Kids Graphic Novels That Are Trying To Teach You A Lesson
Posted on December 7, 2021 at 6:26 am by Gene Ambaum
Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear (based on a true adventure) written by Trang Nguyen, Illustrated by Jeet Zdung. Dial Books For Young Readers, 2020. 120pp. 9780593353639.
Chang is a wildlife conservationist who’s trying to teach Sorya, a young sun bear, how to survive in the wild. Chang decided on her career when she was young, when she witnessed bile being cruelly harvested from a moon bear. She studied to pursue her dream, ignoring those who spoke out against her choice (including some who said girls were too weak to do such work). Eventually she started working at the Bear Rescue Center where she met Sorya.
This book is based on Nguyen’s life and experiences, and has a very “you can follow your dreams too” tone. My favorite parts are Chang’s journal entries and drawings, which show her observations and quite a bit about why she loves her career. The rest of Zdung’s drawings are also amazing, and he’s particularly great at bringing animals to life.
The Hunger Heroes: Missed Meal Mayhem by Jarrett Lerner. (A Graphic Novel Chapter Book). Aladdin, 2021. 128pp. 9781534462823.
The Hunger Heroes are Mr. Toots (a brave bean), Chip Ninja (a corn chip with a lot of gadgets), Tammy (a sassy tomato), and Leonard (a nervous wedge of orange cheese). They set off to help Jason, an elementary school student who missed breakfast and who is in a class where the teacher doesn’t allow snacks. Their hovercraft is shaped like a taco. This is a bit of silly fun, and it’s pro snacks-in-class message is sure to irritate certain teachers.