New Titles: Children’s Literature Collection

The OISE Library has an abundance of new titles in our Children’s Literature Collection sure to interest students, teachers, and teacher candidates alike. Swing by our New Arrivals shelf to check out these picture books, novels, short story collections, and graphic novels.

Take It as a Compliment is a collection of twenty anonymous stories from both women and men about their experiences with sexual assault, harassment, and intimate partner violence. The stories are adapted into comic form by a comics artist and illustrator Maria Stoian, her varied illustration style allowing each story its own unique voice. Stoian, who studied Visual Communications Design at the Alberta College of Art + Design, collected the stories featured in Take It as a Compliment through interviews, emails, and her Tumblr blog. The collection deals with difficult and potentially triggering material, but if handled with care would be an excellent resource for talking to secondary students about issues around sexual assault, harassment, and unhealthy relationships.

Radiant ChildRadiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, tells the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s childhood and artistic career. Steptoe’s illustrations are multimedia in nature, inspired by the use of texture and materials in Basquiat’s art. Radiant Child begins with Basquiat’s childhood in Brooklyn, and follows his growth as an artist as he went from spray-painting walls to being celebrated in art galleries. The book’s appendix includes an overview of motifs and symbolism in Basquiat’s artwork, a helpful feature for teachers utilising the book in an art class setting. Fans of Steptoe’s illustrations might enjoy his other works in the OISE Library collections, In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers and A Pocketful of Poems.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is a middle-grade novel and a 2017 Newbery Honor book. Set in rural Pennsylvania during the Second World War,  the story follows 12-year-old Annabelle as she deals with new girl and bully, Betty Glengarry. The book features tense and difficult materials as Betty terrorizes Annabelle, and eventually turns her attention to Annabelle’s friend Toby, a troubled WWI veteran. Wolk originally wrote the novel with an adult audience in mind, but the story works beautifully as an emotionally and morally complex middle-grade novel.

Snow White: A Graphic Novel written and illustrated by Matt Phelan is a noir-inspired retelling, transporting the classic fairy tale to New York City in the 1920s and 30s. Various characters are transformed to fit the setting; Snow White’s father is the King of Wall Street, the infamous evil stepmother is Queen of the Ziegfeld Follies, and the seven dwarfs are seven street kids who come to Snow’s rescue. Matt Phelan, the creator of graphic novels such as The Storm in the Barn and Around the World, uses dialogue sparsely with most of the story told via his atmospheric illustrations. The graphic novel does a great job of combining a familiar story with historical details about the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh is an anthology of short stories and poetry inspired by the We Need Diverse Books movement which Oh helped co-found. The stories cover a variety of genres.  Walter Dean Myer, author of Autobiography of my Dead Brother and Darius and Twig, penned a story about a teen joining a wheelchair basketball team after an accident. Grace Lin, author of The Year of the Dog and When the Sea Turned to Silver, tells the story of a Chinese girl who escapes her fate as a servant by joining up with a crew of pirates. The diverse stories would make excellent contributions to a middle-school English lesson, offering new perspectives and experiences for students to connect with.

All the book featured in this post are available on the New Arrivals bookshelf, next to the service desk.

About Myrna Scully-Ashton

TALInt (Toronto Academic Libraries Intern) at OISE Library | MI Student, Library and Information Sciences (2018) Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
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