2010 Finalists: Graphic Novels (Middle Grade)

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians)
by George O’Connor
First Second Books
Nominated by: Nicola Manning

Continuing his encapsulation of the lives of the Greek gods, O’Connor turns his attention this time to the goddess of wisdom. From her birth from the skull of Zeus to her triumphs and tragedies, we get a full-blooded look at one of the most powerful of the gods. O’Connor brilliantly encapsulates a series of stories into a single telling. His superhero art style is the perfect accompaniment to the over-the-top actions of the gods and his storytelling will more than satiate the Percy Jackson fans out there. —Betsy Bird

Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye 1: Hamster and Cheese
by Colleen A. F. Venable
Graphic Universe
Nominated by: Lindsay Matvick

Sasspants the guinea pig just wants to be left in peace with her books, but when the “G” goes missing from her sign—leaving her a Guinea PI—she finds herself dragged into a pet shop mystery by the irrepressible hamster Hamisher. The owner’s sandwiches have been going missing, and he suspects the hamsters. It’s up to Sasspants to collect clues, interview witnesses, and find the real culprit before Hamisher and his fellows are sent away from the pet shop forever! —Madeline Stevens

Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities.
by Jason Shiga
Nominated by: Liz Jones

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga: Entropy, chance, massive death, and chocolate ice cream? Imagine if you took an old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure title and gave it a sugar high. That’s a fair approximation of what you can find in one of the most original, interesting, and doggone fun graphic novels of the year. When a boy meets up with a mad scientist, he’s given the choice of playing with a mind-reading device, a time machine, or a doomsday machine. When you make his choices, you see the consequences. A zany, sometimes harrowing, always brilliant look at how the smallest choice affects the future (just don’t give the away the fact that you found the giant squid). —Betsy Bird

by Raina Telgemeier
Nominated by: Abby Johnson

One day after a Girl Scout activity, sixth grader Raina, trips and falls. What follows are her on-again, off-again braces, surgery, and embarrassing headgear. Raina’s experiences take the reader through middle school to high school, where she discovers who her true friends are and her own artistic talents. This story is filled with colorful illustrations, a realistic premise, and a very likeable character that most readers are sure to identify with. Even more than that, this fun graphic tale is sure to bring a smile to a reader’s face. —Kim Baccellia

The Unsinkable Walker Bean
by Aaron Renier
First Second Books
Nominated by: Jess Pugh

Walker Bean’s grandfather begs his grandson to return a mysterious talking skull to sister sea monsters and end the curse that has plagued him for years. Walker, a pudgy boy who’d rather read than adventure and cries at the drop of a hat, isn’t at all sure he can live up to his grandfather’s expectations. Walker is alternately helped and hindered by pirates, merchants and witches as he blunders and invents his way to an unsinkable conclusion. Renier’s illustrations are rich and full of detail, and the plot is creative with plenty of unexpected twists. Perfect for fans of steampunk, Tintin and Lord of the Rings, this epic sea voyage has something for just about every reader. —Maggi