In Too Short for the Court, Morgan loves basketball, but she’s short. She practices day and night, is always thinking about basketball, and loves being on her team. When it comes time to play in the games, Morgan is always disappointed in her play; she is constantly blocked and the ball is always stolen. Even when the team wins, she’s bummed out. With the help of a teammate, Morgan learns some tips and tricks to work around her height which leads to a much more successful game.
Too Short for the Court is a basic story that manages to present a common issue in an easy and comprehensive way. Morgan is a likeable and genuine character and they handle the idea of never giving up subtly but effective.
In The Quick Quarterback, Andre loves football. When a coach notices him and asks him to be quarterback for the Tigers, he is so excited. Very soon after, he falls off his bike, breaks his arm, and can’t play for six weeks. Once he gets his cast off, Andre is ready to get back into the swing of things, but his arm is stiff and he’s very nervous about throwing the football again. Soon he is back on the football field throwing flubs and losing the ball. He remembers all the running he did with his dog Zip when he was rehabbing and uses those skills to have a successful game. Overall, the moral of the story is very similar to Too Short: don’t give up. But this one also focuses on exploring alternatives. Andres’ arm wasn’t as strong as it used to be, but he was able to use another skill to be successful. It was unrealistic that they would let him play if he couldn’t throw the football yet, but the rest of the story was believable.
The My 1st Graphic Novel series is a staple in beginning reader collections. With over 20 titles in the series, it’s an established, tried, and true way of introducing children to graphic novels. The format is great, with a “how to read” section, glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts. The illustrations are simple and bright; they convey what is happening very well. There isn’t much dialog and it feels more like a story being told with pictures being added, which is appropriate for an introduction to graphic novels. Overall, any book in this series is a great addition to a beginning reader collection.
My 1st Graphic Novel: Too Short for the Court
by Amy J. Lemke
Art by Steve Harpster
My 1st Graphic Novel: The Quick Quarterback
by Michelle Lord
Art by Steve Harpster
Stone Arch Books, a Capstone Imprint, 2012