Books Read in November 2020

Another slow month for reading…but I got a few in. Almost to my goal of 50 books for the year.

Class ActClass Act by Jerry Craft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We first met Drew Ellis in Jerry Craft’s previous graphic novel “New Kid” – he was one of the friends that Jordan makes during his first year at the prestigious private school in New York. In ‘Class Act’ we get to learn about Drew’s life outside of school and, just like Jordan, there are a lot of layers.

Craft has written another solid story about growing up, friendship, and staying true to yourself, while also touching on topics of race, socioeconomic status, and other tough topics in a way that every kid can relate to and understand.

A great companion book (it helps to have read ‘New Kid’ prior to this to understand the group’s dynamics and history but you can still enjoy it as a standalone) and hopefully not the last in this series. Fans of the previous book and other realistic stories about growing up like ‘Smile’ and ‘American Born Chinese’ will enjoy this.

Dear BeastDear Beast by Dori Hillestad Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While not breaking in the new ground in the cats vs dogs debate, this was a really cute and fun read.

When Andy’s Dad gets a new dog at his house, Andy’s cat, that lives with his Mom, is furious and begins a letter writing campaign to convince the dog to leave. Their exchanges are a lot of fun to read and I think kids would crack up at the ridiculousness of it all.

Happy Narwhalidays (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #5)Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As always, the best things in life and friendship and waffles.

Cottons: The Secret of the WindCottons: The Secret of the Wind by Jim Pascoe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I honestly just picked this up because the cover art looked really cool. When I read the blurbs mentioning Bone, Redwall and Into the Wild, I knew this was going to be an adventure. But wow, I was not expecting such a dark, mysterious fantasy.

My only complaint was the few times I was having trouble telling the rabbits apart, mostly at the start of the book when I was still learning the characters and their motives. After that, you could identify them, if not be how they looked, at least by the context of the scene.

There are also some major Watership Down vibes (so much so that I have head-canoned that the before times they talk about are just the events of that book). But there are magical elements too that make it clear these are not just anthropomorphized animals, but creatures with a complex society and culture.

Great read for kids/tweens/teens that like high fantasy tales and can deal with things getting dark and heavy

(tw: (view spoiler)

Gideon Falls, Vol. 2: Original SinsGideon Falls, Vol. 2: Original Sins by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another strange twist in a bendy story (I mean this literally, some of the artwork is both twisty and bendy)

Final pages will have you running to get volume 3!

Fence, Vol. 3Fence, Vol. 3 by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love how the relationships between all of these characters keep changing and evolving with each chapter of the story. And I’m really enjoying learning about fencing as a sport, something I knew zero about.

Fence, Vol. 4: RivalsFence, Vol. 4: Rivals by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, learning more and more about this sport and how it is played, all the while getting sucked into the drama of this private school and the ridiculous students. Keeps getting better each time. This trade focuses on a team bought which is very different from one on one fencing. Can our heroes work together and come out on top?

Measuring UpMeasuring Up by Lily LaMotte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great middle grade graphic novel that appears to be about food and fitting in on the surface, but quietly also addresses issues with pressure from your family, growing up and finding your path, the immigrant experience and friendship.

It will make you hungry for all the food that the characters cook during their kitchen challenges!

Good pick for fans of ‘Smile’ who are on the younger end of the age spectrum.

View all my reviews

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