David’s Sci-Fi Comics picks for November

I’ve enjoyed reading these recent graphic novels for mature readers by Koren Shadmi that are available on hoopla.  I first became aware of Shadmi’s work through his excellent biographical tales of Rod Serling and Gary Gygax.  However, I found that Shadmi’s original stories set in a futuristic landscapes were even more powerful than those books.

Bionic by Koren Shadmi.  2020, IDW Publishing.

Bionic is a coming-of-age story with science fiction elements. Victor, a nerdy teenager falls for a gorgeous new student at his school, Patricia.  She works at the mall’s pet store and gifts him an android cat.   While she is friendly to him, he doesn’t seem to stand a chance romantically.  But then she is hit by a speeding car.  When she returns from the hospital with astonishing new robotic parts, both their lives will be changed forever.  She is no longer the traditional beauty, but Victor doesn’t seem to mind her augmentations.  Has the surgery affected her brain?  Patricia begins dangerously acting out.  When the two do finally get together, she ends up breaking his hand with her super strength.  What were the mysterious circumstances for her accident?  And will Victor suffer the same fate as a result of technology?  This was a gripping and unusual graphic novel in both the story and visual style.  I’d recommend it to fans of Kick-Ass or other genre defying comics.

Highwayman by Koren Shadmi.  2019, IDW Publishing

A short tale about the end of the world follows several episodes in the life of the last man alive, a drifter who cannot die: The Highwayman! Forever on the move, Highwayman travels through the vastness of North America searching for the source of his condition. He suffers from a strange, seemingly incurable disease: immortality. Bound to the road and at the mercy of whomever will give him a ride, he encounters people who reflect the rapidly changing world around him. Moving through centuries of change, he gets picked up by hitchhikers and gets discovered by aliens.

Complete Comic Book Series worth reading on hoopla

Do you love comic book series where you can get heavily invested in character development and interesting plot twists? Below are some more riveting science fiction series, available in their entirety, that you can read online with your Pinal County Library Card via the hoopla app.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson.
Published by Image.

Paper Girls follows the story of four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls caught up in the conflict between two warring factions of time travelers! A mix of science fiction and nostalgia, this is an exciting read for both older teens and adults. It is also slated to be adapted for television.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Pia Guerra. Published by Vertigo.

Y: The Last Man is a post-apocalyptic science fiction comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra published by Vertigo from 2002 through 2008. The series centers on Yorick Brown and his pet Capuchin monkey Ampersand, the only males who survived the apparent global androcide. This comic book (originally 60 issues) is for adults and is as thrilling and complex as a Stephen King novel.

Happy Holidays, 2020

The holiday season is upon as. Many of the libraries throughout Pinal County are open or offering curbside pickup. You can also access a multitude of electronic resources from home with your card.

Here are a couple of holiday themed pre-K storytimes by Mr. Library from PCLD. Enjoy!

Check out some of our holiday themed booklists for Thanksgiving, Christmas and more.

David’s Picks for Holiday Picture Books:

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S Perl and Shahar Kober

“A heartwarming picture book with a fresh twist on a Hanukkah celebration: celebrating a ninth night with new neighbors and friends!”

Elf: The Classic Illustrated Storybook based on the film wrwitten by David Berenbaum, illustrated by Kim Smith

“Rediscover the laughter and cheer of Buddy the Elf in this adorable picture book for readers of all ages!”

Make the Most of Your Library: Hoopla Bonus Borrows

So far this year, Pinal County library users have checked out more than sixteen thousand titles from our Hoopla digital collection, including more than 9,000 ebooks and comics, 1,300 audiobooks and music titles, and nearly 6,000 videos! But some of our users have been hampered by Hoopla’s 7-item-per-month checkout limit. But our Hoopla Bonus Borrows can help you get around that problem!
For the month of November, we are offering this special collection of titles that don’t count against your checkout limit. That means you can check out as many of these titles as you want! If you haven’t tried Hoopla yet, this is a perfect time to do so. You can access the Bonus Borrows collection from our website homepage.

RBDigital Audiobooks is now part of cloudLibrary

On October 21, we merged our RBDigital Audiobook collection into cloudLibrary. The audiobooks you used to get from RBDigital can now be found among the thousands of titles in our cloudLibrary collection!
cloudLibrary works on PCs and Macs, as well as on smartphones, Android devices, iPad, and Kindle Fire. Be sure to download the cloudLibrary app for your device, so you can use this digital service.

Recent YA books on TV/ streaming

Many young adult novels have been adapted into movies and tv shows in 2019-2020. Below are some of our favorites. These are stories that deal with angst, mental illness, immigration, romance, identity and heads exploding! All of these books are available to request from the Pinal County Library District or our eBook platforms hoopla and cloudLibrary. (Not all of the filmed adaptations are available through the library but we will try to purchase the DVDs as they become available.)

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

When you can’t trust your mind, trust your heart. Adam is a teen living with paranoid schizophrenia. He is having crazy hallucinations during school and it seems as though only a miracle drug can help. If it fails, can he keep his dangerous internal world from the girl of his dreams?

Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

In this outrageously dark comedy, teenagers are blowing up without warning or explanation. The FBI is moving in, but sarcastic Mara is determined to find out the truth for herself. Is there any meaning behind the end of the world? An explosive love story!

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha and Daniel are an unlikely match in a seemingly impossible situation. Her family is set to move back to Jamaica. He is a Korean- American poet, who believes in love. She is into science and doesn’t believe in fate. Will they fall in love? Short chapters will engage the reader and take them on a trip through this romantic story set in New York City.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl. She walks with a cane, wears oversized men’s clothing and doesn’t take much care with her appearance. Has she always been this way? There is something that Henry feels about her that goes beyond the surface. This is a very raw and real love story that deals with depression and abuse in both an honest and witty manner.

I am Not Okay With This by Charles Forsman

Charles Forsman wrote and illustrated this short graphic novel upon which this Netflix series was based.  It is about a 15 year-old girl named Sydney who is going through the trials and tribulations of a teenager. And on top of all that she has superpowers…however her powers tend to lead to destruction, rather than heroism. A very deadpan and dark story, with moments of humor, for older teens.

Simon Vs. The Home Sapiens by Becky Albertalli / Love Simon

Sixteen year-old Simon is keeping a secret from his family and best friends: he is gay.  The chapters are interspersed with emails between Simon and Blue, another anonymous gay student. This was the basis for the movie Love, Simon which has continued into a tv series on hulu called Love, Victor. The writing in both the book and show is quirky and lighthearted, despite dealing with sexual identity and the acceptance (or lack thereof) of homosexuality in a high school setting.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Violet Markey vows to live with a purpose and find a way out of her small town. Theodore Finch, on the other hand, has a mild obsession with suicide. This novel shows both of these characters points of view as they fall in love and deal in their own way with mental illness and grieving. If you liked The Fault In Our Stars, this is another heartfelt tearjerker worthy of your attention.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

“What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. “

For more movies and tv shows that have been adapted from YA novels & more, check out our catalog list:

Movies and TV shows for older teens

Books that have been made into movies (on cloudLibrary as eBooks)

Halloween Fun!

While it’s true that Halloween will not be quite the same this year due to the pandemic, it’s still a holiday we have fun celebrating through the library. Below are some recent spooky books we are looking forward to reading!

Garbage Pail Kids: Welcome to Smellville. By R.L. Stine. Harry N. Abrams Books, 2020.

” Welcome to the town of Smellville, where ten kids all live in a big tumbledown house and have as much fun as they possibly can. People may think that they’re gross and weird and strange, but they’re not bad kids—they just don’t know any better. In this hilarious new illustrated series from bestselling author R.L. Stine, the Garbage Pail Kids—from Adam Bomb to Brainy Janey—get into mischief at their middle school, all while battling bullies and their archenemies, Penny and Parker Perfect. These all-new illustrated stories are sure to amuse, entertain, and blow away readers of all ages.”

The Witches (Graphic Novel) . By  Pénélope Bagieu, adapted from the novel by Roald Dahl. Scholastic, 2020.

“Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world — and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country!

This full-color graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Pénélope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format. Graphic novel readers and Roald Dahl fans alike will relish this dynamic new take on a uniquely funny tale.”

Camp Murderface. By Josh Berk and Saundra Mitchell. HarperCollins, 2020.

Summer camp turns sinister in Camp Murderface, a spooky middle grade read perfect for fans of scare masters like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike.

“The year: 1983. The place: Ohio. The camp: Scary as heck. Camp Sweetwater is finally reopening, three decades after it mysteriously shut down. Campers Corryn Quinn and Tez Jones have each had more than enough of their regular lives—they’re so ready to take their summer at Sweetwater by storm. But before they can so much as toast one marshmallow, strange happenings start…happening. Can they survive the summer? Or will Camp Sweetwater shut down for good this time—with them inside?”

The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales. By Mary Downing Hahn. Clarion Books, 2020.

“The author of wildly popular ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn has created a group of tales for fans of her “scary but not too scary” books. Even the stories without actual ghosts are spooky. Each tale turns something ordinary—a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet—into a sinister link to the supernatural. For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly. In a concluding note, the author talks about how she came to write ghost stories.”

Venus in the Blind Spot. By Junji Ito. Viz Comics, 2020. *For mature readers.

“A “best of” collection of creepy tales from Eisner award winner and legendary horror master Junji Ito. This striking collection presents the most remarkable short works of Junji Ito’s career, featuring an adaptation of Rampo Edogawa’s classic horror story “Human Chair” and fan favorite “The Enigma of Amigara Fault.” With a deluxe presentation—including special color pages, and showcasing illustrations from his acclaimed long-form manga No Longer Human—each chilling tale invites readers to revel in a world of terror.”

Our outreach librarian, David, has also provided a virtual storytime of some of his favorite Halloween themed picture books for preschoolers from the past. Enjoy!

For more Halloween stories, check out this list of recent books in our catalog.

*Did you know that over 1,000 picture books in the hoopla app collection have a “read-along” feature?  Children can follow along while the book is being read to them by a narrator!  Log in to the hoopla app with your library card and do a search for “read-along”. 

News for Fall, 2020

The Library celebrates National Hispanic Heritage month from mid September through October. We have highlighted some new titles of interest that put Hispanic authors into focus. View the list here:

Hispanic Heritage Month

You can also read many related titles through our hoopla app. Pinal county residents have access to thousands of free eBooks, comics, movies, music and more through the hoopla app. And now hoopla has added around 50,000 audiobooks to this collection as well. Happy listening!

We are sad to learn of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Read more about her life and times by searching our catalog or listening to the audiobook by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik available now through hoopla.

Diversity matters!

Through a grant from the Arizona State Library and an effort to make our collections more diverse, we have recently added many new fiction and non-fiction titles to cloudLibrary.

You can find these titles featured in cloudLibrary under the tabs “Diverse Books- Non- Fiction” and  “Diverse Books- Fiction” https://ebook.yourcloudlibrary.com/library/pcebooks/Featured

An additional list focuses on “Inclusive Communities” and includes books about parenting, health and financial success in these challenging times.

You can find these titles featured in cloudLibrary under the tab “Inclusive Communities

Due in part to the ongoing pandemic, there is a growing need for electronic resources through Arizona’s public libraries. The Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services  is committed to supporting your library’s efforts to reach and serve every member of your community.

Arizona’s residents will find resources in libraries to engage with their communities, develop workforce skills, and learn life literacies such as parenting, health and finance regardless of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  

Banned Books Week:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week 2020 will be held September 27 – October 3. The theme of this year’s event is “Censorship is a dead end. Find your freedom to read!”

Check out our list of the most frequently challenged books from 2018-2020.

Looking for eAudiobooks? We are transferring our titles from the RB Digital app to the cloudLibrary app. The RB Digital app is being discontinued but you can find a wide variety of titles in both cloudLibrary and the hoopla apps with your library card.

David’s Picks for July, 2020


Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Pulp. Image Comics, 2020.

Writer Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been long-time collaborators on a number of comics related projects including the Criminal series which were collected in graphic novel format.  Their latest stand alone book, Pulp, is also a crime story but the setting is quite different.  The story focuses on Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York whose Western character, unbeknownst to his publisher, is largely based on the author’s own outlaw days of his youth in the 1890s.  When the pulp magazines fail to give Max his due and he is mugged by anti-Semites, he realizes his days of facing danger are not behind him.  When nazis begin appearing in New York prior to World War II, Max takes it upon himself to fight against injustice and seek revenge.  While set in the past, the questions about indecency, crime and hatred seem more relevant than ever.  This title is available through our hoopla app.


John Green. Looking for Alaska, Dutton, 2005.

I think it’s fair to say that John Green has become the modern day John Hughes.  His take on YA Fiction is back to basics – the stories are dramatic, full of heart and based in reality.  Like classic YA authors such as Paul Zindel, Green uses his own experiences and trauma as a starting place to dive deep into teenage pathos and coming-of-age themes while firmly setting his stories in a contemporary setting. Two of his popular young adult novels have been adapted into successful films and these include The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns.

Green’s debut novel, Looking for Alaska, is the one most closely based on the author’s experiences of growing up in the South in the mid-1990s.  It has recently been adapted into a hulu original series and it has been released on DVD.  The library owns several copies and it is requestable through our catalog.  It is my favorite of all the adaptations and the streaming tv format gives the story room to breathe (clocking in around 8 hours).  The story is set at a boarding school for gifted teens in Georgia.  And however dark the story gets, it still has moments of great humor and an airy, wistful setting akin to a summer camp where pranks are played and first love blossoms…but not without a cost.

Phoebe Wahl. The Blue House. Alfred A Knopf, 2020.

There is nothing typical about this children’s picture book. Leo, the main character has long hair and lives with his single father. They live happily together in an old blue house with peeling paint that creeks when the wind blows. When new apartments begin to go up in the town, they are evicted and need to find a new place to live. Leo is angry about the move and he takes out his frustration with his father by dancing and singing to records and painting on the walls. I loved the densely hand drawn illustrations in the book that combine cut out elements with paint, pencils and pastels. A great story for atypical families looking for something different that is still relatable.

*To see more of what David is reading, check out his book list here.

Re-opening News

Make the Most of Your Library. Here is an update on the status of our libraries as they begin to reopen and provide services. Please call your local library for more details.


  • Open to the public, with social distancing measures in place.
  • Drive-thru service for picking up held items is also available
Arizona City Public Library
  • Open to the public, with social distancing measures in place. Hours may be limited.
  • Main Library offers lobby service for checkouts and holds, but browsing of the collection remains unavailable. Lobby service hours are:
    Mon – Wed – Fri: 9 AM – 5 PM

    Tue -Thurs : 9 AM – 6 PM

  • Vista Grande: Mon- Fri, 8am – 5pm
  • Open Mon – Fri, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, by appointment only.
  • City guidelines require patrons to wear masks within the building and maintain 6 feet minimum social distance
  • Curbside pickup service is available:
    Mon – Fri: 8:30 – 11:30 AM and 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm
  • Offers curbside pick-up for holds but the building remains closed
  • Curbside available Mon-Fri from 9am – 12 and 1 to 4pm
Kearny Public Library
  • Open to the public, with social distancing measures in place
Mammoth Public Library
  • Offers curbside service for holds but the building remains closed
  • Open to the public, with social distancing measures and limited numbers
  • Offers curbside service for holds but the building remains closed
Oracle Public Library
  • Curbside service
San Manuel
  • Window pickup available by phone appointment.
  • Offering curbside service.

Chicka Chicka Zoom Zoom – ZOOM events

Ready for a spooktacular storytime? Pinal County Library District presents Chicka Chicka Zoom Zoom. Your favorite librarians from all over the county give you a one of a kind storytime you won’t want to miss out on!

To register for the event please visit:

Morning session – https://bit.ly/chickachickazoom10am

Afternoon Session – http://bit.ly/chickachickazoom4pm

Craft bags will be available starting Monday, October 12.
To pick up craft supplies, please contact participating libraries.
Supported by First Things First


Imagine Your Story with your favorite librarians!  Three of your favorite Pinal County Children’s Librarians are coming together through Zoom to bring your little ones an online event full of songs, crafts and stories.

Join the fun by emailing mreimer@FirstThingsFirst.org to receive your Zoom invitation.
Thursday, July 16th at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Chicka Chicka Zoom Zoom Final

New Children’s Books – Summer 2020

Have you missed browsing and picking up new kids books from the library? Our outreach librarian, David, has selected the following new children’s books as some of his favorite picture books from the past couple of months.

Rebecca Gyllenhaal and Kim Smith. Doctor Who: the Runaway Tardis. Quirk Books, 2020.


Pop Classics are a series of books that adapts movies and tv shows into a kid friendly format and all are brilliantly illustrated by Kim Smith.  These have included  E.T., The Karate Kid, Back to the Future and Home Alone.  She also did a Buffy the Vampire Slayer story that was completely new, rather than an adaptation.  This new entry, Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis is also an original story based on the Doctor Who universe.  It offers both an engaging concept and story that will be exciting to young readers whether or not they are familiar with the Doctor Who series. “Unable to make friends at her new school, Lizzie packs a bag and runs away. After accidentally stowing away in the TARDIS, she meets the Doctor, a mysterious woman who claims to be a time-traveling space alien. When the TARDIS malfunctions, Lizzie and the Doctor are sent catapulting through time and space, visiting the pyramids, the dinosaurs, an alien planet, and more. Along the way, Lizzie learns that making new friends isn’t so hard after all . . . but will she ever be able to get back home?”

Matthew Burgess and Josh Cochran. Drawing on Walls: a Story of Keith Haring. Enchanted Lion Books, 2020.


This oversize book brings you inside the world of artist Keith Haring’s creative talent, with a focus on his own childhood as well as his interest in imbuing his work with a childlike sense of wonder.  The pictures by Josh Cochran leap off the page and evoke the spirit of Haring’s work while adding an element of narrative that is easy to follow.

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara  and Conrad Roset. Bob Dylan. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2020.


Bob Dylan has lived a very unconventional life.  This engaging story, told mostly through beautiful illustrations, documents the history of the famed folk musician and encourages children to be true to themselves.  This is part of a series of biographies in an illustrated format for young readers.

Bob Raczka and Merrilee Liddiard. Like Best Friends. Cameron Kids, an Imprint of Cameron + Company, 2020.


This is a rather short, whimsically illustrated book that captures the sweetness of two children first becoming friends.  The subtle interaction, told through the expressive drawings, will make you smile.


Pride: Celebrate LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.  LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community.

The libraries in Pinal County Library District have an assortment of books to help you discover and explore LGBT History. Check out our booklist here, as well as the selection of titles listed below:

Queer Heroes
by  Arabelle Sicardi

Summary: Profiles notable LGBTQ figures and highlights their contributions to society and their community, including Martina Navratilova, Frida Kahlo, Alan Turing, David Bowie, and K.D. Lang.

A Queer History of the United States for Young People
by Michael Bronski

Summary: Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.

Stonewall : A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution
by Rob Sanders

Summary: Describes the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, which sparked the gay liberation movement in the United States, and details the history of LGBTQ rights since the riots.


Queer : A Graphic History
by Meg John Barker and  Julia Scheele

Summary: “Activist-academic Meg John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel. A kaleidoscope of characters from the diverse worlds of pop-culture, film, activism and academia guide us on a journey through the ideas, people and events that have shaped queer “theory”. From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged.”


Pride : The LGBTQ+ Rights Movement : A Photographic Journey

Summary: This lavishly illustrated book commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and is an inspiring photographic journey through the LGBTQ+ Pride movement over the last century.

Stuck Rubber Baby
by Howard Cruse

Summary: “This classic graphic novel is the tale of a young man caught in the maelstrom of the civil rights movement and the entrenched homophobia of small-town America”