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Secondary Book List: Non-Fiction

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 Carnet de Voyage

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Craig Thompson
Genre: Travel Writing, Autobiography
Black-and-white
Softcover, digest-sized
SRP: 18.00

Synopsis: This volume, as is explained inside, was never meant to be published. It is a visual journal kept by Craig Thompson while he travelled for three months through France, Barcelona, the Alps, and Morocco. Through drawings and deeply personal insights, he documents his adventures in an honestly intimate fashion. This is an interesting book to study for its variations of illustration style, its place in the genre of travel-writing, and the autobiographical element. The layouts are atypical of traditional sequential storytelling, making this book a good juxtaposition against other more traditional graphic novels.

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image not available Fun Home

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Alison Bechdel
Genre: Autobiography
Black-and-white
Hardcover
SRP: 26.95

Synopsis: From the creator of Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home is Alison Bechdel's painfully honest memoir. Growing up with a tyrannical father and an uninterested mother is a reality with which many these days can empathize, but in Bechdel's case the dysfunction goes further. First with her father's secret homosexuality, then his accidental death, and later Bechdel's own homosexuality. With a very morose undertone and Bechdel's detailed cartoon style this book is both gripping and disturbing. Unlike other comic book biographies, Fun Home doesn't try to use its graphic format to soften the story. This was the author's life and she wants the reader to see it in the most truthful format she knows. Most of the story is also non-linear, skipping through the author's life depending on which memory she is speaking about, or how different problems in her life were linked together by repeated occurrences.

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image not available In the Shadow of No Towers

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Art Spiegelman
Genre: Autobiography
Colour
Hardcover, oversized
SRP: 27.95

Synopsis: This oversized hardcover by Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer prize winning creator of "Maus" deals frankly and emotionally with the events of September 11th, 2001. The book is a visual diary detailing Spiegelman's reactions to the event and its aftermath, composed from September 11th, 2001 until August 31st, 2003. He also includes two essays, and ten comic strips from the early 20th century to illustrate his feelings of anxiety, dislocation, and grief, not only over the attacks themselves, but the Bush administration's use of the attacks for political gain.
Also by Art Spiegelman: Maus

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image not availableLouis Riel

Volumes: 1; complete
Written and Illustrated by: Chester Brown Canadian!
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Black-and-white
Softcover
SRP: 19.95

Synopsis: This is a graphic biography of the 19th century Metis leader Louis Riel, as he struggles to win rights for his people. The biography deals with the controversial elements of Riel's character, including his potential madness, in a relatively unbiased way. The author clearly attempts to lay out all the relevant facts in the matter leaving plenty of room for the reader to draw their own conclusion about the motives of Riel and MacDonald. This book fits in extremely well with the grade 8 history curriculum.

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image not available Maus

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Art Spiegelman
Genre: History, Biography
Black-and-white
Hardcover
SRP: 49.00

Synopsis: Maus is a story on two levels. The first is the tale of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of World War II, who evaded the Nazis, before finally being forced to spend time in Auschwitz, which he also survived. The second is the tale of Art Spiegelman, Vladek's son, as he attempts to write his father's story in graphic form, while having to deal with the strained relationship he has with him. This extraordinary tale of survival and relationships won the Pulitzer prize. Told in a cartoon style where all the characters are anthropomorphic, Spiegelman used this as a metaphor for the way the Jews felt through the war. All of the Jews are represented as mice, while all of the Nazis are cats. However, this does not detract from the power of the book. Instead it allows readers to learn about the horrors of the holocaust without seeing the graphic photos so often used in textbooks. This keeps readers interested in the story, giving students greater historical empathy for the victims of World War II. This book would be extremely useful in grade 10 history, for the purpose of studying World War II, and also in any English class, for its interesting switch between present and past, autobiography and biography, and its use of animals for people.
Also by Art Spiegelman: In the Shadow of No Towers

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image not available Nat Turner

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Kyle Baker
Black-and-white
Softcover
SRP: 15.95

Synopsis: As the title suggests, this is the story of Nat Turner, a slave whose visions and deep spirituality led to him being called The Prophet, and whose sway allowed him to lead a short-lived rebellion in 1831. Unfortunately, the rebellion did little to improve the cause of black slaves, but it still stands as a moment of true bravery, and fighting for ideals. This book is told almost without words, allowing beautiful black-and-white drawings speak for themselves. When words enter the work, they are Nat Turner's own words, transcribed by his lawyer from conversations held before the trial. This poignant and moving work would be a valuable addition to any library, or history curriculum.

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image not available Palestine

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Joe Sacco
Genre: Non-Fiction
Black-and-White
Softcover
SRP: 30.00

Synopsis: Reading "Palestine" is like reading a series of illustrated interviews, and this is essentially what it is. Creator Joe Sacco visited Palestinian refugee camps, sketchbook in hand, and proceeded to interview Palestinians on topics from women's rights, to the intifada, to their jobs. By not attempting to turn the interviews into a narrative, the result is the feeling that you are right there with him, listening on these conversations. The book does have a pro-Palestinian slant, but does not overlook the Israeli side of the issues. It is a hard, cold, and often depressing look at the heart of the people involved in conflict.

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image not available Pedro and Me

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Judd Winick
Genre: Autobiography
Black-and-white
Softcover
SRP: 22.00

Synopsis: When Judd Winick was trying to break into the comic industry, he appeared on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco. There, he met and befriended Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive AIDS educator. Through emotional storytelling, very personal, and sometimes quite funny, Judd Winick pays tribute to his friend Pedro. This book educates about AIDS and HIV in a way that makes it more real and touching than a simple classroom lecture.

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image not available Complete Persepolis

Volumes: 1, complete
Written and Illustrated by: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: Autobiography
Black-and-white
Softcover
SRP: 29.95

Synopsis: Now a major motion picture, Persepolis is the story of the author's childhood and coming of age in Tehran, during the Islamic revolution. The author delves into self-examination, and analysis of the world around her, with a sharp sense of humour, mixed with some sadness and anger. This is a touching story about adolescence set against the extremely important backdrop of the Islamic revolution. Readers will learn about the history and culture of a nation they may not be familiar with except from headline news.

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image not available Smile

1 volume; complete
Written and Illustrated by: Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Non-Fiction, teen
colour
softcover; 214 pages
SRP: 13.99

This is the true story of Raina Telgemeier and her teenage &¦8220;dental drama&¦8221;. In sixth grade, Raina accidentally knocked out her two front teeth and, as a result, ended up going through years of corrective braces and dental surgery to give her back a &¦8220;regular&¦8221; smile. In this book, she taps into her experiences to give readers a highly relatable and engaging story. Any reader who has or has had braces or other dental work will immediately sympathize with Raina's experiences. But, beyond a story about dental work, it's also a tale about growing up, about going from middle to high school, about having crushes on boys, about standing up to friends when you realize they aren't really your friends, and foremost, about developing a sense of self and self-confidence. Raina's smile is completely linked to her self-perception and her concerns about how other people see her. It is exciting and wonderful to watch the character grow, and become less self-conscious and more willing to stand up for herself. Any middle or high school student reading this book will empathize with the character, and draw inspiration from Raina's courage in the face of physical pain and personal conflict.

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image not available Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!

Volumes: 1; complete
Written and Illustrated by: Scott Morse
Genre: Autobiography
Colour
Hardcover, oversized
SRP: 20.00

Synopsis: This oversized hardcover by veteran Scott Morse (Magic Pickle) explores his fears and insecurities as a comic storyteller. He uses the metaphor of the Chinese paper tiger, when a person puts on a false front of courage, as his permission to return to a childlike outlook on life. The result is an autobiographical tale with the author in the form of a tiger, searching for the adventure in everyday life and finding an imaginative world through the eyes of his child. The layouts are full page illustrations in acrylics with dialogue laid overtop, interspersed with panel pages in watercolour, allowing aspiring artists to not only be inspired by a creator's introspection about his process of creating, but also to get ideas about how to tell a story.

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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.