Some of my favorite things (or should I say favorite Graphic Novels)

September seems to have become the time of the year when some of my favorite graphic novelists celebrate book releases.  Here are a few that have either just been released or will be released in the next couple of weeks.  

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix, September 1, 2012)

Check out the official book trailer for Drama:

Amulet Vol 5:  Prince of the Elves  by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic Graphix, September 1, 2012)

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (First Second, September 4, 2012)

Check out the official book trailer of Legends of Zita the Spacegirl:

Lunch Lady #8: Lunch Lady and the Picture Book Peril by Jarrett J. Kroscozka (Random House, September 11, 2012)

Squish #4: Captain Disaster by Jenni and Matt Holm (Random House, Septempber 25, 2012)

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Zita The Spacegirl

Author/Illustrator:  Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second (February 1, 2011)
Pages: 192
Ages: 9 to 12 years
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: Buy multiple copies - This one won't stay on the shelf for long.

Description from GoodReads:

Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of  an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.

When I first heard about Zita The Spacegirl, I knew I wanted to read it.  Then I made the connection that Ben Hatke had contributed to the Flight series, and I really wanted to read it.  Fortunately for me, my 10 year old niece wasn't home when it arrived or we would have had a tug of war over who got to read it first.  (Yeah, I know an adult fighting with a child about who gets to read a book first is kind of childish.  I assure you that I do let her win.) Once the book was in my hands, I sat down and devoured it immediately.  

Hatke's first foray into the world of full-length middle grade graphic novels is quite a success.  The story follows Zita and her friend, Joseph.  After an meteoroid hits the earth, Joseph is abducted into space and Zita follows to rescue him.  Confused and alone, Zita encounters a myriad of space creatures - some friendly and some not so friendly.  With the help of her new friends and some quick thinking, Zita finds herself in the role of hero.  However, being a hero usually means that a lot goes wrong first. 

Though the transitions felt a little clunky in the beginning, Hatke finds his groove and leaves the reader wanting more by the end.  Zita and her friends will delight middle grade readers and fans of Flight, Flight Explorer, or The Amulet Series will have a new series to clamor after.  Now if Ben Hatke and Kazu Kibuishi (The Amulet Series) can just keep alternating release dates of their graphic novels, I (and my niece and students) might just be able to wait for the next book.   

For more information about Zita and her creator, Ben Hatke, check out his website here

To read an excerpt from Zita The Spacegirl, click here.

Check out the Official Book Trailer below:

* Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays were started by Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. You can check out her Marvelous Middle Grade Monday choice and Giveaway Post here.