Skip to main content

On the Shelf: Graphics and Chapters


Graphic novels are having their year right now, and that’s a wonderful thing for readers of all ages. They can be especially welcome for kids (and adults) who want a change of pace. This month, there are some new chapter books and graphic novels on the shelf, perfect for afterschool reading for fun. 

“Trillium Sisters 1: The Triplets Get Charmed” by Laura Brown and Elly Kramer, illustrated by Sarah Mesinga (Pixel Ink, ages 7 – 10)

Along with Book 2, “Bestie Day,” this new series features triplets Emmy, Claire and Giselle, who have some very special powers. With mysteries, magic and family all combined, this series is bound to engage independent readers. (Look for a sneak peek of the second book at the end of Book 1.)

“Boogie Bass, Sign Language Star” by Claudia Mills, illustrated by Grace Zong (Margaret Ferguson Books, ages 7 – 10) 

Part of the After-School Superstars series, this new tale has Boogie attending an American Sign Language camp where he finds his niche. Parents, note that the author consulted Deaf ASL instructors and had the manuscript reviewed to ensure it represents the Deaf community with accuracy and respect. This story might help your little one look for their special gift, even when they feel unsure about what lies ahead. 

“Animal at Large” by Patricia Reilly Giff, illustrated by Abby Carter (Holiday House, ages 7 – 10) 

The second in the Mysteries on Zoo Lane series, this book includes some sure kid favorites: a mystery to solve, an animal to help and even some fun facts to share. There is strong vocabulary to explore in this one, along with short chapters and terrific illustrations. 

“Trubble Town: Squirrel Do Bad” by Stephan Pastis (Aladdin, ages 8 – 12, available Sept. 7)

From the creator of “Pearls Before Swine” comes a tale of consequences. What happens when Wendy the Wanderer gives a squirrel sugar? Bad things. Wild things. Silly things. Explosive things? Giggles will ensue as the silliness mounts. 

“Long Distance” by Whitney Gardner (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ages 10 and older)

Moving is tough, but moving away from your best friend poses a whole different set of challenges. Toss in a summer camp adventure, some new friendships and high-tech connections (and missed connections) and this is one that might give middle grade readers a passion for graphic novels. 

“The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor” by Shaenon K. Garrity, illustrated by Christopher Baldwin (Margaret K. McElderry Books, ages 12 and older)

Here’s something for the teens and the grownups – when a fan of gothic romance novels is called upon to be the hero of her own story, a dark and stormy night sets the stage with some fright and humor combined.