Animal Crossing: Deserted Island Diary by Kokonasu Rumba

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

You won’t need to have played Animal Crossing New Horizons to enjoy Deserted Island Diary. These quick, quirky stories perfectly encapsulate the hijinks of playing games with friends and encountering goofy characters.

As an Animal Crossing fan, most of the humor in this book lands. The art is pretty adorable too. If you like cute, quick, funny stories, Deserted Island Diary is a good one to pick up.

Located in Children’s Manga (J MANGA ANIMAL #1)


Beyond the Clouds by Nicke

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Theo dreams of going on adventures like the ones from his favorite books, but that dream seems distant and unattainable. Until he finds Mia, an angel girl who’s lost a wing and her memories. Together, they’ll find a way to make Mia fly again and return her home.

Beyond the Clouds is a fantastical tale filled to the brim with beautiful artwork and a touching story of friendship. The world building is the best part about this story. Nicke does an excellent job of introducing characters, mysteries, and plot that propels the story forward at an engaging, quick pace.

This is a series I’d recommend to anyone.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA NICKE)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood by Hirohiko Araki

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

In the late 1800s, a nobleman and his family suffer a carriage accident. A passerby intent on robbing them accidently becomes the nobleman’s savior. Years later, when the passerby’s son is a teen, he is sent to live with the nobleman, Lord Joestar, and his son. Little does the noble family know, the teen they welcome into their home is a conniving schemer looking to take the Joestar fortune for himself.

As someone who watches a lot of anime and reads a lot of manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has become a staple among fans, and for good reason. At this point in time, I’ve only read the first part of the Phantom Blood arc. I enjoy the art; it definitely feels of it’s time, the late 1980s, but it’s very expressive and detailed. The story immediately hooks you in. I see why everyone loves this series so much, because now I do too.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA ARAKI VOL.1)

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

A “t” becomes an airplane, a “p” the Big Dipper, and an “o” the sun. Concrete poetry twists and turns the words of poetry into shapes or patterns to visually represent their subjects. In Raczka’s Wet Cement, twenty-one poems are bent, scattered, and zig-zagged across the pages of this poetry collection to create visually engaging poetry that asks readers to reassess their perceptions of the genre. Are poems word paintings, like Raczka suggests? Can a single word become a picture? Reading Wet Cement right-side up, upside-down, and backwards might help you find some answers.

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 811.6 RAC)

Digimon by Yuen Wong Yu

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Tai and six other children suddenly find themselves in the digital world: a dangerous world full of monsters. With their trusted Digimon partners, these kids must survive the digital world and unravel the mystery of the black gears.

The Digimon manga follows the adventures laid out in the animated series. This is a great trip down memory lane for older fans and a great introduction to the series for newcomers. It is an older translation, however, so some of the wording is awkward or cut off. All in all, it is a faithful retelling of a wonderful story.

Blue Period by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Yatora gets good grades and has a lot of friends, but his life is pretty aimless. A painting done by a fellow classmate catches his eye and he feels a spark in his soul. Yatora becomes consumed with art and begins to understand just how cutthroat the art world can be.

Blue Period has a lot of heart, more than I was expecting. Alongside general art tips, the story is quick and is propelled forward by interesting characters and beautiful artwork. It’s one of the best manga I’ve read this year.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA YAMAGUCHI)

Eternals by Neil Gaiman

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Before the announcement of the new Eternals movie from Marvel, I hadn’t really heard of these characters before. I decided to read Neil Gaiman’s Eternals run as a way to get a little familiar with the characters.

The overall story is that the Eternals lost their memories and have been living their lives as regular human beings. The Eternals need to find each other, figure out why their memories are gone, and also deal with the resurgence of the Deviants.

I enjoyed the lore and worldbuilding of Eternals and overall the art by John Romita Jr. is solid and exciting.

Though I did enjoy the story, I wouldn’t say this was a perfect introduction to the characters. If you’re already familiar with the Eternals, then you’ll probably get more out of this book than I did.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Hakumei & Mikochi by Takuto Kashiki

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Take something like the Borrowers or The Secret World of Arrietty and you’ll get a pretty good sense of what Hakumei & Mikochi is like. The manga details the day to day lives of two small people, Hakumei, an adventurous tinkerer, and Mikochi, a reserved tradesperson. The two live together in a tree hollow where they share adventures and good food.

Hakumei & Mikochi is laidback and sweet. The characters are likable, the art is wonderfully rendered, and the world building is a treat. I highly recommend the series if you’re looking for a quick read to unwind with.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA KASHIKI)

Boys Run the Riot by Keito Gaku

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Boys Run the Riot revolves around three teenage boys: Jin, the scary-looking older kid who got held back a grade, Ryoko, a transman navigating his gender identity and school-life, and Itsuka, a painfully ordinary pushover. The three of them create a clothing brand as a way to express themselves and fight back against society and the assumptions other people put on them.

This manga is fast-paced, exciting, and heartwarming. The friendship between the three main characters is endearing and a nice change of pace from the typical shonen rivalries of manga. It’s an uplifting story about chasing one’s dreams and building self-confidence.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA GAKU)

Devil’s Candy by Bikkuri

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Devil’s Candy takes place primarily at Hemlock Heart Academy, a high school for demons. The story follows Kazu Decker, a science-loving boy, his friends Nemo and Hitomi, and the girl Kazu created for a biology project, Pandora, as they navigate school, their feelings, and teaching Pandora how to live in society.

This slice-of-life manga has splashes of action and lots of comedy that complement the cutesy art style well. It’s a fun, quick read for teens.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA BIKKURI)

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