Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Tween Reads

Strange, new worlds: A Total Waste of Space-Time!

A Total Waste of Space-Time!, by Jeffrey Brown, (June 2021, Crown Books for Young Readers), $13.99, ISBN: 9780553534399

Ages 8-12

The second book in graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown’s Space-Time graphic novel series returns Jide, Petra, and their intergalactic student body on board the Potato, their orbiting classroom. This latest mission involves students visiting their home planets, giving Jide and Petra more insight and involvement with new populations. A prank war goes awry, and Commander G is along for the ride. Fast-paced dialogue and jokes make up the lion’s share of the story, with some smart insights into how humans and folx from other worlds are alike yet hilariously different, and a side discussion about hurt feelings resulting from escalating pranks encourage readers to put themselves in others’ people place… at least for a moment. It’s a fun story that celebrates fun. Great for travel themed summer reading!

You know Jeffrey Brown’s comics: Star Wars Jedi Academy, Lucy and Andy Neanderthal, and Darth Vader and Son are just a few of them. He writes for both kids and grown-ups; visit his website for more information about his books.

Posted in Graphic Novels, Humor, Intermediate, Tween Reads

Prehistory just got a lot more fun: Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal

lucy and andyLucy & Andy Neanderthal, by Jeffrey Brown (Aug. 2016, Crown Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9780385388351

Recommended for ages 8-12

Jedi Academy’s writer and artist Jeffrey Brown goes prehistoric in his latest graphic novel, starring two cave siblings, their family, and members of their group, living about 40,000 years ago. Joined by two paleontologists who show up to inform and dispel myths and misconceptions about Neanderthals, Lucy & Andy Neanderthal is a fun story that manages to inform and educate while giving readers a good laugh.

Lucy and Andy have to put up with Margaret and Phil, two teens from their group that either boss them around or ignore them completely; they chase around their baby brother, who tends to run off, make some cave paintings, and watch a mammoth hunt that leaves Andy considering vegetarianism. The group also discovers that they’re not alone: what happens when Neanderthals meet humans?

Join this new modern stone age family on their first (hopefully, of many) adventures. Booktalk this one with Jeffrey Brown’s Jedi Academy books – just tell them that Lucy and Andy lived long, long, ago, in a galaxy not so far away. And then, if you really want to blow their minds, show them an episode of The Flintstones.

Kids love good graphic novels, and kids love prehistory. Lucy & Andy Neanderthal is both.

Posted in Fantasy, geek, geek culture, Graphic Novels, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction

Star Wars Jedi Academy: Attack of the Journal!

jediacdemyAttack of the Journal (Star Wars Jedi Academy), by Jeffrey Brown (Aug. 2015, Scholastic), $9.99, ISBN: 9780545852784

Recommended for ages 7-12

For all the kids who love Jeffrey Brown’s Jedi Academy series, there’s now a journal where you can DIY your own comics, write your own stories, and read commentary from Roan and his fellow Jedi Academy classmates and instructors!

Want to make your own Jedi Academy class schedule? Make your own lightsaber? Write for the school newsletter, the Padawan Observer? This is the place for you! Loaded with creative and introspective ideas for kids, the Jedi Academy Journal offers kids fill-in-the-blank story outlines, lots of creative spaces for their own drawings and original writing, and prompts throughout the book. Some prompts encourage kids to look inward and write about what they feel they could do better, who inspires them and who they think they inspire. Comic strips with the characters from the Jedi Academy series pop up throughout the book, making this a great purchase for Star Wars fans. When they finish the book, they can even fill out their own Jedi Academy Diploma!

This is a journal, so it’s mean to be written in – so libraries may not want to invest money in this one. It’s a great gift idea, though, in the vein of the Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself book and a fun way to extend and put a personal spin on a favorite series.

Attack of the Journal is already in stores, so put this one on your shopping lists. The holidays are coming! If you’re bringing the joy of Star Wars to a lucky kid for the first time, consider the 3-book set, which includes the first and second Jedi Academy graphic novels and the journal.


Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Science Fiction

Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan, is essential reading for all aspiring Jedi Masters

jedi academyStar Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan (Book 2), by Jeffrey Brown (July 2014), $12.99, ISBN: 9780545621250

Recommended for ages 8+

With Star Wars Reads Day coming up in October, I’ve been boning up on my Star Wars reads for my patrons (and because I enjoy them). Yesterday, I read Jeffrey Brown’s latest chapter in his graphic Jedi Academy saga, Return of the Padawan. Jeffrey Brown has been all over the Star Wars Universe lately, with his Darth Vader parenting books, Darth Vader & Son and Vader’s Little Princess (and soon, Good Night, Darth Vader), and Jedi Academy, his graphic novel series for younger readers. The first book introduced us to Roan Novachez, an aspiring Jedi from Tatooine, who attends a Jedi Academy middle school, where he meets all sorts of new beings from across the galaxies, and gets to enjoy Head Master Yoda’s teachings.

Return of the Padawan pick up the story as Roan returns to Jedi Academy for a new school year. This time around, Roan has to deal with cyberbullying over Holobook, a teacher who seemingly has it in for him, shifting friendships, and a constant struggle against the insidious dark side, in the form of two classmates who make it a little too easy.

Roan feels awkward and out of place, and thinks his friends are drifting away from him. When the two class bullies show an interest in him, he thinks they’re the ones loosening up – until he realizes that maybe, he’s heading down a slippery path. The book is a great mix of all things middle school, including issues that kids have to deal with today, like online bullying and the confusion often present in middle school friendships. The story is told through sequential panels, but also through “Holobook” (the Jedi Academy version of Facebook) entries, report cards, and school newsletters.

This book is a no-brainer for anyone who loves Star Wars. It’s a great introduction to the Star Wars universe for younger readers, who will enjoy the cartoon art and depiction of day-to-day school life, with fun enhancements that link their lives to the Star Wars universe.

I can’t wait to get this one on my shelves at the library. It’s on sale tomorrow, so make sure you get your copy!