It’s hard enough for us parents to find time to read, let alone to decide what to read. Head to the library and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the stacks upon stacks of interesting-sounding titles (who can blame us for judging a book by its cover?). Just keeping up with book lists can seem like a chore. That’s why we here at LiveMom are introducing you to local authors, who will be giving you the skinny on what’s on their reading lists…because who better than a writer to turn you on to new and interesting books?!
Carolyn Cohagan’s first novel, The Lost Children, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010, became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011, and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award in 2014. Elizabeth Banks has called her new novel Time Zero “a compelling, unexpected, thrilling read that elevates the young adult genre.” Carolyn is the founder of Kids With Pens, a creative writing organization for kids ages 9-17. This summer, Kids with Pens is offering creative writing camps at various locations around Austin.
Carolyn Cohagan’s Top 5 Favorite Graphic Novels
1. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
This book made me laugh hard. Like milk-coming-out-of-my-nose hard. The story is difficult to describe in that it doesn’t have one big plot. The book is a compilation of Brosh’s online series, and it covers topics as light as witless dogs and as heavy as debilitating depression. Amazingly, she makes it all hilarious, relatable and poignant all while using stick figures. This was my go-to gift of 2015. Just trust me when I say to go buy this book immediately.
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
If you’re not sure if graphic novels are “real” literature, then this is the book for you. The story of a Holocaust survivor and his son, Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Cartoonist Art Spiegelman tells his father’s story using mice and cats as stand-ins for the Jews and the Nazis. Beautifully written and drawn, it will leave you with an indelible impression of World War II and the mark it continues to make on today’s generations.
3. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical tale of growing up in Iran made a powerful impression on me. The first volume details her early life during and after the Islamic Revolution. Somehow Satrapi manages to keep a perfect balance of funny and sad, making you never want to put the book down. The book series was made into an animated film, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.
4. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home has gotten a lot of attention recently because the musical based on the book won the Tony last year. But don’t be lazy. Read this incredible graphic novel before you see the show! Bechdel’s autobiography tells the story of her sexual awakening while also examining her very complex relationship with her father.
5. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
This last recommendation is for you and your kids. Ms. Marvel is a total reboot of an old Marvel character. The new version is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City. The stories are fun and sharp, and the characters dispel stereotypes prevalent in today’s media. Parents will enjoy reading this along with their kids.
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