THE GIRLS OF SUMMER PART II

26 summer graphic novels

I read both Click and its sequel Camp, one right after the other, pretty much in a single sitting. It’s something I rarely do, even with other graphic novels, which I tend to read through fairly quickly. Which should help show just how much I enjoyed them. One of the things I’m always on the lookout for in middle grade books — and especially in middle grade graphic novels — are elements that remind me of the stories I used to love as a kid. This charming — so charming —series by Kayla Miller about a young girl trying to find a place in the world gave me major Pepper Ann and Doug vibes, both of which were some of my favorite animated series, so of course I dug these books as well. I probably enjoyed Camp just a tad more, but only because I love stories with remote, singular settings.


Lucy Knisley’s Stepping Stones didn’t remind me of anything in particular except for other Lucy Knisley books. Which is a good thing because I am a fan. Knisley is not only a great artist, but also probably one of the strongest memoirists working today. Skills that she brought out in full force for this book about a young city girl moving to the country with her mother and her new stepfather. Stepping Stones was advertised as Knisley’s first work of fiction, and when I finished it I was left feeling very impressed, thinking that as far as first steps go, this was a particularly skillful stride — but then in the back matter of the book Knisley writes of how the story is heavily inspired by her own childhood experiences. Which is sort of a cheat! At the end of the day, though, I won’t begrudge an artist for drawing from the well of a rich, storied life. Especially when it results in work of this quality. It’s still an impressive and auspicious debut, and I enjoyed reading it immensely. (Stepping Stones is supposed to be the first in a planned series, too, and I look forward to reading these future entries.)

BOOKMAIL

Getting a lot of graphic novels lately. I’ve been a little stressed out these past couple of weeks, and comics always help me deal with that.⠀

I’ve been following Noelle Stevenson’s work since the days of Tumblr (I still think of her as gingerhaze), when I came across her Broship of the Ring comics, which to this day still stands as my all-time favorite AU (𝒉𝒊𝒑𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒃𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒔) and I’ve really loved seeing her career grow over the years. The Fire Never Goes Out collects Noelle’s personal comics, which in sharp contrast to the more goofy Broship strips, are often wistful and melancholy. They break your heart. They are lovely. Stevenson is going to take over the world someday.⠀

Lucy Knisley we all love. She’s known mostly for memoirs, but Stepping Stones is, I believe, her first foray into fiction. Middle grade, too, which is exciting! Lucy Knisley isn’t going to take over the world only because she wants to let her son do it first.⠀