Three Books I Loved in November

December 1, 2011 @ 7:39 pm | Filed under: , ,

December already! Impossible.

I’ve been trying to catch up my GoodReads log, but with all these graphic novels I’m reading for Cybils, it’s hard to keep it up to date. November’s list is too long to recreate here, but I’ll call out a few of my favorite reads from the month.

(Links go to GoodReads.)

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch.

I keep calling this Trollville by accident because of the (perfectly delicious) subtitle: “Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl.” Middle-grade graphic novel published by Amulet Books. Enchanted Beanie and me. Mirka wants to fight monsters but gets entangled with a foul-tempered talking pig instead. Her sometimes comical, often hair-raising adventures occur in the context of a full, tradition-centered home life. I love books that mingle the small, gritty challenges of daily life with grand, fantastic adventures—but maybe you already knew that about me?

Hereville at IndieBound.

Sidekicks by Dan Santat.

This is the gift to give your 8-12-year-old nephew or niece if you want the Coolest Uncle Ever award. Or Coolest Aunt. Whichever. An aging superhero announces that he is holding auditions for a new sidekick. His pets, who miss his company, decide to try out. His pets? Are a dog, a hamster, and a lizard. That’s right. The hamster is trying out for the superhero sidekick gig. It’s equal parts heartwarming and hilarious. And the art just knocked—my—socks—off.

Sidekicks at IndieBound.

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say.

This book is really special. It’s a memoir in words and pictures. Allen Say recounts the story of his life with poignant candor. At age twelve, he goes to Tokyo to live alone (!) in order to attend a good school. His tiny one-room apartment has everything young Allen needs: solitude and a desk he can draw at. In a move full of gumption, he approaches a renowned cartoonist and asks to train under him. Amazing story. Beanie’s read it at least three times now.

Drawing from Memory at IndieBound.

I read some other excellent books this month and maybe I’ll do a part two of this post, but the days do roll away from me.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Mary G says:

    Thanks for posting these … the Allen Say sounds fascinating and the Mirka cover-art looks like a ball of yarn and she’s thrusting a knitting needle! [OK, I am a little obsessed).

    Hugs and can’t wait to hear when your books come out ….

  2. Lisa says:

    Just put in my request for Drawing…….sounds excellent! Thanks for more great recommendations!

  3. Hannah @ Lovely Woods says:

    Thank you, Lissa! I always appreciate your book reviews and recommendations.

  4. Hannah @ Lovely Woods says:

    P.S. I adore Allen Say … and as shocking as the 12-year-old thing is? After tutoring some Korean kids here in American, I’m not entirely surprised.

  5. Penny says:

    The Allen Say book will be on my next “books to purchase” list. Thanks for the show-and-tell!

  6. Leslie in VA says:

    Oh joy! We love Alan Say (Bicycle Man is our fave). I added it to my wishlist! Some of our favorite books are the autobiographies of our favorite authors. . .Bill Peet, Norman Rockwell, Jean Little, Beverly Cleary, Jean Fritz. Oh the list goes on and on. . .Thank you for the introduction to this one!

  7. S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen says:

    Allen Say’s books are amazingly unique, at least every one that I’ve read. So very vivid. Can’t wait to get my paws on this latest!