Graphic by Elise Bechtel
By Megan Shipston
The start of the school year is always stressful. Memorizing new schedules, managing new work loads, and finding your classes can all be very overwhelming. During the school year it is always important to try and find time to relax and not be overloaded with all the work of school. My favorite way to do this is by reading! Even though I am an English major who has to read for essentially all of my homework assignments, I still find reading a personal book of mine a great way to destress and lose myself in a new world. So for every month this semester I am going to recommend a book and graphic novel that I read to relax in my down time.
Howl’s Moving Castle
You might recognize this title from the very popular Hayao Miyazaki film under the same name. “Howl’s Moving Castle,” written by Diana Wynne Jones, is a whimsical story that follows Sophie and her adventures with the headstrong wizard Howl. With evil witches, beautiful landscapes and a focus on friends and family, “Howl’s Moving Castle” allows you to forget about your own worries and troubles. If I were to describe the vibe I felt while reading this book, it was like I was sitting under a tree in the summer with a soft breeze hitting me. I remember when I read this book at the start of last semester when I was feeling really stressed with my workload. This book helped me not burn out as I could take a break and zone out for an hour a day. It is also a super quick read and easy to get through. So, if you’re looking for a book that instantly transports you into a new world, then you have found the right one! I give this book five dolphins out of five! (Also, go watch the movie if you have never seen it!)
The Tea Dragon Society
The first graphic novel I want to recommend is “The Tea Dragon Society”! “The Tea Dragon Society” was written and illustrated by Kay O’Neill and has three books in its series. The first thing that drew me to these graphic novels was the beautiful and adorable art style. O’Neill creates an amazing world filled with fantastical creatures and adorable dragons. In this gentle fantasy we follow a blacksmith apprentice named Greta and her adventures learning about the lost art of taking care of tea dragons. Each little dragon is based off of a different kind of tea. For example, the first tea dragon we meet is Jasmine — there are other tea dragons such as Ginger, Chamomile, Peppermint, Gray and many more! The dragons are all unique and have different powers and looks depending on their tea. If you’re looking for a sweet and calming graphic novel series with a huge cast of characters to fall in love with then look no further than “The Tea Dragon Society”! I rate this graphic novel 5 dolphins out of 5.