I probably read 10-12 graphic novels a year and always marvel at their impact. The illustrations and text complement each other so well. The limited text makes the words so much more powerful (I almost said "impactful" but I am still denying that "impactful" is a real word). If you're ever in a reading slump or just in the mood to start and finish a book in a short period (possibly in one sitting), look for a graphic novel. I waited several weeks on the library hold list for Roz Chast's Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York. Worth the wait. Her love for and knowledge of NYC comes across in every detail. This book (graphic but not a novel) would be the perfect gift for a new grad or anyone who dreams of making a life in New York.
My son and I both read and enjoyed Sunny Side Up a couple of years ago so I snapped up its sequel, Swing It, Sunny, at last week's Scholastic Book Fair. I loved how the Holm Siblings captured the Seventies on every page. Sunny's troubled but beloved older brother is at a military boarding school, and the book poignantly illustrated Sunny's feelings of loneliness, confusion, and fear of/for him. I like the family dynamics in the story and the two female friendships that help to bolster Sunny during this tough period. I'm eager to discuss with my son once he gets a chance to read it.