Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mash Day

Welcome to the first of our series of Mash Days when we celebrate books and media that feature mash-ups of different themes, genres and formats. This has almost nothing to do with M.A.S.H. the movie/television show, but the title is similar and I can't resist sharing a picture of my buddies from 4077.
Today, my friends, I'd like to discuss fabulous mash-ups of prose and pictures, or illustrated books for teens! You may be thinking that your picture book days are over, but they are so not, because these books are not to be missed:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: Yes, there is a movie out and I'm excited about that, but before the movie there was as absolutely gorgeous book. Wonderful words narrate Hugo's story and then are seamlessly taken over by pages of breathtaking black and white drawings. Brian Selznick's brand new book Wonderstruck has the same format and is equally stunning. BTW, just so you know, Hugo isn't torturing a live mouse in the picture on the left; that's actually a toy.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: These illustrations combined with the author's words create the dark atmosphere of this tale of a boy with who is suddenly haunted by the monster of his mother's illness, and another monster he wasn't expecting: Something ancient. Something wild.




Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney: I have recommend this book dozens of times and will keep recommending it as long as I have the power of recommendation. If you haven't read it yet, for pity's sake hurry. This is Junior's story. He's a 14-years-old Spokane Indian living on the reservation who decided, quite controversially, to go to high school off the reservation. His comics interspersed with his narration emphasize his enduring sense of humor as he navigates the tragedies and challenges of his life. Read it!



The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean: Nobody Owens began his life as he knows it when his family was murdered, and when he was pursued to the graveyard where his toddling legs had taken him, the killer couldn't touch him. A ghostly family adopted Nobody and extended to him the protection of the graveyard so he could fade away into the shadows and never be caught. But what happens when Nobody decides to enter the world of the living? These illustrations make this fantasy seem extraordinarily real. I'll never look at graveyards the same way again.

Wintertown by Stephan Emond: Evan's dad has high ambitions for him that do not include his dream of being a comics artist. Lucy has begun making destructive choices. This and the fact that the two only see each other during winter breaks has always been in the way of their friendship and continues to be an obstacle as their affection for each other grows into something else. Evan and Lucy take turns telling their story interspersed with Evan's comics.




As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins: A teenaged guy encounters one calamity after another as he's lost in the U.S. and trying to find his way home. In the meantime, his dogs are also lost, and their story is told through comics.





Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler: 16-year-old Min writes a letter to her boyfriend explaining why she's breaking up with him, complete with illustrations.









Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Illustrated by Carson Ellis: Prue and Curtis venture into the Impassable Wilderness to rescue Prue's baby brother. They discover dangers and wonders they'd never imagined, and these illustrations really bring the woods to life.

These are just a few suggestions among a wide range of great books. Stop by the library if you want to know more!


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