1) Culture or group portrayed
2) Bibliographic information
Tsang, E. (2011). My Boyfriend is a Monster #1: I Love Him to Pieces. Minneapolis, MN: Graphic Universe.
3) Brief summary
Outgoing Dicey Bell is the all-star female player on her school’s baseball team. Jack Chen is science aficionado who spends his free time conducting research and tabletop gaming. A school project brings the two together and an unlikely romance begins to blossom. While on their first date, the couple catches wind of a terrible brain eating infection taking hold of their city. Dicey and Jack must work together to survive until a cure is found.
4) Multicultural evaluation
I chose this delightful graphic novel for the first read in a (HYPOTHETICAL) Public Library’s Teen Book Club (9th-12th grade) series on “Monsters, Magic, and Dystopia.” These genres are overwhelmingly popular and it’s so important that we introduce teens and young adults to wonderful novels that don’t always receive the attention of so many of the more mainstream books pushed by publishers within these categories. It’s vital that teens are exposed to books written by authors from marginalized communities about characters from marginalized communities. It’s also important that these characters are written realistically with diverse experiences. Evonne Tsang’s graphic novel, I Love Him to Pieces portrays characters from different backgrounds, a multicultural romance, and a strong female protagonist kicking zombie butt and breaking gender norms! Since the book takes place in Florida, it’s especially interesting for teens to follow along Dicey and Jack’s travels around St. Pete!
The book club discussion:
The book club meeting runs from 6:30pm-9pm beginning with 20 minutes for socialization and 30 minutes for an open-ended book discussion. A teen librarian will moderate and suggest prompts and discussion questions if a lull occurs. However, most of the conversation should be guided by the teens themselves.
How did this zombie story compare to other zombie stories in popular culture today?
The first half of the story presented itself as realistic fiction and it wasn’t until about halfway through the book that the outbreak took hold. What did you think of the story’s pace?
Did the illustrations enhance the story? Would the novel be as good or effective if it were written in a different format?
Why do you think graphic novels might be more appealing to some readers?
After the book discussion, snacks are provided along with a brief overview of Zines (https://zines.barnard.edu/definition). For this activity, the teens will have the opportunity to create their own zine. Zines are small self-published comics that people create to share their stories, thoughts, and experiences. A Zine can be produced in a variety of formats, the simplest being the eight page, single sheet. This activity will utilize the zine folding resource found here: http://blog.umamidesign.com/2013/09/zines-2/
There are no strict guidelines for creating a zine! It’s all about creativity and self-expression! The materials needed for this activity include a typewriter, a photocopier, markers, glue, colored pencils, construction paper, scissors, and magazines. After the teens create their zines, they will have the opportunity to photocopy them and start a zine collection at the library.
To draw attention to the event, I created the promotional materials in a similar aesthetic to many of the most reblogged images on popular teen blogging sites (such as tumblr). The event posters will be posted in the physical library and virtually on the library’s webpage and facebook accounts. The bookmarks will be printed and distributed at the event.