2010 Finalists: Graphic Novels (Young Adult)

by Doug Tennapel
Nominated by: D.M. Cunningham

Garth Hale, a kid with a fatal disease, is accidentally zapped into the world of the dead before his time. With the aid of a skeletal horse and two star-crossed lovers (one living, one dead), he tries to find his way home to his grieving mother–discovering along the way that he has something unique and wonderful to offer the residents of Ghostopolis. If he uses his gift well, things may not be as dark as they seem on either side of the world. Clearly drawn, and full of surprising twists, Ghostopolis is a wild ride. —Liz Jones

by Hope Larson
Nominated by: Maggi Idzikowski (Mama Librarian)

In 2009, Tara’s longtime home has just burned down and now she’s struggling to fit in with her new life living with relatives while her mom works hard to support their family long distance. Parallel to Tara’s story is that of her ancestor Josey, who has fallen in love with a gold dowser that has promised wealth to Josey’s family in 1859. As the story progresses, the two plots weave and meld together, often playing off occurrences and dialogue in both time periods. With a flowing art style and a touch of magic realism, Mercury is a beautiful exploration of past meeting present. —Alyssa

Night Owls Vol. 1
by Peter Timony
Nominated by: Jenny Schwartzberg

A gargoyle, a flapper-turned-gumshoe, and a sunlight-challenged professor(who’s *not* a vampire?) unite to form a supernatural detective agency in the delightful Night Owls by the Timony Twins. Fresh humor, quirky characters and a well-drawn retro-1920’s setting offer a lot to readers of traditional mystery comics and a wider audience. You can enjoy the Night Owls’ escapades in chunks, the way you might in the funnies page, or devour it at one sitting to discover the big picture intrigue. We can’t wait to read volume two! —Liz Jones

Twin Spica, Volume: 01
by Kou Yaginuma
Nominated by: Claire Moore

Set in 2024, 13-year-old Asumi wants to be an astronaut and takes the exams to enter space training school. Her mother died shortly after she was born when a rocket crashed into the city. This rocket was named The Lion, which becomes a theme carried on in the story. Now Asumi and everyone who passed the space school entrance exams have been taken to the school and put under a 7-day confined space test in groups of three. What happens is an amazingly well-written realistic and emotionally charged science-fiction story. —Nicola Manning

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
by G. Neri
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Nominated by: Natasha Maw

This gritty portrayal is based on the real life of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer and the murder of a fourteen-year-old Shavon Dean in August 1994. The author peels back some layers of Yummy, leaving readers with questions on how a child ended up killing someone. The black-and-white illustrations are a great backdrop for the harshness of Yummy’s short life and those who live in crime-infested neighborhoods. Told without being preachy, this tale is sure to haunt readers long after they close the last page. —Kim Baccellia