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2007 Graphic Novel Finalists

The hardworking Graphic Novels panel has narrowed down the nominees to five finalists at the
teen/young adult age level and five at the elementary & middle-grade level, for a shortlist
that’s truly dazzling as well as diverse: fantasy, manga, animals, humor–there’s a little bit
of everything. Oh, and robots. You gotta have robots.

Sarah Stevenson, Graphic Novels organizer

Teen/Young Adult:

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The Arrival

written and illustrated by Shaun Tan
Arthur A. Levine Books
This is the story of the strangeness that an immigrant encounters no matter where he moves:
there are barriers of language, food, and finding work; there is loneliness, isolation, and
longing for loved ones. But at every turn, there are those who will help, and those who have their
own stories of leaving, abandonment, and exile. The most amazing thing about this intricate
and subtly nuanced graphic novel is that it is silent: No words whatsoever.
–Mary Lee, A Year of Reading

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Flight Volume Four

edited by Kazu Kibuishi
Villard
From full-color manga to rollicking comic adventures to imaginative childhood tales, Flight 4 has something for everyone. Flight 3 fans will be happy to see some familiar faces,
and a myriad of beautifully crafted new stories, full of depth and life. The volume is
consistently high in quality throughout; each story has a well-realized visual world, strong
characters, and tight and compelling storytelling. Readers new to graphic novels will find many
reasons to read more in this genre.
Elizabeth Jones

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Laika

written and illustrated by Nick Abadzis
First Second
Before men walked on the moon a little Russian dog named Laika was sent to orbit the Earth. Her
story is a mix of political moves, attempts at scientific advancement and heartwarming personal
connections. Nick Abadzis looks at each of those angles in his version of Laika’s story and the
result is a powerful and touchingly told account of a moment in history.
–Katie, Pixie Palace

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The Plain Janes

written by Cecil Castellucci; illustrated by Jim Rugg
Minx
Jane has just moved to the suburbs, and is caught up in the boredom of her new school.  Things
start to look up when she meets three other girls named Jane. Eventually they decide to form an
art-appreciation club called the Plain Janes. Cecil Castellucci’s graphic novel debut has a
distinctive art style and great characterization–it’s a story about exploration of
self-expression that is sure to appeal to teenage girls.
–Alyssa, The Shady Glade

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The Professor’s Daughter

written by Joann Sfar; illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert
First Second

The Professor’s Daughter
is bizarre, well told and completely wonderful. The sepia-toned
illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, depicting Victorian London in a way that makes the pages
look like an old book from that era. Lillian is charming, elegant and such a lady, while
Imhotep IV is elegant, gentlemanly and a bit dysfunctional. His relationship with his father,
for instance, is like any normal father and son’s misunderstanding and angst–with the added
quirk of being dead mummies wandering around London.
–Gina, AmoXcalli

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Elementary/Middle Grade
:

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin; illustrated by Giovanni Rigano and Paolo Lamanna
Hyperion
Artemis Fowl, Butler, and all of the characters from the underground fairy world of the 2001
hit novel come to life in this graphic novel adaptation of the story. Readers new to the
series will be drawn into Fowl’s schemes, while those who have loved the Artemis Fowl books
will be able to revisit them in this new format.
–Mary Lee, A Year of Reading

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Babymouse #6: Camp Babymouse

written and illustrated by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers
Babymouse is back and off to summer camp in Camp Babymouse. Her bunkmates are initially less
than impressed with Babymouse’s attempts to be the perfect camper and earn them points, but
with the right mix of skill, humor and luck Babymouse might just win them over! This addition
to the Babymouse series is smart, funny and adorable.
–Katie, Pixie Palace

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The Courageous Princess

written and illustrated by Rod Espinosa
Dark Horse
Princess Mabelrose of tiny New Tinsley is happy with her life–until she attends a ball in a neighboring kingdom and learns just how small and unhip her own kingdom is. When a dragon kidnaps Mabelrose and holds her for ransom in his faraway castle, the princess takes matters into her own hands and escapes from his hopelessly inescapable domain–and that is where the adventure really begins. A vividly realized world, charming characters and an unpredictable, interesting plot make this a great read for all ages.
Elizabeth Jones

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Robot Dreams

written and illustrated by Sara Varon
First Second

Robot Dreams
tells a wordless but eloquent tale of friendship, mistakes made, abandonment and
reflection. It’s the story of a dog who builds a robot in order to have a friend. On
a happy beach trip, the robot rusts and gets stuck. The dog leaves but thinks often of the
friend he left behind while the robot dreams and struggles with his immobility. Seasons change
in marvelous, muted but vibrant colors and after many adventures, real and imagined, both robot and dog find their own path.
–Gina, AmoXcalli

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Yotsuba&! Volume 4

written and illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma
ADV Manga
Yotsuba is a green-haired girl with a taste for getting herself into humorous situations. This
volume follows her zany adventures as she gives advice on boys to a neighbor, goes fishing, and
takes on the issue of global warming. Rather than following an overall plot, each chapter
takes a new story and allows us to see the world through Yotsuba’s innocent eyes. A great
graphic novel that’s humorous and heartwarming at the same time.
–Alyssa, The Shady Glade

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aquafortis2007 Graphic Novel Finalists

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