A new school year has arrived, meaning all students from elementary school to university are amped-up and ready to hit the books again! Okay, maybe for some it’s more like the Back-to-School Blues. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you can enjoy these classy school-themed comics (when you’re not studying, of course)!
“Penelope–Peppi–Torres, a shy new transfer student, wants nothing more than to fit in and find a place among her fellow artistically inclined souls. The last thing she wants is to stand out. So, when she bumps–literally–into quiet, geeky, friendly but friendless Jamie Thompson, and is teased as the “Nerder’s Girlfriend,” Peppi’s first embarrassed instinct is to push him away and run. Though she later feels guilty and wants desperately to apologize for the incident, Peppi always ends up chickening out. She has no reason to speak to him, anyway, until she ends up bumping–figuratively and continually–into Jamie again! Will these two opposites ever see eye-to-eye, let alone become friends?”
“Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen. Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs–or worse, squirms–at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell?”
“Serving justice . . . and lunch! Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes–she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!”
“Sixth grade was SO much easier for Danny. All her friends were in the same room and she knew exactly what to expect out of life. Now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is totally, completely lost. What Danny really needs is a new best friend! So, when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever. The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there’s no guarantee they’ll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they’ve been created with magic! Sometimes making a friend is a lot easier than keeping one!”
“Was boarding school supposed to be this hard? When studious thirteen-year-old Juniper wins a scholarship to the prestigious Ellsmere Academy, she expects to find a scholastic utopia. But living at Ellsmere is far from ideal: She is labeled a “special project,” Ellsmere’s queen bee is out to destroy her, and it’s rumored that a mythical beast roams the forest next to the school.”
“This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school–all told through one boy’s comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. The setting? A galaxy far, far away… Roan’s one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy–a school that he didn’t apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now…”
“The popular shojo manga series that was adapted into the Blue Spring Ride anime! Futaba Yoshioka thought all boys were loud and obnoxious until she met Kou Tanaka in junior high. But as soon as she realized she really liked him, he had already moved away because of family issues. Now, in high school, Kou has reappeared, but is he still the same boy she fell in love with?”
“Winner of the 2020 Manga Taisho Grand Prize! Yatora is the perfect high school student, with good grades and lots of friends. It’s an effortless performance, and, ultimately… a dull one. But he wanders into the art room one day, and a lone painting captures his eye, awakening him to a kind of beauty he never knew. Compelled and consumed, he dives in headfirst — and he’s about to learn how savage and unforgiving art can be!”
“Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack— his very attractive but moody captain.”
“Clueless country girl Suzume moves to Tokyo and finds her heart caught between two men! After arriving in Tokyo to live with her uncle, Suzume collapses in a nearby park where she had once seen a shooting star during the day. A handsome stranger brings her to her new home and tells her they’ll meet again. Suzume starts her first day at her new high school sitting next to a boy who blushes furiously at her touch. And her homeroom teacher is none other than the handsome stranger!”
“Gene understands stories–comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.”
Giant Days / John Allison, Lissa Treiman, & Cogar Whitney
“Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, ’personal experimentation,’ influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of ‘academia,’ they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.”
“A sweet ‘aww’-inspiring tale of school life begins!! At school, Kyouko Hori is known for being smart, attractive, and popular. On the other hand, her classmate, the boring, gloomy Izumi Miyamura tends to get painted as a ‘loser fanboy.’ But when a liberally pierced and tattooed (not to mention downright gorgeous) Miyamura appears unexpectedly on the doorstep of secretly plain-Jane homebody Hori, these two similarly dissimilar teenagers discover that there are multiple sides to every story…and person!”
“Midori loves to design worlds. Tsubame loves to animate. Sayaka loves to make money! And at Shibahama High, they call them Eizouken-a three-girl club determined to produce their own spectacular science fiction anime! But with no budget from their school and a leaky warehouse for a studio, Eizouken is going to have to work hard and use their imagination…the one thing they’ve got plenty of!”
“When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl’s awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.”
“To Amy, everyone has a flavor. Her mom is the flavor of mint–sharp and bright. Her dad is like hot chocolate–sweet and full of gentle warmth. Amy lives on a mining colony in out in deep space, but when her dad loses his job the entire family is forced to move back to Earth. Amy says goodbye to her best friend Jemmah and climbs into a cryotube where she will spend the next 30 years frozen in a state of suspended animation, hurtling in a rocket toward her new home. Her life will never be the same, but all she can think about is how when she gets to Earth, Jemmah will have grown up without her. When Amy arrives on Earth, she feels like an alien in a strange land. The sky is beautiful but gravity is heavy and the people are weird. Stranger still is the boy she meets at her new school–a boy who has no flavor.”
“When her dad gets a job overseas, Konatsu Amano has to leave the Tokyo life she’s always known and relocate to a small seaside town to stay with her aunt. The move also means starting a new school surrounded by complete strangers, and it’s a lot to handle for a girl who has trouble with change. But on her first day in her new town, Konatsu is instantly drawn to Koyuki, an older girl who is the sole member of the Aquarium Club. Konatsu’s introverted tendencies are hard for her to overcome, but maybe she’s found something worth coming out of her shell for?”
“In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch… until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody ‘knows’ might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…”
“You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie is an adorable board book to share with your little one. With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut shapes to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story. This endearing board book is a wonderful read for Halloween or any time.” (Suggested ages: Baby-2)
“Join three friends on a fun leaf-finding adventure! This bouncy new version of the popular song begs to be read aloud. There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. What will they do with all their leaves at the end of the story? Jump and play in them, of course! With easy rhyming text and fun sound effects, children will delight in this rollicking autumn story.” (Suggested ages: 4-8)
Born Sept. 21, 1866 in Wales, it would be hard to overstate the influence of Herbert George Wells on the field of literature that would come to be known as Science Fiction. He is sometimes called the Father of Science Fiction, a title shared with Jules Verne.
Wells wrote more than 100 books in a writing career spanning more than 60 years, predicting the arrival of World War II within a few months and the creation of laser beams, nuclear weapons and e-mail. His books have provided a rich field of material for filmmakers and spurred the imaginations of millions of readers.
Like Charles Dickens, Wells was born into a family lacking financial stability, and his later novels reflect Dickens’ concern with the distribution of wealth among the classes in England. Wells worked as a draper’s apprentice starting at age 14 to help bring income into the family, and he disliked the experience. But he already had a passion for literature, begun when he was bedridden at age 10 with a broken leg and his father brought him books from the library.
By age 17, lacking success as an apprentice and unhappy with the experience, he worked as a pupil-teacher due to his knowledge of Latin and science. His education flourished and he eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology.
Wells’ first novel was “The Time Machine” (1895), which changed both fantasy literature and Wells’ life forever. It’s not the first book about traveling in time, but it’s the first about a vehicle that can do so, and Wells coined the phrase “time machine,” which gained widespread use. The book was an immediate hit, making Wells so successful he could turn to writing full-time. It was made into a Hollywood movie in 1960 with Rod Taylor starring as the time traveler. George Pal directed and the movie won an Academy Award for special effects. A second movie was made in 2002 starring Guy Pearce as the time traveler, directed by Simon Wells, the great-grandson of H.G. Wells. The book was also the basis for the 1979 movie Time After Time, with Malcolm MacDowell as Wells, who pursues Jack the Ripper through time.
Next he produced “The Island of Dr. Moreau” (1896), a novel as a commentary on Darwin’s theory of evolution, which H. G. Wells stoutly believed. The story centers on the depraved Dr. Moreau, who conducts unspeakable animal experiments on a remote tropical island, with hideous, humanlike results. It was another huge success for Wells, and has been made into films three times. In 1932, Island of Lost Souls was filmed with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi, quickly becoming a classic horror film. The Island of Dr. Moreau(1977) starred Burt Lancaster and Michael York, and the 1996 version starred Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.
Wells’ third novel was “The Invisible Man” (1897), the tale of a scientist who discovers how to make his body become invisible, but, when he can’t make himself visible again, becomes violently insane. It was another money-maker for Wells, and inspired another classic film, The Invisible Man (1933), starring Claude Rains, and directed by James Whale.
“The First Men in the Moon” (1901) tells the tale of a businessman and an eccentric inventor who develops a material that repels gravity, and their colorful journey to the moon. It was made into a British film in 1964 starring Edward Judd, Martha Hyer and Lionel Jeffries, with visual effects by special effects master Ray Harryhausen.
With “The Shape of Things to Come” (1933), Wells described a world war including aerial bombardment, six years before the Nazis invaded Poland, starting World War II. The book was made into a British film starring Raymond Massey, with Wells himself writing the script.
In addition to Science Fiction, Wells wrote novels commenting on contemporary society. “Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul” (1905) is a rags-to-riches story of a poor young man struggling with the British class system after inheriting a fortune. It was made into a musical film called Half a Sixpence in 1968, starring Tommy Steele. “Tono-Bungay” (1909) is a biting satire of corrupt British society, about a worthless patent medicine that earns its creator a fortune through questionable marketing and a gullible public.
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, September 19th, 2021 at 8:00pm on CBS. The awards will feature television programs that aired between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands this weekend, hop onto your favorite streaming service to check out one of the nominees. While you may not have time to finish an entire series before the ceremony airs, you can get through some great miniseries or even discover a new favorite! Below are popular streaming services and the nominees they have available to stream. Many of these shows have DVD copies available through your local library as well!
Show titles with a star* originated as books! For extra fun, follow the link to get your copy at your local Library.
Late summer and early autumn have always been favorite seasons of mine. I enjoy the warm days and the longer cooler nights while the leaves begin to change into brilliant crimson and golden colors. The onset of sweater weather is gleefully accompanied by steaming mugs of tea or hot chocolate. Others may enjoy pumpkin spice-flavored everything, but to me there is nothing quite like the combination of a freshly baked glazed donut paired with apple cider!
My favorite part of this season is to put on a pair of boots and explore my favorite hiking trails. What better time to delve into the forest to identify migrating birds and observe animals preparing for winter than during National Wilderness Month! Since the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, more than 111 million acres have been added to the National Wilderness Preservation System with more acres contributing to its growth each year. In 2016, the month of September was declared as National Wilderness Month to highlight these protected wild spaces for all Americans to enjoy for generations to come. You can celebrate by taking the time to have more picnics outside, go camping, hit your favorite trails, and watch sunsets to revive your joy with nature. I compiled a list of books featuring everything from wilderness guide books, survival stories, people living in the wilds, reconnecting with the natural world, and how our nation’s history of conservation of our wild places began.
Born Sept. 13, 1916 in Wales, Roald Dahl wrote novels, poetry, short stories and children’s books that have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Best-known as an author for children, his work for young people is unsentimental and dark, with villainous grown-ups and resourceful, clever children who outwit them.
Dahl experienced tragedy early in life, including the deaths of an older sister and his father when Dahl was only three years old. His parents were from Norway, and Dahl spoke Norwegian before learning English. His education in private schools included the younger students being terrorized by older students, a vicious behavior Dahl witnessed firsthand. “All through my school life I was appalled by the fact that masters and senior boys were allowed literally to wound other boys, and sometimes quite severely… I couldn’t get over it. I never have got over it,” he said.
Yet in his writing he had the ability to treat the horrible and ghastly with a light touch, sometimes even humor. His tales never become merely shocking or gruesome. When asked about his success writing children’s books, Dahl replied “Conspiring with children against adults.” He also loved whimsical wordplay, creating such fantastic words as Scrumdiddlyumptious, biffsquiggled, whoppsy-whiffling, and flushbunking.
His first children’s book was “The Gremlins” (1943), in which friendly little gremlins help a Royal Air Force fighter pilot in World War II. Dahl also wrote more than 60 short stories for adults, published in magazines like The New Yorker and Collier’s. His first story collection for adults, “Over To You” (1946) contains fiction based on Dahl’s experiences as a fighter pilot for the RAF in World War II. He published another collection of stories for adults in 1953, “Someone Like You,” and a third collection in 1960, “Kiss Kiss.”
Dahl’s first novel for children was “James and the Giant Peach” (1961), in which a boy, James Henry Trotter, loses his parents to a hungry rhinoceros, forcing him to live with two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. Walt Disney produced a film of the book in 1996, with Tim Burton co-producing.
Twenty years ago, our country experienced the unforgettable day of September 11. For many adults, the events of September 11, 2001, are etched into memory. However, for many children, 9/11 may feel like a distant historical event. Within this post, you will find books and videos that can be used to help explain to children what happened on that day.
“The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboat of its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.” (Suggested Ages: 4-8)
“In the 1970s, nestled between the newly completed Twin Towers in New York City, a Callery pear tree was planted. Over the years, the tree provided shade for people looking for a place to rest and a home for birds, along with the first blooms of spring. On September 11, 2001, everything changed. The tree’s home was destroyed, and it was buried under the rubble. But a month after tragedy struck, a shocking discovery was made at Ground Zero: the tree had survived. Dubbed the “Survivor Tree,” it was moved to the Bronx to recover. And in the thoughtful care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Callery pear was nursed back to health. Almost a decade later, the Survivor Tree returned home and was planted in the 9/11 Memorial to provide beauty and comfort…and also hope.” (Suggested Ages: 4-8)
“The events of September 11, 2001 changed the world forever. In the fourth installment of the Actual Times series, Don Brown narrates the events of the day in a way that is both accessible and understandable for young readers. Straightforward and honest, this account moves chronologically through the morning, from the terrorist plane hijackings to the crashes at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania; from the rescue operations at the WTC site in New York City to the collapse of the buildings. Vivid watercolor illustrations capture the emotion and pathos of the tragedy making this an important book about an unforgettable day in American history.” (Suggested Ages: 6-10)
“The events of September 11, 2001, changed the world forever. With compelling photographs and sensitive, age-appropriate text, this Level 3 reader recounts the shocking attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania, explains who was behind the attacks, and celebrates the spirit of hope that emerged through the inspiring story of rescue and recovery and the heroes who raced to save lives.” (Suggested Ages: 7-9)
“When the Twin Towers were built in 1973, they were billed as an architectural wonder. At 1,368 feet, they clocked in as the tallest buildings in the world and changed the New York City skyline dramatically. Offices and corporations moved into the towers—also known as the World Trade Center—and the buildings were seen as the economic hub of the world. But on September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack toppled the towers and changed our nation forever. Discover the whole story of the Twin Towers—from their ambitious construction to their tragic end.” (Suggested Ages: 8-12)
“On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series. The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad’s best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas’s parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan. So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It’s a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle’s firehouse, everything changes — and nothing will ever be the same again.” (Suggested Ages: 8-12)