Off Script: 7 Virtual Tours

Off Script - Redesign

Whether you’re sheltering in place, not going out as much to protect yourself and others, or have had to cancel travel plans, we are all looking at ways to connect to the world beyond our homes from where we are right now.

Virtual tours are popping up more and more and there are so many to explore. Whether they are from your own country or from other countries around the world, there are well known and sometimes hidden spots to explore.

In this Off Script post, I will include 6 virtual tours below from a variety of places.  I hope you enjoy them and they brighten your day.

Victoria and Albert Museum.  London, England.

This tour will explore the Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition and will be lead by curator Anna Jackson.  Learn some history about the kimono through its tradition and evolution.  There are five parts to this series so make sure to check them all out!

Canadian Museum of Nature.  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

This tour will give you a little history about the building itself while also showing you many of its exhibits.  Dinosaurs! Mammals!  A bird room! And more!

Try and spot the 2 moose in this video!

Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

This tour lead by curator Anna Dhody takes us through the Mutter Museum.  Some highlights from the tour include the Hyrtl Skull Collection, Giant Megacolon, and Albert Einstein’s Brain.  Morbid? Maybe.  Cool? Most definitely.

Gyeongbokgung Palace ( or Gyeongbok Palace).  Jongno District – Seoul, South Korea.

Take a walking tour through a palace that was home to royalty during the Joseon Dynasty.  Even from the video, you can gain a sense of how large and beautiful this historical site is.

Jardin Exotique de Monaco.  

Take a tour of the exotic botantical garden of Monaco and then venture into limestone caves located at the base of the cliff.  It’s pretty amazing that this site really takes you on a journey from the natural wonders of a garden into the underground wonders of a cave.

Chocolate Hills National Monument. Bohol Island, Philippines.

One of the things I love about exploring a city in a different country is the climb.  Up steps and passing people until you get to the top and once there, you look out and see a landscape with no end.  What I love about this video besides the amazing hills is the greenery.

Oceanogràfic de Valencia.  Valencia, Spain.

The next stop on this trip will be an oceanarium.  Not only is the one in Valencia, Spain achitecturally interesting, it’s also a place that tries to replicate marine ecosystems to educate its visitors.

Off Script: Virtual Author/Book Events

Off Script - Redesign

Since we’ve all been staying home, a lot of author events and book events have gone online.  From instagram author Q&As to virtual author visits on zoom to live book festival panels on youtube, we’re finding ways to connect to authors and stories we love.

It’s also just great to see how authors are doing, honestly.

In this Off Script post, I will be looking at three separate events and recommending two videos from each.  I wanted to be diverse in my choices but these are by no means the only videos available for each of the events.  Follow each video to youtube and find more panels to watch.

Video Title: The Asian Diaspora Experience | AAPI Book Month Panel
Featuring authors: Kat Cho, Samira Ahmed, Tara Sim, Julie C. Dao, and Randy Ribay.

Video Title: Asian Characters in Historical YA | AAPI Book Month Panel
Featuring authors: June Hur, Stacey Lee, Hanna Alkaf, Traci Chee

Video Title:  YALLSTAYHOME: Remember High School?
Featuring authors:  Kami Garcia, Julie Buxbaum, Leah Johnson, Samuel Miller, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Abigail Hing Wen, and F.C. Yee

Featuring authors: David Leviathan, Victoria Lee, Alex Sanchez, Sam Maggs, Charlotte Nicole Davis, George M. Johnson, and Tehlor K. Mejia.

Video Title: Journeys That Change Us: Coming of Age in Young Adult Fiction Panel #SocDistBookFest

Featuring authors: Alexis Henderson, Natalia Sylvester, Mayra Cuevas, Ismee Williams, and A.K. Small.

Video Title: Navigating Latinx Identity in Fantasy #SocDistBookFest
Featuring authors: Chantel Acevedo, Zoraida Córdova, Amparo Ortiz, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Daniel José Older.

Some Featured Authors - Virtual Events 2

Extra Notes_

There’s another free virtual event called BookCon (or BookConline) happening at the end of the month on May 30th and 31st.  They are hosting it through Facebook so make sure to join their Facebook group!

Their lineup looks really stellar.  One of the panels I am eyeing with intense interest is The Magic of World Building featuring Sabaa Tahir and Naomi Novik!  Another I am looking at is Creating Creative Social Justice featuring Nic Stone and Rebecca Roanhorse.  Great authors and relevant topics make event look like one that shouldn’t be missed.

I hope you will find something fun and bookish to join in on!

Future Reads: Upcoming Manga in 2020 Part 2


It’s time for another Future Reads post but one focused on the upcoming manga I want to check out.

The list is a bit short this time around but I find that my bookish eye is being drawn to stories that are more diverse and some that are just straight-up adorable looking.

Wave, Listen to Me! 1

Title:  Wave. Listen to Me! Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Hiroaki Samura

What It’s About:  Minare thought she was just venting to a stranger when she told a guy at a bar about her man troubles. It turns out that man works at a radio station, and the next day she’s shocked to hear her grumbling broadcast on the air! She storms the station in a rage, only to be duped into joining a talk show, and her acid tongue makes her into an instant star!

Note:  This title is set to be released on May 26, 2020.

Satoko and Nada Vol. 3

Title: Satoko and Nada Vol. 3
Written and drawn by: Yupechika

What It’s About: MYSTERY MAN

Abdullah, the mysterious young man who might marry Nada one day, is suddenly in America?! Satoko and her friends (not to mention Nada’s brother) are in a panic, unsure if they should tell Nada or just stall the guy until he leaves. When it comes to Nada’s future, the people who love her will do whatever it takes to make her happy!

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 16, 2020.

Title:  Little Miss P: The Second Day
Written and drawn by:  Ken Koyama

What It’s About: Like clockwork, Little Miss P has stopped by for another one of her energy-sapping, gut-twisting monthly visits! Despite the difficulties brought about by her arrival, women around the world-and galaxy-must find ways to cope with her (ir)regular visits, a task made easier by the support and understanding of those who care about them. Through frank discussion and a heavy flow of humor, this collection follows Little Miss P as she calls on women from all walks of life. No pop star, action hero, or office worker is exempt from Little Miss P’s formidable PERIOD PUNCH!

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 23, 2020.

Title: Love Me For Who I Am Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Kata Konayama

What It’s About:  Mogumo is a cute but lonely non-binary high school student who just wants a few loving friends. As someone who doesn’t identify as a boy or a girl, however, finding people who really understand can be a big challenge. When fellow student Iwaoka Tetsu invites Mogumo to work at an untraditional maid café, Mogumo is hopeful that things are looking up. Will they finally find friends to call their own—or just more misunderstanding?

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 30, 2020.

Cube Arts Vol. 1

Title: Cube Arts, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by:  Tomomi Usui

What It’s About:  MIND YOUR CRAFT!

High school first-year Takuto has been selected as a beta tester for the new sandbox-style video game Cube Arts, and he couldn’t be happier. As soon as he puts on the game’s VR headset, Takuto finds himself immersed in a sprawling world made entirely of blocks, where he can mine, build, and hunt to his heart’s content. But when a logout error traps him and his friends inside the game, Takuto discovers that even sandboxes can be deadly!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.

cover for Sue & Tai-chan, 1

Title:  Sue & Tai-chan, Volume 1
Written and drawn by:  Kanata Konami

What It’s About:  Sue is an aging housecat who’s looking forward to living out her life in peace… but her plans change when the mischievous black tomcat Tai-chan enters the picture! Hey! Sue never signed up to be a catsitter! Sue and Tai-chan is the latest from the reigning meow-narch of cute kitty comics, Konami Kanata.

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.

Title:  Maison Ikkoku Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by:  Rumiko Takahashi

What It’s About:  Yusaku Godai didn’t get accepted into college on the first try, so he’s studying to retake the entrance exams. But living in a dilapidated building full of eccentric and noisy tenants is making it hard for him to achieve his goals. Now that a beautiful woman has moved in to become the new resident manager, Godai is driven to distraction!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.

52604704Title: Yoshi no Zuikara, The Frog in the Well Does Not Know the Ocean, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Satsuki Yoshino

What It’s About: A new story about one man’s creative struggles arrives courtesy of Satsuki Yoshino, author of Barakamon! Can a ten-year manga artist with experience only in the fantasy genre pivot to drawing a down-to-Earth story about regular folks? It’s sink-or-swim for Naruhiko Toono and his career!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 29, 2020.

Extra Notes_

I know the below title isn’t coming out in 2020 but its licensing was announced this year and I wanted to mark it down as a Future Read.  The author’s previous works include Wandering Son and Sweet Blue Flowers, the latter title being one I really liked.

Even Though We’re Adults Vol. 1Title: Even Though We’re Adults Vol.1
Written and illustrated by:
Takako Shimura

What It’s About:  Ayano, an elementary school teacher in her thirties, stops by a bar one day and meets another woman named Shuri. Sparks fly as the two chat, and before the night is over, Ayano even goes in for a kiss. Shuri is intrigued but confused…especially when she discovers that Ayano has a husband! Both Ayano and Shuri are about to find out that love doesn’t get any easier, even as you grow older.

Note:  This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.

Currently Reading: Love from A to Z

Title_ Love from A to Z

What It’s About: A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Currently Reading...Reboot

I have been aware and a reader of S.K. Ali since her first novel, Saints and Misfits.  I was excited when I first learned of her new novel and anxious to read it.  I am more than halfway through it and it is…wow.  I’m still a bit in awe of it.

It is an epistolary and character driven novel that is really meant to shake up and wakeup the reader.  The way we get to know Zayneb and Adam so intimately through their honest and sincere journal entries is one of the most moving things about this book.  Note that I said one of because there are many.  This book is rich with so much to ponder and consider.

Goodness.  How will I move on after I finish this book?  I’m going to go back and finish it.

On a Theme: Witches in YA/Middle-Grade Comics


We are living in the age of the witch.

I have never seen as much witchy content as I have in the last few years.  Since watching Hocus Pocus, The Craft, and Practical Magic eons ago, I’ve always wanted more witches in books.  The magic is what they are known for but the thing that has always stuck with me about these witchy stories is that they are often stories about growing up, friendship, and overcoming hardships.

I am doing things a little differently this time around with my On a Theme post as this will be the first in a series of 3.  I chose to split them up so that I don’t overwhelm anyone.  This post will cover a few young adult and middle-grade graphic novels featuring some witches.

Young Adult Titles #2


Title:  Sabrina: The Teenage Witch Vol. 1
Written by: Kelly Thompson
Illustrated by: Veronica Fish

What It’s About: Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!

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Title:  Spell on Wheels Vol. 1
Written by: Kate Leth
Illustrated by: Megan Levens

What It’s About:   A road trip story. A magical revenge fantasy. A sisters-over-misters tale of three witches out to get back what was taken from them.

Andy, Jolene, and Claire aren’t your average twenty-somethings. They’re legacy witches making their way through a modern world. When a jealous nonmagical ex breaks into their home and steals a spell that could awaken potentials with magical powers, the witches plan their revenge. Traveling down the East Coast, they must retrieve their powerful stolen artifacts and strengthen their friendship… the big bad is even worse than they imagined.

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Title:  Mooncakes
Written by:  Suzanne Walker
Illustrated by: Wendy Xu

What It’s About:  A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.


Title:  Witchy
Written by and illustrated by:  Ariel Slamet Ries

What It’s About:  In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.

Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father’s death, or stand up for her ideals?

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Title:  Grimoire Noir
Written by:  Vera Greentea
Illustrated by: Yana Bogatch

What It’s About:  Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn’t at fifteen?

His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his dad is the town sheriff, and wait for it―he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town’s painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever.


Title:  Blackwood
Written by:  Evan Dorkin
Illustrated by: Veronica Fish and Andy Fish

What It’s About: When four teenagers with haunted pasts enroll in Blackwood College–a school that trains students in the occult–their desire to enhance their supernatural abilities and bond with others is hampered by an undead dean’s curse, ghosts in their dorm, a mischievous two-headed mummy-chimp, a plague of mutant insects, and the discovery of an ancient evil that forces our heroes to undergo a crash course in the occult for the sake of the world.

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Title:  Witchlight
Written and illustrated by:  Jessi Zabarsky

What It’s About:  Jessi Zabarsky’s lushly illustrated shoujo-adventure comic that introduces Lelek the witch as she blows through town one day, kidnapping the peasant girl Sanja. The unlikely pair grow more entangled as they travel together, looking for the missing half of Lelek’s soul – the source of her true magical abilities. Both women are seeking to learn, in their own ways, how to be whole again. This book collects the serialized story all into a single volume, including the heart-gripping conclusion and other all-new material.


Title:  Scarlet Witch Vol. 1: Witches’ Road
Written by:  James Robinson
Illustrated by: Vanessa Del Ray, Steve Dillon, Marc Laming, Chloe Poillerat, Javier Pulido, Marco Rudy, and Chris Visions

What It’s About: Witchcraft is broken — and the Scarlet Witch is on a journey across the globe to fix it. From the back alleys of Manhattan to the serene Greek Isles to the Irish countryside, the former Avenger will face myths and legends from ancient lore, cure curses, and discover there’s is even more to her complex family history than she knew. In Spain she will visit a church where witches like her were once burned at the stake — and be haunted by the ghosts of the Spanish Inquisition! But will the powerful mage known as the Emerald Warlock be friend or foe to Wanda — or the Uncanny Avengers? And as she solves magical crimes and pieces witchcraft back together, one vital question remains: Who shattered it in the first place?

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Title:  Flying Witch Vol. 1
Written and illustrated by: Chihiro Ishizuka

What It’s About:  Makoto Kowata, a novice witch, packs up her belongings (including a black cat familiar) and moves in with her distant cousins in rural Aomori to complete her training and become a full-fledged witch.


Title:  Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 1
Written and illustrated by: Kamome Shirahama

What It’s About:  In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch…until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…

Middle Grade Titles


Title: Snapdragon
Written and illustrated by:  Kat Leyh

What It’s About: Snap’s town had a witch.

At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online–after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too.

They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic–and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.


Title:  The Okay Witch
Written and illustrated by:  Emma Steinkellner

What It’s About:  Magic is harder than it looks.

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.

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Title: The Witch Boy
Written and illustrated by: Molly Ostertag

What It’s About:   In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.


Title:  Little Witch Academia Vol. 1
Written by:  Yoh Yoshinari and Trigger
Illustrated by: Keisuke Sato

What It’s About:  “Reach out your hand, and your story will begin!”
Those words changed young Atsuko “Akko” Kagari forever, sparking in her a lifelong dream of becoming a real witch. Now she’s been accepted to the same school as her childhood hero, Shiny Chariot-the prestigious Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy. As the only student to come from a non-magical family, Akko finds herself surrounded by prodigies from around the world, but giving up isn’t in her vocabulary. Whether it’s making friends, proving the doubters wrong, or just flying on a broom, Akko is going to make her fantasy a reality!

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Title:  Hex Vet  #1
Written and illustrated by:  Sam Davies

What It’s About:  In a world where magic is an ordinary part of daily life, two young apprentice veterinarians pursue their dreams of caring for supernatural creatures.

Have you ever wondered where witches’ cats go when they pull a claw? Or what you do with a pygmy phoenix with a case of bird flu? Nan and Clarion have you covered. They’re the best veterinarian witches of all time—at least they’re trying to be. But when an injured spectral wolf beast from another realm stumbles into their lives, Nan and Clarion have to put down their enchanted potions and face the biggest test of their magical, medical careers…outside of the clinic.

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Title: Baba Yaga’s Assistant
Written by:  Marika McCoola
Illustrated by: Emily Carroll

Must have skills in hauling, obeying orders, cooking, and cleaning. Magical talent a bonus. Must be good with heights. Enter Baba Yaga’s house to apply.

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, and that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house on chicken legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!

Wry, spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s debut–with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll–is a storytelling feat and a visual fest.

Zatanna and the House of Secrets

Title: Zatanna and the House of Secrets
Written by:  Matthew Cody
Illustrated by: Yoshi Yoshitani

What It’s About:  Welcome to the magical, mystical, topsy-turvy world of the House of Secrets, where Zatanna embarks on a journey of self-discovery and adventure … all with her pet rabbit, Pocus, at her side

Zatanna and her professional magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures–it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids. Not that Zatanna cares, though, because she is perfectly content.

But at school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully and everything changes … including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home.

With thrilling twists from writer Matthew Cody and dazzling artwork by Yoshi Yoshitani, Zatanna and the House of Secrets will delight readers at the turn of every page–and the opening of every door!

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Title:  Beetle & the Hollowbones
Written and illustrated by:  Aliza Layne

What It’s About:  In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity.

Then there’s twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who’s caught in between. She’d rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle’s old best friend, Kat, is back in town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone. Kat is everything Beetle wants to be: beautiful, cool, great at magic, and kind of famous online. Beetle’s quickly being left in the dust.

But Kat’s mentor has set her own vile scheme in motion. If Blob Ghost doesn’t escape the mall soon, their afterlife might be coming to a very sticky end. Now, Beetle has less than a week to rescue her best ghost, encourage Kat to stand up for herself, and confront the magic she’s been avoiding for far too long. And hopefully ride a broom without crashing.

Note:  This title will be released on July 21st, 2020.  


Title: Witches of Brooklyn
Written and illustrated by: Sophie Escabasse

What It’s About:  Effie lost her mom.

Lost her home.

And now she has to live with two strange aunts who she’s never met before.

Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her family and herself. With new friends who will do whatever they can to be there for her, a cursed pop-star, and her new magically-inclined family — Effie’s life is about to get interesting.

Note:  This title will be released on September 1, 2020.  

On a Theme: DC YA & Middle-Grade Comics


I have to say that while the Marvel novels have me excited, I think DC’s line of young adult and middle-grade graphic novels are so neat and also sort of genius.  Each one has a self-contained story in each volume.  It’s just a natural progression and very accessible for younger readers who might not be able to buy single issues at almost $4/issue or keep up with releases each month.

These graphic novels present familiar characters and stories with a beginning, middle, and end. You’ve also got amazing talents like Mariko Tamaki, Sarah Kuhn, and Gene Luen Yang as writers and fantastic artists like Yoshi Yoshitani, Nicole Goux, and Gurihiru (to name a few).

Let’s zoom into this week’s On a Theme post with a CRASH!, BOOM!, POW!


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Title: Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale
Written by:  Lauren Myracle
Illustrated by:  Isaac Goodhart

What It’s About:  Selina Kyle is fiercer than she knows. For 15 years, she’s put up with her mother’s string of bad boyfriends, but when Dernell, her mom’s current beau, proves crueler than the others, Selina reevaluates her place in her home. There’s no way Selina and Dernell can live under the same roof, and since Dernell won’t leave, Selina must.

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Title: Shadow of the Batgirl
Written by:  Sarah Kuhn
Illustrated by: Nicole Goux

What It’s About:  Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?

After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero–Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle–that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.

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Title:  The Oracle Code
Written by: Marieke Nijkamp
Illustrated by: Manuel Preitano

What It’s About:  After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed, Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence, where Gotham’s teens undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Now using a wheelchair, Barbara must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Within these walls, strange sounds escape at night; patients go missing, and Barbara begins to put together pieces of what she believes to be a larger puzzle.

But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she’d rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara’s own judgment is in question.

In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.

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Title: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by:  Steve Pugh

What It’s About:  Outspoken, rebellious, and eccentric fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel has five dollars to her name when she’s sent to live in Gotham City. Harleen has battled a lot of hard situations as a kid, but her fortune turns when Gotham’s finest drag queen, Mama, takes her in.

And at first, it seems like Harleen has finally found a place to grow into her most “true true,” with new best friend Ivy at Gotham High. But then Harley’s fortune takes another turn when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood.

Now Harleen is mad. In turning her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.


Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (the graphic novel)
Written by: Leigh Bardugo
& Adapted by: Louise Simonson
Illustrated by: Kit Seaton

What It’s About:  Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law–risking exile–to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer–a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies–mortal and divine–determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

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Title: Teen Titans: Raven
Written by:  Kami Garcia
Illustrated by:  Gabriel Picolo

What It’s About:  When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth’s foster mom–and Raven’s memory–she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past…and the darkness building inside her.

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Title:  Mera: Tidebreaker
Written by:  Danielle Paige
Illustrated by:  Stephen Byrne

What It’s About:  Princess Mera is teenage royalty and heir to the throne of Xebel, a penal colony ruled by the other no-so-lost land under the sea, Atlantis. Her father, his court, and the entire kingdom are expecting her to marry and introduce a new king. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown…

When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry–the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution?

An astonishing graphic novel that explores duty, love, heroism, and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.

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Title: Batman: Nightwalker (the graphic novel)
Written by:  Marie Lu
& Adapted by: Stuart Moore
Illustrated by:  Christian Wildgoose

What It’s About:  This action-packed graphic novel based on the New York Times bestselling book by Marie Lu transports readers to the shadowy gates of Arkham Asylum, where Gotham City’s darkest mysteries reside…and which now threatens to imprison Bruce Wayne.

A ruthless new gang of criminals known only as Nightwalkers is terrorizing Gotham and the city’s elite are being taken out one by one. On the way home from his 18th birthday party, newly minted billionaire Bruce Wayne makes an impulsive choice that puts him in their crosshairs and lands him in Arkham Asylum, the once-infamous mental hospital. There he meets Madeleine Wallace, a brilliant killer…and Bruce’s only hope. Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

Gotham High

Title:  Gotham High
Written by: Melissa de la Cruz
Illustrated by:  Thomas Pitilli

What It’s About:  After being kicked out of his boarding school, 17-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

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Title: The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel
Written by: Michael Moreci
Illustrated by: Sas Milledge & Phil Hester

What It’s About: Before he met Batman, Dick Grayson discovered the power of young love–and its staggering cost–at the magical Lost Carnival.

Haly’s traveling circus no longer has the allure of its glamorous past, but it still has one main attraction: the Flying Graysons, a family of trapeze artists featuring a teenage Dick Grayson. The only problem is that Dick loathes spending his summers performing tired routines for dwindling crowds.

When the Lost Carnival opens nearby and threatens to pull Haly’s remaining customers, Dick is among those drawn to its nighttime glow. But there are ancient forces at work at the Lost Carnival, and when Dick meets the mysterious Luciana and her nomadic family, he may be too mesmerized to recognize the danger ahead.

Beneath the carnival’s dazzling fireworks, Dick must decide who he is and who he wants to be–choosing between loyalty to his family history and a glittering future with new friends and romance.

Coming Soon...3 (1)


Title: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
Written by:  Laurie Halse Anderson
Illustrated by:  Leila Del Duca

What It’s About:  Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings–namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea.

Cut off from everything she’s ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land. Now Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time–a world that is filled with danger and injustice, unlike anything she’s ever experienced. With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a story about growing into your strength, fighting for justice, and finding home.

Note: This title is set to be released on June 2, 2020.

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Title: You Brought Me the Ocean
Written by: Alex Sanchez
Illustrated by: Julie Maroh

What It’s About:  Jake Hyde doesn’t swim—not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.

There’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future—not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain, and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.

But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that glow when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive headfirst into the waves?

Note: This title is set to be released on June 9, 2020.


Title:  Teen Titans: Beast Boy
Written by:  Kami Garcia
Illustrated by:  Gabriel Picolo

What It’s About:  Garfield Logan has spent his entire life being overlooked. Even in a small town like Eden, Georgia, the seventeen-year-old with green streaks in his hair can’t find a way to stand out–and the clock is ticking. Senior year is almost over. If Gar doesn’t find a way to impress the social elite at Bull Creek High School, he will never know what it’s like to matter. Gar’s best friends, Stella, and Tank, can’t understand why he cares what other people think, and they miss their funny, pizza-loving, video game-obsessed best friend.

Then Gar accepts a wild dare out of the blue. It impresses the popular kids, and his social status soars. But other things are changing, too. Gar grows six inches overnight. His voice drops, and suddenly, he’s stronger and faster. He’s finally getting everything he wanted, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger, and the stakes keep getting higher.

When Gar realizes the extent of his physical changes, he has to dig deep and face the truth about himself–and the people who truly matter–before his life spirals out of control.

Note: This title is set to be released on September 8, 2020.

Swamp Thing Twin Branches cover

Title:  Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
Written by:  Maggie Stiefvater
Illustrated by:  Morgan Beem

What It’s About:  Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but the two are inseparable. For their last summer before college, Alec and Walker leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.

While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer-school laboratory, slowly losing himself to a deep, dark experiment. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase, and dormant memories claw to the surface.

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches is a story of shadows, both literal and imagined–and those that take form and haunt us.

Note: This title is set to be released on October 19, 2020.

Title: Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story
Written by: Lauren Myracle
Illustrated by: Isaac Goodhart

What It’s About:  Seventeen-year-old Victor Fries has a cold heart. After his brother died in a tragic house fire that Victor feels responsible for, his parents have isolated themselves, and Victor has dedicated his whole life to one thing: science.

Nora Kumar is full of life. She is suffering from an incurable illness that will slowly consume her, so she’s decided to live her last days to the fullest at her summer home in Gotham City until her birthday, the day she plans to take her own life.

When Victor and Nora meet one day at the cemetery outside of town, they are astonished to find the connection they’ve been missing in their lives. Their summer quickly spirals into a beautiful romance, and Victor’s cold heart is able to thaw, allowing him to begin to enjoy life just a little more. But when Victor learns of Nora’s illness, he’s driven to try to find a solution to keep from losing another person he loves…by whatever means he can.

Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story is a tragic tale about living life to the fullest and what it truly means to love…and to let go.

Note: This title is set to be released on November 3, 2020.

House of El Book 1

Title:  House of El: Book 1
Written by: Claudia Gray
Illustrated by: Eric Zawadzki

What It’s About:  Zahn is one of Krypton’s elites: wealthy, privileged, a future leader. Sera is one of Krypton’s soldiers: strong, dedicated, fearless. Their rule-bound society has ordained that their paths should never cross.

But ground quakes are shaking the planet’s surface. Rebellious uprisings are shaking the populace. Krypton’s top scientists—Jor-El and Lara—conduct a secret experiment that is meant to reform their planet from the cellular level up. Zahn and Sera must join forces to investigate the hidden dangers truly threatening Krypton. In the process, they form a bond that will endure past the end of the world…

Note: This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021. 


Title: I Am Not Starfire
Written by:  Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by: Yoshi Yoshitani

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn”t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she”s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you”re sure of is what you’re not?

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers.

Note: This title is set to be released on July 27th, 2021.



Title:  Green Lantern: Legacy
Written by:  Minh Le
Illustrated by:  Andie Tong

What It’s About: Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother’s store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he’s about to embark on.

When Tai inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he soon finds out it’s more than just a piece of jewelry. Suddenly he’s inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns. He is about to learn that being a superhero takes more than just a ring. Does Tai have the willpower and the imagination to uphold his ba’s legacy?


Title:  The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid
Written and illustrated by: Kirk Scroggs


Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle schooler; he excessively doodles; he has two best friends, Charlotte and Preston; he is not so great at sports; and he is pond scum. Nicknamed “Swamp Kid” by his classmates, Russell has algae for hair, a tree trunk for a right arm, and a carrot for a finger. Also, Russell’s favorite meal is sunlight. Also, a frog lives in his arm.

In this notebook, Russell details in both hilarious text and color illustrations (complete with ketchup stains!) what it’s like to be different, to discover his true talents, to avoid the intense stare of Mr. Finneca (his suspicious science teacher who may also be a mad scientist), and to find humor in the everyday weird.

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Title:  Super Sons Book 1: The Polarshield Project
Written by: Ridley Pearson
Illustrator: Ile Gonzalez

What It’s About:  Jon Kent and Ian Wayne are opposites in every way except one–they are the sons of the World’s Greatest Heroes, Superman and Batman! To uncover a global conspiracy, this unlikely duo will need to learn to trust each other and work together to save the Earth. But who is the mysterious Candace, and what secrets does she hold that could be the key to everything?

The polar ice caps have nearly melted away, causing devastation to coastal cities. Erratic, deadly weather forces everyone inland, tearing families apart. Earth is facing its greatest crisis–and Superman and Batman are nowhere to be found.


Title:  Super Sons Book 2: The Foxglove Mission
Written by: Ridley Pearson
Illustrator: Ile Gonzalez

What It’s About: In the aftermath of The Polarshield Project, Jon Kent and Damian “Ian” Wayne, the respective sons of Superman and Batman, are on the run with their new teammate, Candace. With their hometown in ruins, and in the absence of their heroic fathers, Jon and Ian have big capes to fill.

Meanwhile, Candace follows clues that hold the key to her destiny, and her journey is filled with twists and turns as she unlocks powerful abilities she never knew existed. While their quests threaten to divide the three of them, it’s only through teamwork and trust that they can succeed.

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Title:  Zatanna and the House of Secrets
Written by:  Matthew Cody
Illustrated by: Yoshi Yoshitani

What It’s About:  Welcome to the magical, mystical, topsy-turvy world of the House of Secrets, where Zatanna embarks on a journey of self-discovery and adventure … all with her pet rabbit, Pocus, at her side

Zatanna and her stage magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures–it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids.

At school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully, and everything changes–including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home.

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Title:  Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime
Written by:  Derek Fridolfs
Illustrated by:  Dustin Nguyen

What It’s About: Once upon a crime in Gotham…

Damian Wayne dreams of becoming a real boy wonder–as long as he can avoid telling lies and making his nose grow.

Batman’s butler takes an unexpected trip through the looking glass and finds himself in a topsy-turvy world, for Alfred’s in Wonderland!

Gotham City Police Department detectives interrogate Gotham’s most dangerous criminals looking for the princess who stole the pea.

And Batman meets a snow queen who leads him on a dangerous quest.


Title:  Diana Princess of the Amazons
Written by:  Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Illustrated by:  Victoria Ying

What It’s About:  Eleven-year-old Diana has an almost perfect life on the island of Themyscira. But even though she has a loving mother and many “aunties,” she is an only child. The only child on the entire island, in fact. Every other person on the island is an adult who’s the best in their trade and mighty in body, while Diana is small, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman…yet.

What Diana needs is someone her own age whom to talk to. Taking matters into her own hands, she creates a playmate out of clay. It’s all fun and games for a while, until things get out of control and Diana has to decide whether she’s made a new friend…or a monster!

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Title:  Batman: Overdrive
Written by:  Shea Fontana
Illustrated by:  Marcelo Di Chiara

What It’s About:  Batman: Overdrive tells the story of how a young, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne came to build the Batmobile while still processing the pain and guilt of his parents’ death, and how he comes to understand that he doesn’t have to walk through life on his own.

Driven to solve the mystery of his parents’ murders, teenage loner Bruce Wayne hones his detective and combat skills as he scours the underbelly of Gotham looking for clues. Feeling responsible, Bruce is eager to find someone to pin the blame on so he can absolve himself of the guilt he feels. His quest for freedom while still clinging to the past is revealed in his effort to rebuild his dad’s first car. Finding the correct parts forces Bruce to open himself up to new friendships and challenges, ultimately leading him to what he desires most: freedom!

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Title:  Black Canary: Ignite
Written by:  Meg Cabot
Illustrated by: Cara McGee

What It’s About:  Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she’s going. First, she’ll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she’ll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock-star group of friends may even save the world, but first they’ll need to agree on a band name. When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah’s goals and threatens her friends and family, she’ll learn more about herself, her mother’s secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life.

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Title: Dear Justice League
Written by:  Michael Northrop
Illustrated by: Gustavo Duarte

What It’s About:  Hello! Justice League here. Ask us anything!

Does Superman ever make mistakes? Does Wonder Woman have to listen to her parents? Does Aquaman smell like fish? The greatest heroes in the DC Comics Universe, the Justice League, answer mail from their biggest fans–kids!

From New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, Michael Northrop, comes a new middle grade graphic novel series where iconic heroes are asked questions both big and small and, when they’re not busy saving the world, the Justice League even finds time to respond. Their honest and humorous answers will surprise and delight readers of any age, as it turns out that being a superhero is not too different from being a kid.

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Title: Anti/Hero
Written by: Kate Karyus Quinn & Demitria Lunetta
Illustrated by: Maca Gil

What It’s About:  Piper Parajo and Sloane MacBrute are two 13-year-old girls with very different lives but very similar secrets. At school, Piper is pretty and popular, upbeat, and always willing to help out her friends, whereas Sloane is a loaner, smart and snarky but with zero friends and zero interest in having any. Outside of the classroom, Piper is strong, really strong, like ripping the doors off of cars strong. She longs to be a superhero and tries to use her powers to do good, even if she tends to leave a massive mess in her wake. Sloane, on the other hand, is smart, like evil-genius level smart, and in order to provide for her mother, she puts those smarts to use for her villainous grandfather.

When a mission to steal an experimental technological device brings the two girls face-to-face with each other, the device sparks and the girls switch bodies! Now they must live in each other’s shoes as they figure out a way to switch back.

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Title:  Superman Smashes The Klan*
Written by:  Gene Luen Yang
Illustrated by: Gurihiru

What It’s About:  The year is 1946. Teenagers Roberta and Tommy Lee just moved with their parents from Chinatown to the center of Metropolis, home to the famous hero, Superman. Tommy makes friends quickly, while Roberta pines for home. Then one night, the family awakens to find their house surrounded by the Klan of the Fiery Kross! Superman leaps into action, but his exposure to a mysterious green rock has left him weak. Can Roberta and Tommy help him smash the Klan?

*This title was released previously as 3 single issues before being collected into one volume.  The above collection contains the entire story.

Coming Soon...3 (1)


Title: Primer
Written by: Jennifer Muro & Thomas Krajewski
Illustrated by: Gretel Lusky

What It’s About:  Ashley Rayburn is an upbeat girl with a decidedly downbeat past. Her father is a known criminal who once used Ashley to help him elude justice, and in his attempt to escape, a life was taken. He now sits in federal prison, but still casts a shadow over Ashley’s life. In the meantime, Ashley has bounced from foster home to foster home and represents a real challenge to the social workers who try to help her–not because she’s inherently bad, but because trouble always seems to find her.

Ashley’s latest set of presumably short-term foster parents are Kitch and Yuka Nolan. Like Ashley, Kitch happens to be an artist. Yuka, on the other hand, is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company, one that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. And it’s Yuka’s latest top secret project that has her very concerned. Developed for the military, it’s a set of body paints that, when applied to the wearer, grant them a wide range of special powers. Fearful that this invention will be misused, Yuka sneaks the set of paints home, substituting a dummy suitcase with an ordinary set of paints in their place.

From here, signals get crossed. Ashley comes home from school one day with her new friend Luke and, thinking that the Nolans have purchased a surprise gift for her upcoming birthday, finds the set of paints. Being an artist, Ashley naturally assumes these are for her. It isn’t long before she realizes that she’s stumbled upon something much bigger and a lot more dangerous. Although she uses her newly discovered powers for good, it’s not long before the military becomes wise to what happened to their secret weapon. And this spells big trouble not only for Ashley, but for her newfound family and friends as well.

Note: This title is set to be released on June 23, 2020.


Title:  Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge
Written by:  Grace Ellis
Illustrated by:  Brittney L. Williams

What It’s About:  It’s the first day of summer break in the sleepy town of Liberty View, and young Lois Lane bursts onto the scene with what she knows is a sure-to-go-viral video channel. Okay, maybe her platform only receives two views a week (thanks, Mom), and maybe her best friend, Kristen, isn’t quite as enthusiastic about social media, but when Lois sets her mind on something, there’s no turning back.

At the end of the week, the big neighborhood barbecue and bike race will be the perfect backdrop to Lois and Kristen’s #friendshipchallenge video. But when the girls find out the annual fireworks are missing, Lois doubles down on her efforts for fame, testing her friendship in ways she couldn’t imagine.

With Kristen leaving for sleepaway camp after the barbeque and a new girl on the block taking all of Kristen’s attention, will Lois be able to find the missing fireworks, celebrate the summer, and post the best #friendshipchallenge the internet has ever seen? Or will she have to face her challenges IRL?

Note: This title is set to be released on August 11, 2020.

Title:  Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis
Written by: Ridley Pearson
Illustrator: Ile Gonzalez

What It’s About: With the news of the Four Fingers taking refuge in the land of Landis, Batkid, Superboy, and Tilly begin their journey to stop the deadly virus from being unleashed onto the world.

Meanwhile, Candace has found her way to Landis and is taken underground to a group of people who still believe her to be the true queen of Landis. Our team is reunited in an action-packed adventure through the desert of Landis, an unknown terrority filled with unknown dangers!

Note: This title is set to be released on October 6, 2020.

Title: Teen Titans Go!: Roll With It
Written by:  Heather Nuhfer & P. C. Morissey
Illustrated by:  Agnes Garbowska & Sandy Jarrell

What It’s About:  The Titans have a regular game of Basements & Basilisks, but when the basement boss (Robin, of course) tries to make the game super fun by making it super-impossible to win, the team rebels. Their new BB is much more fun–and she actually lets them complete their quests, which is excellent motivation to keep playing. But the Boy Wonder begins to worry that the Titans will be trapped in their imaginations forever, going on endless, easy-breezy quests, neglecting their duties in Jump City.

There might also be problems with the campaign’s most important relic, the “One Anklet to Crush Them All,” which Robin has tightly clasped to his leg.

Note: This title is set to be released on November 10, 2020.

Finished Reading: Shadow of the Batgirl

Title_ Shadow of the Batgirl

What It’s About:  Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn’t exactly Batgirl material…not yet, at least. But when Batgirl goes missing from Gotham, can Cassandra defy her destiny and take on a heroic mantle of her very own?

Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?

After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero–Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle–that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.

Finished Reading...Reboot

Shadow of the Batgirl is a moving origin story where a girl trained to kill learns to speak up and forge her own path.  It’s a journey where Cassandra Cain learns that she is capable of so much more and that she can choose who she wants to be.  It hasn’t been decided.  It is her choice.

As I mentioned in the post where I had begun reading this graphic novel, Sarah Kuhn is really amazing at showing the heart of each of the characters she writes and making you love them.  I think she really did this character justice and created an amazing support system (aka team) for her that is positive and intergenerational with Jackie and Barbara Gordon.

Another thing is I really loved about this graphic novel was the part the Gotham Public Library played in the story.  It is Cassandra’s haven and safe space after she runs away.  It is also a place where she learns on her own and forms meaningful connections with other people.  I feel that really illustrates what the public library is about and we see how it empowers Cassandra throughout the story.

This is the perfect read for anyone who is on their own journey of self-discovery.

Donut Rating 5

On a Theme: Marvel Novels

ON A THEME - redesign

In the everlasting war between Marvel and DC Comics for the top spot of people’s hearts, no one company will ever win.  But as they try, sometimes foolishly and sometimes valiantly, the readers are the ones who will benefit from their attempts.

Marvel has been putting out some young adult novels featuring well-known characters since around 2013 and we’ve even seen some titles for middle-grade readers as well.  It’s exciting as each writer adds their own special something to that character’s history.

Welcome aboard to another On a Theme post!  In this one, I will be covering some YA and middle-grade novels Marvel has put out and some upcoming titles for each as well.



Title:  The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Written by: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale


Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel!

After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born!

She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?


Title: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious
Written by: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

What It’s About:  Squirrel Girl is BACK in an all-new adventure and things are about to get . . . hairy.

Thanks to Squirrel Girl, Ana Sofia, and the Squirrel Scouts, the crime rate in New Jersey is at an all time low. It makes for safer streets but also bored-er squirrels. That’s why it’s super exciting when Doreen’s school announces a new mall is being built right next to their town. Mmmm . . . Doreen can smell the soft pretzels now. The corporation building mall has also announced that there will be a competition to choose the mall’s mascot. Because malls need mascots?Anyway, Doreen’s school will be voting for a cat and the neighboring school will be voting for a dog. As the relationship starts to unravel between the two towns, Squirrel Girl and her friends suspect something more sinister is at work. With the help of old friends like Ana Sofia, Tippy Toe, and The Mighty Thor as well as some surprising new ones, Squirrel Girl will squash a villainous plot and save everyone.The unbeatable Squirrel Girl is ready for more nuts AND more butts! Are you?


Title:  Rogue Touch
Written by: Christine Woodward

What It’s About:  What if your touch could kill?

Twenty-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time-this time from a bakery. Why can’t she hold a job? Well, for starters, she dresses . . . differently. She looks like a Goth girl to the extreme, her shock of white hair contrasting with her head-to-toe black garb, her face the only skin she chooses to reveal. But Anna Marie doesn’t have a choice. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her first boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she’s been living alone in a cramped apartment and scraping by on food stamps.

Then she meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He’s just like her-completely alone and also on the run. To elude James’s mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. As they cross the country, their simmering attraction intensifies and they both open up about their secretive pasts. James reveals that his true name is “Touch,” and he christens Anna Marie “Rogue.” But with danger at their heels, they know they can’t run forever. Rogue must decide if she’ll unleash her devastating powers once again, which she swore never to do, in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.


Title: Black Widow: Forever Red
Written by: Margaret Stohl

What It’s About:  Enter the world of the Avengers’ iconic master spy?

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams. . . .

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Title: Black Widow: Red Vengeance
Written by:  Margaret Stohl

What It’s About: The Avengers’ iconic master spy is back, and she’s seeing red.

Emotions are dangerous, which is why the graduates of Moscow’s famed spy school the Red Room are taught to keep their enemies close and their loved ones at a distance. Black Widow and Red Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff and Ava Orlova, forgot that lesson once, and they won’t forget it again.

But the Widows have inherited something else from their shared Moscow past: a relentless need for vengeance. Ivan Somodorov is dead, but his network of terror remains.

While the Widows search South America in order to extinguish a smuggling operation with ties to their old nemesis, their own Red Room not only attempts to assassinate them both but also hacks their secure S.H.I.E.L.D. network. As a result, Ava and Natasha find themselves thrust into a trying mission of international intrigue that takes them throughout the world and back to New York City, where their friends Dante and Sana become unlikely targets as well.

Once again, nothing is as it seems, no one can be trusted, and no one is safe-not unless the Widows can stop a conspiracy involving stolen nuclear warheads, mind-altering chemical weapons, and ultimately, betrayal by old friends and enemies alike.


Title: Miles Morales: Spider-Man
Written by: Jason Reynolds

What It’s About:  “Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical benefits of slavery and the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

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Title: Loki: Where Mischief Lies
Written by: Mackenzi Lee

What It’s About:  Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity . . . except for Amora. Asgard’s resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.

But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard’s most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.

When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he’s meant to be.


Title:  Runaways: An Original Novel
Written by: Christopher Golden

What It’s About:  Turns out murderous Super Villains don’t make for good parents. The Runaways had no choice. They had to kill them. Well, more or less. Now Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, and Molly are on the run again, hiding out and trying to regain a sense of normalcy. But kids with super powers don’t get to be normal.

The city is overrun with criminals, each faction bent on murdering them for one reason or another. It’s only when the Runaways uncover the truth behind their parents’ past that they realize the evil isn’t just in L.A.

It’s everywhere.

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Title: Thanos: Titan Consumes
Written by:  Barry Lyga

What It’s About:  Time Reality. Space. Mind. Soul. Power.

Born on a doomed world and made an outcast for his physical deviancy and intimidating intellect, Thanos believes he sees something everyone else chooses to ignore: a way to save his home and the people of Titan for generations to come. But what he perceives as genius, they see as madness.

Now exiled from his homeworld, Thanos is determined to find the means to return to Titan and implement his plan. His journey through the galaxy is a desperate race to save everything. Thanos will be successful-no matter how many billions have to die to bring balance to the universe.

Learn the origins of the most formidable foe the Avengers, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther have ever faced-a foe whom even a group of remarkable people, pulled together to fight the battles nobody else could, failed to stop.

Coming Soon...3 (1)


Title: The Unstoppable Wasp:  Built on Hope
Written by:  Sam Maggs

What It’s About:  Nadia Van Dyne is new to this. New to being a Super Hero, new to being a real friend and stepdaughter (to one of the founding Avengers, no less), new to running her own lab, and new to being her own person, far, far away from the clutches of the Red Room-the infamous brainwashing/assassin-training facility. She’s adjusting well to all of this newness, channeling her energy into being a good friend, a good scientist, and a good Super Hero. It’s taking a toll, though, and Nadia’s finding that there are never quite enough hours in a day. So, when she’s gifted a virtual assistant powered by the most cutting-edge A.I. technology that the world has to offer, Nadia jumps at the opportunity to “do less, experience more”-just like the advertisements say.
The device works-really works. Nadia has more time to pursue her passion projects and to focus on new discoveries. But it’s never quite that simple, and not everything is as it seems. This thrilling adventure finds Nadia confronting her past as she tries to shape her future, and learning that sometimes the best way to effect big change is to think small-maybe even super small, Unstoppable Wasp-style. She’ll need the help of her genius G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) squad and found family to save herself and (not to be too dramatic) the entire world as we know it. Along the way, Nadia discovers that when she teams up with the people who love her the most, they’re totally Unstoppable. Just another day in the life of your way, way above average teenage Super Hero.

Note: This book is set to be released on May 26th, 2020.


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Title:  Black Panther: The Young Prince
Written by:  Ronald L. Smith

What It’s About:  Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger.

This is his destiny. But right now, he’s simply T’Challa-the young prince.

Life is comfortable for twelve-year-old T’Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he’s not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father-the reigning Black Panther-or testing out the latest tech, he’s off breaking rules with his best friend, M’Baku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T’Challa’s father makes a startling announcement: he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in America.

This is no prestigious private academy-they’ve been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T’Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic.

When strange things begin happening around school, T’Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T’Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.

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Title:  Captain Marvel: Starforce on the Rise
Written by:  Steve Behling

What It’s About:  The Kree Starforce are the baddest elite warriors in the cosmic business. Vers, their newest recruit, brings impressive photon-blasing powers to the team, but her impulsive nature has inspired some distrust among fellow Starforce members Korath, Att-Lass, Bron-Char, and, most of all, Minn-Erva, the team’s most valued sniper.

Under the tutelage of her commander, Vers will learn the ways of Starforce whether she likes it or not. Will Vers prove her worth to the team, and to herself, or will the pressure to succeed be her ultimate downfall?


Title: Spider-Man: Far From Home: Peter and Ned’s Ultimate Travel Journal
Written by:  Preeti Chhibber
Illustrated by: George Mcclements and Stéphane Kardos

What It’s About: Peter Parker’s off to Europe with his classmates from school! How does Spider-Man stay one step ahead of the bad guys while on the road, while keeping his identity a secret? You can find that out-and a whole lot more-in this book filled with epic writings from Peter and his best friend Ned. With the help of MJ, Peter and Ned have jotted down all the exciting things they saw while traveling through Europe: favorite foods, photo ops, Spidey-secrets, and more. This ultimate travel journal has it all!

Coming Soon...3 (1)

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Title:  Shuri: A Black Panther Novel
Written by: Nic Stone

What It’s About:  Shuri is a skilled martial artist, a genius, and a master of science and technology. But, she’s also a teenager. And a princess. This middle grade series follows Shuri as she sets out on a quest to save her homeland of Wakanda.

For centuries, the Chieftain of Wakana (the Black Panther) has gained his powers through the juices of the Heart Shaped Herb. Indeed, even Shuri herself has gained powers from this mythical herb, which grows only in Wakanda. Much like Vibranium, the Heart Shaped Herb is essential to the survival and prosperity of Wakanda. But something is wrong. The plants are no longer growing. No matter what the people of Wakanda do, they can’t create new herbs. And their supply is running short. It’s up to Shuri to travel from Wakanda in order to discover what is killing the Herb, and how she can save it, in this all-new, original series.

Note:  This book is set to be released on May 5th, 2020.


Title:  Shuri: The Vanished (SHURI: A BLACK PANTHER NOVEL #2)
Written by: Nic Stone

What It’s About: With the heart-shaped herb thriving, a group of Wakanda”s finest engineers working on expanding her dome technology, and the borders more fortified than ever, Princess Shuri can finally focus on what matters most: her training.

Soon, a bigger problem rears its head. The princess hears whispers of exceptionally talented young girls across the world going missing. A young environmental scientist in Kenya, a French physics prodigy — the list of the missing keeps growing and growing. And when this mystery hits home in a way the princess would”ve never expected, there”s no more time for hesitation: There are lost girls out there somewhere, and Shuri is determined not to let them be forgotten.

Note:  This book is set to be released on February 2, 2021.

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Title: Orientation (MARVEL: AVENGERS ASSEMBLY #1)
Written by:  Preeti Chhibber
Illustrated by: James Lancett

What It’s About:  Kamala Khan was an average middle school kid. That is, until a cloud called a Terrigen Mist swept through the New Jersey waterfront and activated her super powers! After taking on the persona of Ms. Marvel, she’s been fighting crime in Jersey City, and has caught the eye of some pretty well-established super heroes. But that’s not always a good thing…

After Kamala is caught by news cameras taking on a super villain — and accidentally destroying a building along the way — she gets a letter from Captain Marvel herself! It’s great that she’s fighting crime and sticking up for people, but maybe a regular school isn’t the best place to learn how to do that. If she wants to continue as Ms. Marvel, she’s going to need to take on some new extracurricular activities — mainly, training with other young super heroes alongside the Avengers!

Now Kamala is the new kid at the Avengers Institute. Her classmates are all kids like her, they have special powers, but most of them have gotten into some trouble or drawn attention to themselves. The big news at the Avengers Institute this year? An academic decathlon in which students will group up into teams and compete against each other in super heroics. Kamala and her friends Miles and Doreen will have to go up against a team led by some kids who fight less than fair — and have some trouble with the concept of “fighting for good” — in this funny, action-packed look at some ordinary middle school kids who just happen to have some extraordinary powers.

Note: This book is set to be released on August 4th, 2020.


Title:  Miles Morales:  Shock Waves
Written by:  Justin A. Reynolds
Art by: Pablo Leon

What It’s About: In Miles Morales: Shock Waves, Miles Morales is a normal school kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’ fundraiser. Who is behind the disappearance, and how does that relate to Spider-Man?

Note:  This title is set to be released June 1, 2021.  

Spotlight: 2 Podcasts

Spotlight - Redesign

If you are an avid listener of podcasts (like me), you have a weekly schedule of when your favorites update and release a new episode.  You listen to them while cooking or working out or when composing an email for work. Whether you are into comedy, facts, ghosts, kpop, video games, or true crime, there is a podcast waiting for you.

I am usually a true-crime podcast listener.  I have podcasts I enjoy and ones I wholly avoid.  However, there is the odd podcast I listen to that are reading and book related.

In this Spotlight post, I will be talking about 2 podcasts that I listen to regularly that discuss books at vastly different ends of my reading spectrum.

Teen Creeps

Podcast Name:  Teen Creeps
  Lindsay Katai and Kelly Nugent

Description: This podcast features Lindsay and Kelly discussing a YA pulp fiction novel every Wednesday.  They sometimes even cover current YA books and films from the 80s and 90s like The Craft and The Lost Boys.

My Thoughts graphic

One of the things that drew me to this podcast is the subject matter.  I had missed these pulpy books completely while growing up and some of the authors were unfamiliar to me.  But other authors like Lurlene McDaniel, R.L. Stine, V.C. Andrews, and Christopher Pike were very familiar to me and I wanted to hear everything about them.  I also like learning about those books I missed out on like, Go Ask Alice by Anonymous.   It also really gets to one of my interests in young adult fiction and that is its history – how young adult fiction presented itself during different time periods, what their stories were about, and how it evolved.

Besides the subject matter, I really enjoy the hosts.  Lindsay and Kelly not only bring some hilarious jokes and valid insight into the bizarre aspects of each book, but they also bring honest conversations about their lives.  I like their friendship and how easily they can talk to each other about books.

There are listeners that do not appreciate conversation in their podcasts but I actually really enjoy that aspect.

Podcast name:  Shojo & Tell: A Manga Podcast
Host:  Ashley McDonnell (plus guests)

Description: Host Ashley McDonnell discusses either a classic or a current shojo or josei manga series each episode and talks them over with another manga enthusiast.

My Thoughts graphic

I tend to exclusively read shojo or josei manga (with the occasional Shonen thrown in) and besides listening to myself talk about them, I wanted other opinions about current and past publications.

I found this podcast recently and have been really enjoying it.  I appreciate that the host looks at new manga and older manga with guests that are different but also avid readers of shojo.  Some guests even work in the manga industry.

I grew up reading CLAMP and due to my age and being unable to easily google the entire history of a series, a lot of things flew past me unnoticed.  For this reason, I am happy that the host doesn’t shy away from talking about those details (i.e. gender) and the differences between a manga published by two different publishers several years apart (i.e. Wish as published by Tokyopop and Dark Horse).

The podcast really makes you feel like you’re part of a discussion on shojo manga rather than just a listener.

Future Reads: 10 YA Novels


Hello all!  *waves shyly*

I am here again with a bunch of books to look forward to because there are still things to look forward to despite everything going on.

This time I am highlighting some young adult (YA) novels.

There will be a variety of authors and genres in this list.  I hope you, yes you, will find something interesting or different to read.

Let do this!

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Title:  Date Me, Bryson Keller
Written by:  Kevin van Whye

What It’s About: Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Note:  To be released on May 19th, 2020.

(LGBTQ, Contemporary Fiction, Romance Fiction)


Title:  Parachutes
Written by:  Kelly Yang

What It’s About:  They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course.

Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.

Note:  To be released on May 26th, 2020.

(Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Emigration and Immigration)

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Title:  Cinderella Is Dead
Written by:  Kalynn Bayron

What It’s About:   It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

Note:  To be released on July 7th, 2020.

(Retellings, LGBTQ, Smashing the Patriarchy, dystopia, Feminism)


Title:  The Year of the Witching
Written by:  Alexis Henderson

What It’s About:  In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Note:  To be released on July 21st, 2020.

(Horror, Witches/Witchcraft, Paranormal Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy Fiction)


Title:  The Mall
Written by:  Megan McCafferty

What It’s About: The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

Note:  To be released on July 28th, 2020.

(Coming-of-Age, 1990s, Humor, Friendship)


Title:  Vicious Spirits
Written by:  Kat Cho

What It’s About: As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung’s mother, Yena, and Jihoon’s grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don’t know how to save her.

With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let’s be honest, Junu isn’t known for his “generosity.” Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.

Note:  To be released on August 18th, 2020.

(Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Romance Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy Fiction)

We Are Not Free

Title:  We Are Not Free
Written by:  Traci Chee

What It’s About: Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

Note:  To be released on September 1st, 2020.

(Historical Fiction, Japanese-American Internment)


Title:  Horrid
Written by:  Katrina Leno

What It’s About:  Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

Note:  To be released on September 15th, 2020.

(Horror, Grief, Mental Illness, Contemporary Fiction)


Title: Who I Was with Her
Written by:  Nita Tyndall

What It’s About:  There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.

But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa — Maggie’s ex and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.

As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

Note:  To be released on September 15th, 2020.

(LGBTQ, Bisexual Character, Contemporary Fiction, Grief, Friendship)


Title:  Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga
Written by:  Rainbow Rowell
Adapted by:  Sam Maggs
Illustrated by: Gabi Nam

What It’s About:  Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner … And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

Note:  To be released on October 13th, 2020.

(Graphic Novels, Comics, Adaptation, Romance Fiction)