Staff Reviews

Sweetgirl, a 2017 Free Press Notable Book, Explores Hope and Family Through a Michigan Blizzard

Few things pair better than cold weather and indoor reading, and one book that might drastically improve your winter is Sweetgirl. The novel is the first from writer Travis Mulhauser, who grew up in Petoskey and sets his stories in a fictional Michigan locale called Cutler County. Mulhauser’s work has earned comparisons to gritty Appalachian writers like Ron Rash (Serena) and Daniel Woodrell (Winter’s Bone), but Mulhauser sets his work apart with his truly funny voice.

 

SweetGirl

Sweetgirl, which the Detroit Free Press recognized as one of Michigan’s most notable books of 2017, shows a blizzard through the eyes of 16-year-old Percy James. Percy’s mother, a drug addict, has just gone missing, and the blunt, courageous teen has to navigate her isolated small town in hopes of bringing her mother home safely. With Sweetgirl, Mulhauser builds a convincing portrait of Midwestern, small-town living that’s as hopeful as it is grim. Thanks to its lean size, Sweetgirl can be devoured in an afternoon—or through the course of another inevitable snow storm.

Thought You Outgrew Comic Books?

Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga and Paper Girls Might Change Your Mind

Since the 1980s, comic book writers have been shifting their reputations as dealers of pulp to serious artists. Though some comics still offer the action-packed plotlines that are tailored to young readers, comic writers like Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Grant Morrison (Animal Man, Multiversity, Batman), and Frank Miller (300, Sin City) have ushered in a new era of sophisticated comic fare.

No modern writer is leading this charge better than Brian K. Vaughan, a former scribe for the TV show Lost. Vaughan has recently enjoyed great success in a few comic titles such as Saga and Paper Girls, both of which have just arrived at the Jackson District Library. Saga is a sprawling space opera that follows Alana, Marko, and Hazel, a war-torn family that’s on the run from assassins from their respective homelands. It’s not a story that’s easy to distill into a paragraph, but think of it as a charming mix of Star Wars and Romeo and Juliet. This narrative is so addicting (and beautifully drawn by artist Fiona Staples), you’ll be grateful that we have the first seven volumes in stock. As noted by the comic’s rating, it does contain some graphic scenes.

papergirls

Teen readers might be better suited for a title called Paper Girls, an ‘80s-set time-travel adventure that follows a group of pre-teen paper girls on an unbelievable journey. Much like the recent Netflix sensation Stranger Things, this title takes a nostalgic look back on an era where acid-wash jeans were considered fashionable. But Vaughan’s compelling sci-fi tale, which features Cliff Chiang’s supernatural and alien illustrations, makes Paper Girls more valuable than a simple stroll down memory lane. With volume two on the way, there’s no better time to start reading Paper Girls.

You can check out our Saga and Paper Girls volumes below:

Paper Girls: Volume One & Two
Saga: Volume One
Saga: Volume Two
Saga: Volume Three

Thought You Outgrew Comic Books? Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga and Paper Girls Might Change Your Mind

Since the 1980s, comic book writers have been working hard to change their reputations from creators of pulp to serious artists. Though many comics still offer simple, action-packed plotlines that are tailored to young readers, comic writers like Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Grant Morrison (Animal Man, Multiversity, Batman), and Frank Miller (300, Sin City) have ushered in a new era of sophisticated comic fare for adult readers. No modern writer is leading this charge better than Brian K. Vaughan, a former scribe for the TV show Lost. Vaughan has recently enjoyed great success in writing a few comic titles such as Saga and Paper Girls, both of which have just arrived at the Jackson District Library.

Interested teen readers will be better suited with Paper Girls, a 1980s-set time-travel adventure that follows a group of pre-teen paper girls on an unbelievable journey. Much like the recent Netflix sensation Stranger Things,this title takes a nostalgic look back on an era where acid-wash jeans were considered fashionable. But Vaughan’s compelling sci-fi storyline, which features Cliff Chiang’s supernatural and alien illustrations, makes Paper Girls more valuable than a simple stroll down memory lane.

paper-girls

Saga is a sprawling space opera that follows Alana, Marko, and Hazel, a war-torn family that’s on the run from assassins from their respective homelands. It’s not a story that’s easy to distill into a paragraph, but think of it as a charming mix of Star Wars and Romeo and Juliet. This narrative is so addicting (and beautifully drawn by artist Fiona Staples), you’ll be grateful that we have the first seven volumes in stock. As noted by the comic’s rating, parents and readers should be aware of some graphic content.With volume two of Paper Girls on the way and seven installments of Saga on JDL’s shelves, there’s no better time to start reading Vaughan’s work.

You can check out our Saga and Paper Girls volumes below:

Paper Girls: Volume One
The Saga Series, and more work by Brian K. Vaughan

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