Booklist’s Best, Author Peter Dickinson Dies, Reissues and New Editions

boys who challenged hitlerBooklist’s Best Books for Youth: Booklist magazine has named its best books for young people for 2015:

Author Peter Dickinson Dies: British author Peter DickinsonDickinson has died at age 88. Known for his many novels and mysteries for adult readers, Dickinson also wrote for older children, including Eva (1989) and A Box of Nothing (1988). He is survived by his wife Robin McKinley, who is also a bestselling author of books for young people.

Out of the Ordinary – Reissues and New Editions

Pea Patch JigHurd, Thacher. The Pea Patch Jig. Creston Books, 1986/2015. [32p.]. $16.95. ISBN 978-1-93947-21-7.

     Back in print, Hurd’s exuberant picture book is inspired by the folksong of the same name, but contains a straightforward narrative text. The story is broken into three chapters but can be read straight through like a regular picture book. The plot concerns a mouse family living in the garden of Farmer Clem, and their preparations for a party.

Hurd’s joyous, deeply colored watercolor and ink cartoonish illustrations feature mice characters in human dress, similar to many of his other books such as Mama Don’t Allow (1984) and Mystery on the Docks (1983). There is a looseness to the drawings, that combine with the deep colors to depict a warm, homey atmosphere that suits the story well. Libraries will want to purchase this reissue to replace old worn copies of this popular book by a Bay Area author.

Weiner, Stephen. 101 Outstanding Graphic Novels: Third Edition. Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine, 2015. 80p. $15.99. ISBN 978-1-56163-944-1. 101 Outstand

     Many libraries have Weiner’s earlier editions of this useful readers’ advisory tool, but it would also be popular with teen readers interested in graphic novels. The introduction and short history section that begin the book describe the popularity of graphic novels, especially with young adults. Graphic novels are very influential – the number one television series is “The Walking Dead,” based on Robert Kirkman’s ongoing series. The 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical went to “Fun Home,” based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alison Bechtel. So graphic novels are not just popular with book-lovers, but are part of mainstream popular culture.

Aside from the brief intro and history sections, Weiner’s book consists of one-paragraph descriptions of his choices for the best and most influential graphic novels. There is a thumbnail b&w photo of each selection’s cover along with bibliographic information and price. All are still available “in print,” or new, except the brief section of “out of print” books at the end, which could be purchased used. So librarians can use this for collection development as well as for readers’ advisory.

Most of the entries are books intended for older teens and adults, although there are a few selections for children. These include Jenny Holm’s “Babymouse” series, and Raina Telegeier’s Smile. But the majority of titles will be found in the adult or teen graphic novels section of most libraries. There are no age or grade designations for each entry; only by reading the annotation can one gauge if a book is for children. Weiner includes many classics that all libraries offer – Maus by Art Spiegelman, comic book collections, award winners, and a few manga series. This book offers libraries a chance to see if they need replacement copies of these classics.

For more information, check out the publisher’s website:

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