Our celebration of non-fiction books in November continues with another installment of 5 Really Good Books. Today, we are sharing several graphic novels in our collection. Sometimes it’s really interesting to have some visuals when you are reading a non-fiction story. And more and more writers are sharing their work in the comic medium. Check these out, find your comfy chair and learn something you may have never thought about before.
Almost American Girl
A teen graphic novel memoir about a Korean-born, non-English-speaking girl who is abruptly transplanted from Seoul to Huntsville, Alabama, and struggles with extreme culture shock and isolation, until she discovers her passion for comic arts.
For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up in the 1990s as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.
So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated. Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends at home and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily. And worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother.
Then one day Robin’s mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined. — Goodreads.com
Happiness Will Follow
Eisner Award-nominated artist Mike Hawthorne presents a true and tragic graphic novel memoir about family, abuse, survival and what it means to be Puerto Rican in America.
Mike Hawthorne’s mother is left alone to raise her son in New York City, a city that torments them both with its unforgiving nature. But when Mike falls victim to an old world Santeria death curse, a haunting sign from the old country of something his mother could never truly escape —she begins a series of events that drive him away both physically and emotionally.
For the first time ever, Eisner Award-nominated artist Mike Hawthorne (Superior Spider-Man) tells the true and tragic story of enduring abuse, discovering a love of art, and a passion that helped him to build the home he never had in this graphic novel memoir about family, survival, and what it means to be Puerto Rican in America. — Goodreads.com
The Roanoke Colony: America’s First Mystery
Over a hundred years before the pilgrims, the very first English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island. But without warning, these colonists abandoned their new home and disappeared without a trace.
What happened to the colonists? To figure it out, we’ll need to investigate how these missing settlers got to Roanoke in the first place, and what the people already living there thought about these strange foreigners. It’s a case filled with brutal battles, perilous pirate ships, ruthless queens, scheming businessmen, and enough skeletons to fill a graveyard. — Goodreads.com
The Mars Challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Spaceflight
Travel to deep space and back again with The Mars Challenge, a nonfiction graphic novel for teens about the science and logistics of a manned mission to Mars.
Nadia is a teen with a dream: to be the first woman on Mars. But to get there, she’s got to learn all she can about the science of spaceflight. It’s a good thing her friend Eleanor is an Attitude Determination and Control Officer—basically, she pilots the International Space Station!
Eleanor takes Nadia on a conceptual journey through an entire crewed mission to Mars, and explains every challenge that must be overcome along the way; from escaping Earth’s gravity well, to keeping the crew healthy as they travel through deep space, to setting up a Mars base, to having enough fuel for the trip home!
In The Mars Challenge, writer Alison Wilgus and artist Wyeth Yates bring the reader on a thrilling interplanetary voyage and clearly illustrate the scientific concepts and complex machinery involved. Humans can reach Mars in our lifetime—this book explains how it can be done. — Goodreads.com
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees
In the tradition of Don Brown’s critically acclaimed, full-color nonfiction graphic novels The Great American Dust Bowl and Sibert Honor winning Drowned City, The Unwanted is an important, timely, and eye-opening exploration of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, exposing the harsh realities of living in, and trying to escape, a war zone.
Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted.
Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read. — Goodreads.com