Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos

Lucy Knisley

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In this graphic memoir, Kinsley uses her own experience with pregnancy to explore the history of pregnancy and birth, bust myths about miscarriage, and discuss hard topics like infertility. Even though Kinsley's experience with conceiving and later pregnancy was not all roses and pregnancy glow, she manages to make this book an engaging and enjoyable read from start to finish with her witty writing and soft art style.

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The inside flap boasts: "Whether you have kids, want them, or want nothing to do with them, there's something in this graphic memoir to open your mind and heart."

Content Notes

Discussion of pregnancy loss, depictions of birth, depictions of vomit, traumatic birth experience, near death experiences

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: Bisexual

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: Bisexual
Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Dancing After Ten

Vivian Chong

Georgia Webber

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In this powerful memoir, Vivian Chong tells the story of how she rebuilt and expanded her life after a mysterious illness left her blind.

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Readers looking for an honest, yet hopeful memoir about adjusting to life with a disability will be taken in by Chong's frankness and the powerful mix of artwork from her and collaborator Georgia Webber.

Content Notes

Brief portrayal of sexual assault; ableism

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Canadian, Chinese
  • Disability: Visual impairment

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Canadian, Chinese
  • Disability: Disability
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

In Waves

AJ Dungo

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Several narratives wind together to form the experience that is In Waves. There's the story of AJ meeting his partner, her struggle with cancer, and stories from the history of surfing, all tied together in spare and beautiful art that uses color to delineate between stories. It's sweet and sad, reflective and poetic, and somehow perfectly like sitting at a beach alone at night.

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Absolutely a great pick for readers who enjoy surfing, as it can be hard to find many narratives on the subject that aren't straight history or biographies of famous surfers. In a strange way, it is also a solid read-alike for readers of The Girl From the Other Side, as they're both stories about grief with simple and effective art.

Content Notes

Discussions of cancer and death are to be expected here.

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Night Bus

Zuo Ma

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At times beautiful, others terrifying, the experience of Night Bus is the experience of Xiao Jun's journey through nostalgia and fears for the future as well as his grandmother's dementia through a surreal lens. Explore the strange and familiar landscapes alongside Xiao Jun, and let the incredible art wash over as his journey winds its way through past and present, with hints at the future.

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Luo Ma's use of space and strong emphasis on visual storytelling might appeal to fans of Tillie Walden, while the interconnected short stories that go between horrifying and sweet could be exactly what readers of Supermutant Magic Academy want next.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Chinese

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Chinese
Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Just Roll with It

Lee Durfey-Lavoie

Veronica Agarwal

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Maggie loves her family, the Chosen book series, and saying hello to the house when she gets home each day. So what if she also keeps a d20 with her every day to roll and determine her actions? And what about the fact that she worries if she doesn't say hello to the house, something bad will happen? As Maggie makes friends in her new school, she starts to confront some of her actions and realizes maybe, she does need some help and that's okay.

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This comic is perfect for readers who like fantasy analogies in the modern day to discuss events happening in the characters' lives, like All's Faire in Middle School or Cardboard Kingdom. It's also a great choice for readers of Raina Telgemeier's books since they discuss illness and dealing with growing up in ways that are matter-of-fact and accepting.

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Indian American
  • Neurodivergence: OCD
Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Run On Your New Legs

Wataru Midori

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Shouta Kikuzato's dreams of high school soccer stardom were dashed when he lost his leg in an accident. When he runs to help a child, he meets Chidori, a prosthetist who recently started his own business. Chidori offers Kikuzato a partnership--Kikuzato will get a running blade in exchange for helping Chidori get his business off the ground. With new motivation, Kikuzato throws himself into track and para-athletics!

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With strong characterization and a story with solid emotional beats for both the sports and Kikuzato's personal life, Run on Your New Legs will attract sports manga fans looking for something to read after Haikyu!! and Yowamushi Pedal as well as readers interested in stories featuring athletes with disabilities.

Content Notes

Discussion of depression

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Japanese

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Japanese
  • Disability: Prosthesis
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Go With the Flow

Karen Schneemann

Lily Williams

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When best friends Christine, Brit, and Abby help new girl Sasha with a period mishap and welcome her into their friend group in the process, they wonder what Sasha would have done if they hadn't been there to help. The sanitary product machines are always empty and their school doesn't have a nurse anymore because of budget cuts. This spurs Abby to start a campaign to make her school more period friendly, but she's so consumed by this fight she loses sight of what is really important, her friends.

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Current and future period-havers will love this book about friendship and fighting for a more equal world.

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5974, 7692
  • Sexuality: 5366
  • Disability: 7608
Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Hey Kiddo

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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In this graphic memoir, Krosoczka looks back on his childhood being raised by his grandparents because his mother was battling addiction and his father was absent. With his adult perspective, he looks back at his upbringing with nuance and empathy for all the players as he explores what it means to be a family and the power of art to help a person find community and process their trauma.

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Anyone whose family has been touched by addiction or some other unfortunate event that has caused a parent or parents to be absent from their lives.

Content Notes

Strong language, drug use and addiction, smoking, drinking, underage drinking.

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Kimiko Does Cancer

Kimiko Tobimatsu

Keet Geniza

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In this warm, thoughtful memoir, Kimiko, a queer multiracial woman, describes her experience navigating cancer treatment and cancer's effects on her relationships, health, and identity.

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Kimiko Does Cancer is ideal for readers looking for cancer memoirs that question the mainstream cancer narratives or perspectives from cancer survivors who are not white and/or straight.

Content Notes

Some very brief, contextualized pictures of bare breasts; brief discussion of sex

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Filipino, Multiracial
  • Sexuality: Queer

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Multiracial
  • Sexuality: Queer
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Sincerely, Harriet

Sarah W. Searle

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Harriet is bored at home after moving to Chicago. Her parents can't take her exploring, her summer reading is boring, and she misses her camp friends. As she looks for an outlet, Harriet meets Pearl, her elderly neighbor with a love of stories. When she starts having trouble with her body, Harriet will have to figure out a way to navigate her life and emotions.

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This sensitive, thoughtful story about healthy self-expression and the power of stories would be ideal for readers looking for quiet, thoughtful stories about children living with chronic illnesses.

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: Gay
  • Gender Identity: Trans

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Assumed Hispanic or Latine, Multiracial
  • Disability: Multiple Sclerosis
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

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