RunawaysBrian Vaughan

I heard this graphic novel mentioned as NPR commentator David Lipsky’s guilty pleasure. It is full of funny and snappy dialogue (Vaughan wrote for a few seasons of Lost), interesting plot devices and some great illustration. However, Lipsky hits the “guilty” bit of guilty pleasure right on: …

Berkeley Breathed

I was kind of shocked when Breathed killed off Opus earlier this year. I understand his rationale that the world is really just too messed up for an Opus, no matter how feisty he is. However, I think Breathed did a great disservice by taking away a gently …

Evil GeniusCatherine Jinks

Where do you go to school if you are a genius and your father is an evil genius? Why, the evil genius academy, of course. Learn the fine arts of lying, stealing, poisons, hacking, disguise and other deeply useful skills. The only drawbacks? The matriculation rate is nothing …

Trenton Lee StewartThe Mysterious Benedict Society

An ad in the paper looking for exceptional children lures orphan Reynie Muldoon into a strange shadow conspiracy. With a band of other brilliant and bizarre children, they must overthrow an evil mastermind. Inventive and fast-moving, though personally I think a few fires would have solved a …

childrenlampPB Kerr

The Akhenaten Adventure, The Blue Djinn of Babylon and The Cobra King of Kathmandu.

Upon the removal of their wisdom teeth, twins John and Phillipa Gaunt discover they have strange magical powers. Sent off to their Uncle Nimrod, the Gaunt kids learn to use their djinn …

Half-Moon InvestigationEoin Colfer

This fun, silly young-adult book is by the author of the popular Artemis Fowl series, as of late being compared to the Harry Potter books in popularity. While I think that may be pushing things a bit, Colfer’s books are amusing for readers of any age. His Half …

Dairy QueenCatherine Murdock

I have no idea how I came across this title, but there it was in my hold pile. I can’t say I often peruse “young adult” chick lit., but this turned out to be an excellent book. DJ, a Wisconsin farm girl, has a busy, messy, broken family. …