. There was never a plan for her return. Abadzis takes full advantage of the affordances of comics storytelling, using thoughtful and poetic page layouts to fully investigate the inner lives of the characters and their struggles. The panels themselves are packed full of visual information--including phases of the moon depicted accurately to the date of the events within the story. Abadzis explores the fragile balance between obligation to one's duties and having to live with the consequences.
If you'd rather have a happy ending, try Pupniks by S. Ruth Lubka. It tells the story of Sputnik 5, in which Belka and Strelka returned safely to Earth in 1960.

Benny and Penny: Just Pretend


Benny and Penny: Just Pretend, by best-selling children's book author Geoffrey Hayes, is an adorably illustrated graphic novel that features a day in the life of a sister and brother mouse duo. Benny is having fun playing pirates and Penny wants to join the fun. But big brother Benny will not be found playing with his pesky little sister. He tries to make her hide so good in hide and seek that she won’t find him again and then he’ll get to play all by himself. He soon finds out that maybe playing with someone, even your annoying crybaby little sister, is more fun than playing pretend by yourself. Hayes learned a similar lesson in his youth thanks to his tag-along little brother.

If I should die before I wake...

The other night my son asked me a very profound question. "What would you do if you found out you only had two days left to live?" I told him that I'd spend it with my family. No parties, no wild adventures, no spending sprees, just time with my wife and kids. That got me thinking. What would I read if I could only read two books in my life. My first pick is the Bible. My second is The Hobbit.

Why The Hobbit you may ask? Well, the story of Bilbo, Gandalf and the thirteen dwarfs is a classic for all ages. Written by J. R. R. Tolkien, the story was originally intended to amuse his three sons. The library has several different versions of the story: Book on CD, Book on Cassette, DVD, graphic novel, large print, Spanish translation, and Korean translation.

So, if you could only read two books, what would they be?

Death Note on DVD

If you loved the Death Note manga, you won’t want to miss the fabulous anime adaptation now available on dvd at the library. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s the story of a bored high school student, Light Yagami, who takes justice into his own hands when he finds a notebook which gives him the power to kill simply by writing down someone’s name. But when criminals begin to die of unexplained causes, the authorities send the legendary and eccentric detective L to track down the killer. The cat-and-mouse chase between Light and L is one for the ages. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are in, and volume 4 is on order. Add your name to the hold list today! For older teens and adults.

Naoki Urasawa’s Monster

If you don’t read much manga, it would be easy to think that they’re all about ninjas, pirates, or samurai just because those are the ones you hear about the most. But that’s hardly the case. Take, for example, Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, an award-winning thriller from one of Japan’s leading manga creators. It’s the story of Dr. Tenma, a brilliant and compassionate surgeon who puts his promising career on the line to save a boy’s life. But when that boy grows up to be a killer, Tenma’s the only one who can catch him. If you like suspense and mystery, this is a perfect manga for you.

Two Nanas

When two women with the same name meet on the train to Tokyo, neither of them guesses that it’s the beginning of an incredible friendship. Sweet and naive Nana Komatsu is headed to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, Shoji, while glamorous Nana Osaki is pursuing her dream of being a punk rock star. The two Nanas decide to become roommates solely to save on rent, but it’s not long before they’re caught up in the drama of each other’s lives. The manga series Nana is so popular in Japan that it was adapted into a 47-episode anime series as well as two live-action movies. The library owns the first 8 manga volumes in the this ongoing story; catch up on the latest surprising events today!

Back to the past

Think you know everything there is to know about Fullmetal Alchemist after watching the anime? Think again. The manga’s and anime’s plots diverge after a certain point, and the most recent events in the manga will be a big surprise to anime-only fans. Fans of the state military characters will especially like volume 15, which takes readers back to the Ishbal Conflict that Colonel Mustang, Lieutenant Hawkeye, and others fought in seven years earlier. Catch up with the story today!

The Arrival

In the universal language of images, Shaun Tan perfectly conveys the displacement and confusion of the immigrant experience. A lone man leaves his family behind, in a dark world filled with oppressive shadows, and enters a surreal new world full of fantastical beasts, bizarre vegetables, and friendly people. Tan pulls from every culture and multiple time periods while also making the new land completely foreign to everyone--thus setting the reader up to share in the protagonist's struggle to understand his new surroundings. The Arrival is masterfully told with beautiful realistic illustrations. A superlative example of the genre.

Graphic novel depicts one way to save the earth...


As the world burns: 50 Simple things you can do to stay in denial, a new book by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan is a satirical take on the well known book 50 Simple things you can do to save the earth. It goes further to point out that there is more to “saving the earth” than recycling, riding your bike to work and buying compact fluorescent light bulbs. In a quirky and fun way (I know, scandalous!) gold carrying robots, bunny plotists, two smart young girls, corporate bigwigs, and the president demonstrate that there is a bigger picture that many of us are in “denial” about. It’s typical Derrick Jensen, but in comic form! Perhaps you’ll laugh, perhaps you’ll cry.

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