Ten Books to read after Raina Telgemeier

Spring break always gives librarians a preview of what summer reading will be like. It was full of programming and my favorite thing, reader's advisory. Now that I work in the teen department, I don't get to do children's reader's advisory as much as I would like. Thankfully, I still have my tween customers that come to me for some advice.

One reoccurring question I have been getting lately is, "I have read everything that Raina Telgemeier has ever written. What do I read now?" And so, the list below was born! Here are my top ten new favorites read alikes for Telgemeier fans :

By Kayla Miller

Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?
        Author-illustrator Kayla Miller has woven together a heartfelt and insightful story about navigating friendships, leaning on family, and learning to take the stage in the most important role of all.

The Breakaways 
By Cathy G. Johnson 

Quiet, sensitive Faith starts middle school already worrying about how she will fit in. To her surprise, Amanda, a popular eighth-grader, convinces her to join the school soccer team, the Bloodhounds. Having never played soccer in her life, Faith ends up on the C team, a ragtag group that’s way better at drama than at teamwork. Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity.
The Breakaways is a raw, and beautifully honest graphic novel that looks into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world.

Emmie and Friends Series 

By Terri Libenson

This is the story of two totally different girls—
quiet, shy, artistic Emmie
popular, outgoing, athletic Katie
—and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day, when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands. . . .

All the crushes, humiliations, boredom, and drama of middle school are compressed into one surprising day in this extraordinary novel.

Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School Series) 

By Svetlana Chmakova 

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope--Peppi--Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can't help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he's a member of her own club's archrivals--the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

Making Friends 

By Kristen Gudsnuk 

Sometimes making a friend is a lot easier than keeping one!

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!

The Secret of Danger Point (Surfside Girls Series)

By Kim Dwinell

Sun... sand... and spooky adventures!
Things are getting weird in Surfside. Lately, Samantha’s best friend Jade explodes into fits of giggles whenever she sees a boy, and it’s throwing a wrench into the kick-back summer of surfing and hanging out that Sam had planned. But after swimming through a secret underwater cave, Sam starts to… see things. Like ghosts. And pirates. And maybe something even scarier! Can she and Jade get to the bottom of this mystery in time to save their town?

Fake Blood 

By Whitney Gardner 

It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.

New Kid 

By Jerry Craft 

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

All Summer Long (The Eagle Rock Trilogy) 

By Hope Larson 

Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it's up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first, it's a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin's older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he's acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women 

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are having a really tough year: Not only is their father overseas with the military and their working overtime to make ends meet, but each girl is struggling with her own unique problems. Whether it's school woes, health issues, boy troubles, or simply feeling lost, the March sisters all need the same thing: support from each other. By coming together--and sharing lots of laughs and tears--these four young women find the courage to discover who they truly are as individuals...and as a family.

Besides these great titles, don't forget other favorite graphic novels like The Babysitter's Club series by Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier, The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, and books by Jennifer Holm, Victoria Johnson, and Shannon Hale. 

Until next time, 


Five New Books You must use for Storytime Spring 2019

When people ask me what a teen librarian does, I always have to laugh. We do a little bit of everything. One of my favorite things to do is toddler storytime.

 Lately, I feel like I am in a funk so I have been on a quest to find some new storytime books. Below is a list of some of my favorites from this year.

Without further ado, here are my top five for Spring 2019: 

Bloom Bloom! by April Pulley Sayre


April Pulley Sayre is known for her delightful nature picture books. Books like Raindrops Roll, Best in Snow, and Full of Fall are some of my favorite storytime books! Now, Sayre finally has a book dedicated to spring. The simple text and large vibrant photographs are perfect for a toddler or even preschool storytimes.

For more interaction, you can add in Sign Language for bloom or flower and have the audience do the sign each time "bloom bloom!" is said. 

How to Two by David Soman 

A quiet day at a playground quickly becomes busy when one boy slides down a slide and sees two kids on a see-saw, and three kids playing jump rope. Before long there are ten kids playing! 

How to Two by David Soman is a must own concept book that focuses on counting to ten and then reverse counting. Not only is the interactive counting concept a storytime winner, but this book also sneakily celebrates inclusive play, friendship, and community. 

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry 

I don't know about you, but I love silly storytime books. In this book, readers find out ten rules you must follow in order for your birthday wish to come true. Like How to Two, this is an excellent concept counting book. There is also a lot of humor in too that would make it perfect for school-age outreach visits or preschool storytime. You could also easily plug this book into a birthday storytime or unbirthday program. 

There are No Bears in this Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach 

You might recognize Julie Sarcone-Roach's name from her Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. 

This book takes on a similar plot as her previous work. It is about a bear that gets into a little trouble. 

Told from a cat named Muffy's perspective, Muffy hears a sound in the bakery and goes to investigate.  Muffy isn't sure what she will find, but she is not expecting to find a bear! 

Both entertaining and sweet this book is perfect for older preschool or school-age outreach visits. 

Everybunny Dream! by Ellie Sandall 

Author Ellie Sandall has been a Jbrary favorite for several years now. The newest book in the bunny series is no exception. Filled with repetition and beautiful illustrations, this book is begging to be used in a bedtime storytime!

Other titles 


What are some of your favorite 2019 picture books so far?

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Do your readers need more read alikes for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, Dork Diaries, and Smile? Behold the next big graphic novel, New Kid by Jerry Craft. 

I know saying that this is the next big thing is something we hear a lot, but what makes this book special is its diversity. This is a diverse version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a boy version of Dork Diaries. Interested? 

Let's chat with a quick overview of the book. 

Image result for lets chat gif

Here are all of the important things you need to know about this book. 

New Kid 
by Jerry Craft 

New Kid

Release Date : February 5, 2019 
Audience : Tweens 8-12 years old 
Pages : 256 

The Story 

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself? 


My library got this book a few weeks ago and my manager told everyone in the department that this book will be the new Raina Telgemeier.  As librarians, we often hear publishers pushing books by calling it the next big thing, and if you are like me, it lost its significance. 

Despite my feelings, I saw this book available on Overdrive and decided to skim through it. After reading just a few pages, I busted out laughing and knew that this book was a winner. The characters were well developed and authentic. 

Not only does this book tackle everyday middle school worries and woes, but it takes it to a deeper level by tackling issues like black identity and racism that open the door for further discussion. 

It a necessary addition to children's literature that we have needed for a long time. 

With that in mind, I am happily awarding this book the five-star rating! 

Image result for 5 star rating

Run to your nearest library or book store and grab a copy. 

Enjoy it for yourself and then gift it to a classroom or tween in your life. 

Have you read it? What did you think? 



Operation Frog Effect Blog Tour

Today, I have the pleasure of being part of the book Operation Frog Effect's blog tour! 

When I received the offer to be apart of the tour, I was ecstatic. Random House Kids has a special place in my heart and this book has been on my radar for ages.

It is my great pleasure to share it with you!  

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger 


Release Date : February 26, 2019 
Pages: 313 
For Grades: 3-5

About the Book 

Ms. Graham's fifth-grade class is a very special place. Her teaching methods are not conventional, but her students are each impacted individually by her and her assignments. 

Told in eight different perspectives this story follows students in the form of journal entries that Ms. Graham assigns them to write every day. 

The story follows:

  • Emily who is coming to the terms with her parent's divorce and the loss of her two best friends, Aviva, and Kayley. 
  • Kayley the meanest girl in class.
  • Sharon writes all of her journal entries in poems and feels like an outsider. 
  • Blake who faces being homeless and has trouble expressing himself, but finds comfort conveying his feelings in his art. 
  •  Henry hopes to be a famous movie writer/director of comedies one day. 
  • Kia comes from a big family but finds comfort in reading.
  • Cecilia's mom is illegally in the U.S., and she worries that her mom will get caught. She also worries and misses her grandma who is in Mexico 
  • Lastly, Aviva misses her best friend, Emily, but she has her reasons for dissing her and befriending Kayley. 

The class doesn't always get along, however, when one group assignment goes terribly wrong, they all must team together to save themselves and their beloved teacher. 


This book is a must for school and public libraries alike. Readers who enjoy books like Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner will be the most excited for this title. 

Teachers and educators should also pay close attention to this book. It effortless tackles social issues in a kid-friendly way and it empowers kids to take action. 

There are many applicable uses educators could use this book for, but perhaps the best use is just an opportunity for a tween in your life to read it. 

Lucky for you, this book is now available your local book stores and libraries!

 Be sure to check it out. :) 

Have you read it yet? What did you think?