Graphic novels and the transition from childhood to youth

Young Adults  · 

Graphic novels and the transition from childhood to youth

By Mariona Bosch

There are reading materials that can inspire children who are maturing and starting to leave childhood behind to enter adolescence. Themes such as an understanding of others and diversity, curiosity for the adult world, looking forward into the future to think about what profession they would like to pursue… Tatatuka, B de Blok and Alfaguara offer reads that touch upon these subjects.

Sputnik

Sputnik is the story a traveler, a traveler from outer space. This children’s book for over 9s brings the three heroes, children from the same neighborhood, face to face with the arrival of an unusual outsider, another kid just like them, but who dresses very strangely and says that he comes from the outer space. One of the three friends believes Sputnik’s story, the other two don’t, so the conversations between the four of them enrich the lives of the three friends and help them to reflect upon the sense of companionship and the feelings that we get from diversity and coming across something different.

Has Sputnik made it all up to get attention? Does he have such a powerful imagination? The publisher Takatuka brings us this book by Bettina Obrecht, illustrated by Sabine Kranz, whose title is the name of the main character, Sputnik, and, as the name suggests, he is the strange child from outer space who ends up orbiting around everyone in the town where Adrian, Anja and Karim live and becomes the traveling companion of the three friends.

The mistrust that this strange child provokes in the town will be part of the discussions between the three friends and we’ll see the different ways of tackling differences and the mistrust generated by the unknown. A perfect book for the age of discoveries and changes, because all preteens can feel like an alien on their own planet at times.

sputnik

Stan Stinky

Stan Stinky is a series of illustrated books featuring a quick-witted and resourceful mouse. Curiosity is his main characteristic and this makes him a unique little mouse who wants to become a famous detective. This wish is the result of his avid reading of comics. So, the disappearance of a classmate is the starting point of Stan Stinky vs the Sewer Pirates, published by B de Blok, allowing him to test his detective skills.

With a hilarious description of the ugliness of the sewers, Stan Stinky was written and illustrated by Hanna Shaw, who injects humor into every page of this book, which raises the issue of waste and the sewers of human activity.

Like any good detective, Stan uses the notes on his notepad, newspaper clippings, visual memories etc. and Shaw illustrates all of Stan’s visual tricks to accompany him during his sleuthing activity. This book could be a fun introduction to detective novels and may grab the attention of children who are growing into adults because Stan reflects on his own future and, although he’s certain that he wants to be a detective, he tests himself to prove his worth.

stan stinky

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Keywords in this post: young adult book, school, society

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