Though Mooncakes was one of the year’s most anticipated graphic novels, I was disappointed by an unoriginal plot and insta-romance. Also, there aren’t really any mooncakes, even though many assumed this story would combine baking and magic.
The artwork by Hicks is fantastic, but the storyline is overly simple and relies on surprising the reader at the end, meaning that the book has no re-readability for me. It is very atmospheric, but it’s not exactly plot-driven.
I did not find Good Omens funny or profound. Actually, I found the middle bits with Adam and his friends to be insufferable. It may be a cult classic, but it’s not for me.
This is a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children, but I don’t agree that it ought to have been written as a graphic novel. The illustrations are static and add little to the story. It feels like readers got a graphic novel just because graphic novels are trendy right now.
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker
Takei introduces readers to a little-discussed period of U.S. history, the internment camps for Japanese Americans during WWII. It is important to shine light on this part of history. However, a chopping narrative structure and a sense of emotional distance prevent the book from being a stand-out graphic novel.
How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander and Melissa Sweet
Sweet’s illustrations are an odd choice since they make How to Read a Book exceedingly difficult to read. The collage style is very busy and the text is difficult-to-read font in unusual colors that blend in with the pictures. Maybe Alexander wrote a great poem, but I literally can’t read it to find out.
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
Dare I say The Okay Witch was just okay? The Salem Witch Trials thing feels overdone and this adds nothing to make the story feel new.
Sunny Rolls the Dice by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
This is the third installment in a popular middle-grade graphic novel series, but I still do not like the vignette style of writing.