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Secondary Book List: Manga

All the books in this list have been read by either Jenn or Amy. They are certified to be appropriate for the elementary age group and have been chosen for their benefit to classrooms and libraries.

Some books on the Secondary List are also available on the Elementary and Intermediate Lists. This is because we feel these books have a wide-ranging appeal.

All books will be reduced by 25% at time of ordering.


image not available 20th Century Boys

Volumes: 10; ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: Naoki Urasawa
Genre: science fiction, manga
Black and white
Softcover, digest-sized; app.210 pages each
SRP: Vol. 1-4 15.00, 5-10 16.99

20th Century Boys is a complex story from one of the greatest manga cartoonists of all time. Urasawa is hailed as a Japanese national treasure, and it's easy to see why when reading this series. The story revolves around a group of boys who create a plan for a world-ending robot one summer. Flashing forward to the future, suddenly those same kids realize that their plan is coming to fruition, they believe, at the hands of a new group calling themselves the "Friends". It seems that someone else got their hands on their plan and is now implementing it. However, no one else believes them. Eventually they take matters into their own hands and go up against the monster on a date which becomes known as Bloody New Year's Eve. However, the reader does not get to know the outcome of this action right away, as the story flashes forward once again, and begins to focus on other characters, existing in a world fully run by the "Friends", who start asking questions about Bloody New Year's Eve. A number of things make this a stand out series. One is the narrative style and pacing. The reader is drawn along the mystery of who the Friend is and why he's using this childhood plan to take over the world. Urasawa gives just enough information to the reader to think they might be on the verge of figuring things out, and then throws a new hook in that makes the reader realize they can't. Second, Urasawa is a phenomenal cartoonist. His attention to detail in facial expressions and his ability to convey tension really pull the reader in to the story. Reading this work leads to explorations of storytelling techniques, the use of pacing, and methods by which to create suspense.
Also by Naoki Urasawa: Pluto

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image not available Arisa

Volumes: 7, ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: Natsumi Ando
Black and white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 11.99 each

Synopsis: Tsubasa and Arisa are twins who have been separated by their divorced parents, and though they have kept in touch through letters, haven't seen each other in three years. Tsubasa has become the most feared girl in her highschool, wishing she could be friends with the girls in her class but instead getting in fights. Arisa on the other hand is a model student, class president and has a nice boyfriend, but all is not as it seems when the twins finally visit each other and Arisa tries to commit suicide in front of her sister. When her attempt leaves her in a coma, Tsubasa vows to find out what secrets Arisa's class is hiding by going undercover as her twin, but when she gets involved in the classes "King Time" wish fulfillment website she gets more than she bargained for. This series is a mix of high school drama and mystery and will appeal to readers of Tsubasa, Xxxholic and Vampire Knight. Recommended for an older teen audience due to the topic of suicide.

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image not available Bleach

Volumes: 31, ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: Tite Kubo
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 9.99-12.99 each

Synopsis: Bleach is the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a young man who can see ghosts. One night a young woman crashes through his room with a huge ghost monster, called a Hollow, on her heels. She is Rukia, a Soul Reaper, a spirit charged with the task of sending the destructive twisted Hollows on to their next lives. Rukia and Ichigo form a strange bond when Ichigo inadvertently steals Rukia's Reaper powers and must become a Soul Reaper himself, lest his family and friends be killed by roaming Hollows. The combination of action and occult mythology makes Bleach a highly entertaining series. Its readers are very loyal due to its soap-opera style storytelling, in which each volume leaves the reader on a cliff-hanger. This series also has a successful animated series which follows the manga very closely, although lacking creator Tite Kubo's subtle touch.

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image not available Death Note

Volumes: 12, complete
Written by: Tsugumi Ohba
Illustrated by: Takeshi Obata
Genre: Fantasy
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 9.99 each

Synopsis: Light Yamagi is an ace student on track to Japan's elite university. But, he's bored out of his mind, finding nothing to challenge him, until he discovers a Death Note that was dropped by a Shinigami (death god). Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies. Soon, all his time is spent tying to keep the legendary detective L off his trail, as he uses the Death Note to kill criminals that escape proper judgement, to make the world a better place. Light and L soon begin working together to try and find out who is wielding the Death Note. Each one tries to outsmart the other to catch each other in a lie: Light so he can find out L's true name, in order to kill him, and L so he can prove that Light is the one with the Death Note. Deathnote is a well-crafted story, keeping the reader interested with the constant tug of war between Light and L.

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image not available Fullmetal Alchemist

Volumes: 23; ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: Hiromu Arakawa
Genre: Manga, Fantasy
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 11.99 each

Synopsis: While trying to use alchemy to bring their mother back from the dead, the brothers Elric both lost something important. Alphonse, the younger of the two, lost his body, and Edward, his older brother, sacrificed his own arm and leg to transfer Al's soul into an oversized suit of armour. Now both are searching for a way to return themselves to normal. To do so, Edward becomes the youngest member of the alchemy division of the military. This not only increases his abilities but gives them both a means of survival and access to the military's research materials. In a world of magic based on fair trade how would you calculate the cost of your own body? Is it the sum of the elements, or is there more to it than that? The manga series does differ in several ways from the anime series.

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image not available Pluto

8 volumes; complete
Written and Illustrated by Naoki Urasawa
Genre: manga, science fiction
black and white
softcover; app. 200 pages each
SRP: 1-5 15.00; 6-8 16.99

Synopsis: Pluto is based on Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy story "The Greatest Robot on Earth". But, it is far from an Astro Boy story. Urasawa has taken the principles of Tezuka's Astro Boy and expanded the original story into a murder mystery. As an unknown assailant pursues and destroys powerful robots, a mystery develops around the bizarre murders of a series of scientists who took part in a research project whose results led to the devastating Persian war. Gesicht, a highly-developed robot, is the investigator from Interpol assigned to the case. He soon becomes wrapped up in it himself, as Gesicht becomes a target for robot-hate groups, as a mistake from his past is revealed. Gesicht himself has no memory of this mistake, as the government has determined to keep it from him intentionally. Astro Boy is a part of the story, but more as a supporting character, and in fact spends most of the series unconscious. The story instead revolves around Gesicht's discoveries of the case and of himself. One of the excellent parts about Tezuka's work is his social justice commentary, which Urasawa has maintained authentically. The concepts of pacifism are clearly expressed through the doctrines that robots cannot harm humans, the damaging effect of emotions in destroying pacifism, and the parallels to post-9/11 events. Urasawa also preserves Tezuka's mandate that the environment should be protected. Urasawa's amazing cartooning makes the story moving and thought-provoking, with a highly satisfying ending.
Also by Naoki Urasawa: 20th Century Boys

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image not available Tsubasa

Volumes: 24; ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: CLAMP (a collective of female artists and writers)
Genre: Manga, Fantasy
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: Vol.1-8 15.95, Vol.9-26 13.99

Synopsis: How far would you go to bring back the memory of the one you loved? In Tsubasa (also known as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle) this is the reality that a young man named Syaoran must face as the memory of his best friend, and possible love, Sakura, is split into hundreds of feathers and tossed through just as many dimensions. With the help of two others from alternate worlds, this motley crew of adventurers must seek out Sakura's memories and steal them back from those who would use them for evil. This series crosses over with XXXHolic, though it is not mandatory to read both titles to understand the story.
Also by CLAMP: XXXHolic

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image not available XXXHolic

Volumes: 14; ongoing
Written and Illustrated by: CLAMP (a collective of female artists and writers)
Genre: Manga, Fantasy
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 13.99-15.99 each

Synopsis: Yuko, a wish granting witch, is at the heart of XXXholic. She runs a business that helps people deal with wishes and occult experiences, but charges the highest price, that which they hold most dear. When a young man named Watanuki Kimihiro finds himself at Yuko's shop as if by magic, he ends up working for her in exchange for her help with his visions of ghosts. Yuko uses this opportunity to make Watanuki's life a living hell, embarrassing him and blackmailing him at every turn. XXXHolic has a very unique art style, and will appeal to all lovers of occult fiction. This series crosses over with Tsubasa, but it is not mandatory to read both to understand the story.
Also by CLAMP: Tsubasa

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We have many more books in stock. If you have a request for a title you don't see listed above, please contact us!

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Images copyright DC, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, Image, Tokyopop, Viz, Scholastic, Oni Press, Houghton Mifflin, Archaia Studios Press, Fantagraphics Books, Orion Publishing Group, CLAMP, Top Shelf Productions, Kyle Baker Publishing, Pantheon Books, H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd., Drawn and Quarterly, Henry Holt and Company, Slave Labor Graphics, Viper Comics, and Abstract Studios.