New York Comic Con 2019 brought an announcement that Penguin Random House was starting up an imprint for YA graphic novels. Random House Graphic will feature a wide range of writers and styles, with a goal of producing unforgettable books parents and kids can enjoy. Debuting this year, we had a sneak peek of their first titles, a few out now. Look for these online and in your favorite shop. Their next wave of graphic novels feature everyone and everyone from a great squirrel-heist, to witches and ghosts; A super hero cat and a beautifully interwoven story about identity and fairytales. Come Fall 2020 comes a thrilling new season that will be great for any reader—kids, teens and the young at heart!
WITCHES OF BROOKLYN
Sophie is a French author and illustrator who lives in Brooklyn with her husband, three children, and their black cat Terrence. She has illustrated many books for middle-grade readers, including Florence Parry Heide and Roxanne Heide Pierce’s Spotlight Club Mysteries series (Albert Whitman); and the Freestyler Funnies series by Tom Easton (Hachette UK). She has been a graphic novel lover for as long as she can remember and she enjoys fun and expressive characters. Witches of Brooklyn is her debut graphic novel.
Effie lost her mom. Lost her home. And now she has to live with two strange aunts who she’s never met before. Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her family and herself. With new friends who will do whatever they can to be there for her, a cursed pop-star, and her new magically-inclined family — Effie’s life is about to get interesting. This book is for readers going through transitions in life and are looking to be hopeful with the changes and roll with the punches. Meet Effie come September 1, 2020.
SHARK & BOT #1
Brian Yanish is a professional illustrator and author who has worked for Jim Henson Productions in Los Angeles, trained as a special effects moldmaker, written and performed comedy, designed educational software, and sold his own line of T-shirts. His book Shark and Bot #1 is the story of an unusual friendship that coems easy when you look past appearances!
Best friends Shark has some very sharp teeth and Bot has a saw for an arm. They find friendship surprisingly easy when they learn that they are both a little awkward, love comics, and just want to have fun. While they find each other, they also find that the playground isn’t always a nice place and have to find their way to navigate bullies. This chapter graphic novel for the middle school crowd seems to be for readers who will be looking to identify with the real life issues of making new friends, understanding differences and dealing with those who ain’t pleasant while expecting some laughs along the way. You can meet Shark and Bot September 1, 2020.
SÉANCE TEA PARTY
Reimena Yee is an illustrator, writer, and designer. Hailing from the dusty metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she is now based in Melbourne, Australia. She once was a STEM student, but left to pursue her passion for the world and all of the histories and cultures within it, which she weaves into her art and stories. She is the author-illustrator of the Eisner and McDuffie-nominated The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya. Séance Tea Party is her debut graphic novel. The protagonist Lora is determined to still have fun on her own after watching her circle of friends seemingly fade away.
This middle-grade graphic novel is for the kid who thinks growing up sounds terrible. No one has time to do anything fun, or play outside, or use their imagination. Everything and everyone is suddenly so serious. People are more interested in their looks and what others think about them than having adventures. A tea party with a twist leaves Lora to re-discovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house — and Lora’s old imaginary friend! Lora and Alexa are thrilled to meet kindred spirits and they become best friends . . . but unfortunately, not everything can last forever. You’ll be able to have a seat at Lori and Alexa’s table come September 15, 2020.
DONUT FEED THE SQUIRRELS
Mika Song is a children’s writer and illustrator who likes to make stories about sweetly funny outsiders. She grew up in Manila, Philippines and Honolulu, Hawaii before moving to New York to study animation at Pratt Institute. She worked in children’s educational animation before devoting herself to writing and illustrating children’s books. These days she draws in her tiny apartment in Chinatown and volunteers as a Reading Partners tutor with upper elementary kids.
This children’s book features Norma and Belly who plan to start the day with some pancakes, but when Norma accidentally burns them, these two best friends set out to find a new treat. A new food truck has parked near their tree, and these two squirrels are going to figure out how to get their hands on these “donuts” that it seems to be selling. This chapter book type graphic novel is for the wee readers who love to laugh as these squirrels will try their hardest to get some donuts while just about everything goes wrong. Super cute art paired with a super fun story! I’m told this is a fun “donut caper” graphic novel that focuses on madcap action, problem-solving, and the power of working together. Get in on the shenanigans with Norma and Belly come September 29, 2020.
THE MAGIC FISH
Trung Le Nguyen, also known as Trungles, is a comic book artist and illustrator working out of Minnesota. He received his BA from Hamline University in 2012, majoring in Studio Art with a concentration in oil painting and minoring in Art History. He has contributed work for Oni Press, BOOM! Studios, Limerence Press, and Image Comics. He is particularly fond of fairy tales, kids’ cartoons, and rom-coms of all stripes. The Magic Fish is his debut graphic novel. The graphic novel that I’m most excited about on this list is this one, by Trungles! I’ve been a fan of his for years, watched him transition from illustrations into o comics, been a Patreon of his a while back and evencollected his art in a few prints. He’s worked so hard and I can’t wait to get my hands on his debut graphic novel!
Recently chosen as one of 2020’s must-read YA books of the year by Book Expo, The Magic Fish is a beautifully illustrated story by that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, an instant classic that shows us how we are all connected. Real-life isn’t a fairytale. But Tiến still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiến, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell his loved ones he’s gay? I’m told that this Young Adult graphic novel tackles tough subjects in a way that is accessible with readers of all ages, and teaches us that no matter what—we can all have our own happy endings. I hope you’ll join me in meeting Tiến come Oct 13, 2020!
Let’s share some excitement today…
start/ finish 🧜♀️ pic.twitter.com/ff4RVyfJgH
— Random House Graphic (@RHKidsGraphic) March 12, 2020
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