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BookBeat

May 13, 2012
Renae Ault - Children’s Librarian, Salem Public Library , Salem News

Jennifer Holm seems determined to fill every niche of children's literature; her contributions range from award-winning historical fiction to a silly book told through "stuff" to one of the most popular graphic novel series produced for children. The launch of a new collaborative graphic novel series, Squish, with brother and Babymouse co-creator Matthew Holm, firmly places Holm in a position of great popular appeal with boys, girls, and their parents. She is a true book lover, preferring reading over rollercoasters, and her love of books and reading shines through in all of her projects.

The statement "Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf" rings true with many people. The seventh grade is rough for just about everyone and Genevieve Davis is no exception. A good student who doesn't always make the best decisions, Ginny's seventh-grade year is shared through a collection of "stuff" from a year of school. We see Post-its, notes, bills, receipts, school assignments, report cards, newspaper clippings, appointment reminders, instant messages, cards, checks, and bank statements.

For a few years now, the series Babymouse has been a power player with girls. These super pink, graphic novels feature a spunky, sassy mouse with dreams and an imagination far bigger than she is. Unfortunately, the bubble gum pink covers and illustrations, combined with a girl mouse as the protagonist, don't do much to entice the male gender. Fortunately, the Holm and Holm team have been up to their old tricks and just released Squish: Super Amoeba. Done in the same style as Babymouse, Squish should appeal to the more masculine set with bold green and yellow illustrations and a theme that is decidedly boy-friendly: amoebas. Squish is just your average, comic-book reading, Twinkie-eating amoeba, trying to get through a day of school with his friends.

Although Babymouse and hopefully, Squish, draw in reluctant readers and make really fun additions to the collection, I am a bigger fan of Holm's historical fiction. Basing her characters and stories on family members has worked well for the author. Her debut novel, Our Only May Amelia, was named a Newbery Honor Book in 2000 and she followed that with Newbery Honors for Penny From Heaven (2007) and Turtle in Paradise (2011).

To laugh with Babymouse or Squish, travel back in time with Turtle or May Amelia, or understand why "Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf", stop by Salem Public Library or give us a call to put any of these titles on hold. Contact the library at 330-332-0042 or www.salem.lib.oh.us.

 
 

 

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