Third grader Vera Vance has signed up for the comics camp after-school program, but her mother would much rather she focus on academics, athletics, music. . . anything but comics!
Vera loves all things comic books, so she can't wait for the comics after-school class to start--even though her mother wonders whether it's educational enough. But Vera is determined to participate, and starts developing her own comic about Big Spoon and Little Spoon with the encouragement of her enthusiastic friend Nixie and instruction from teachers who are accomplished cartoonists themselves.
As the weeks go by, the after-school teachers announce that for the final class, students will go on a field trip to a local comic-con--and they can even enter a page from their comics in a contest that will be judged there! Vera isn't surprised when her mother says she can't go. But maybe Big Spoon and Little Spoon can convince her mother to accept her passion. Vera Vance: Comics Star
follows Nixie Ness: Cooking Star
in the After-School Superstars chapter book series. Perfect for fans of Judy Moody, Ivy and Bean,
the series is illustrated in black and white and each book includes a bonus activity that corresponds to the book's plot.A Junior Library Guild Selection!
Claudia Mills has written many children's books including 7 x 9 = Trouble!,
the Franklin School Friends series, and the Mason Dixon series, among other chapter books and books for middle-grade readers. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. www.claudiamillsauthor.com
Grace Zong has illustrated many books for children, including Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems
by Grace Lin, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
by Natasha Yim, Pippa and Percival, Pancake and Poppy: Four Peppy Puppies
by Deborah Diesen, and Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3
by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan. She divides her time between South Korea and New York.
"Vera's shyness will be appreciated and understood by many readers. Her character stays real throughout, and the lovely wrap-up shows how every personality type and situation can find a way to use their strengths to reach their goals. . . . Readers who stick around to see Vera become her own hero are in for a satisfying read."—Kirkus Reviews
"This is a welcome addition to the 'After-School Superstars' series and a lesson in family love and self-expression." —School Library Journal
"Heartfelt moments between Vera and her single-parent mother mix with their struggles over the value of comics to create a realistic family dynamic, and honest moments among the third-grade campers keep the chapter book from becoming overly pat. Spot illustrations and an appended list of Vera’s favorite comics and graphic novels add extra punch." —The Horn Book
"Readers will enjoy the discussions of comics, the moments of classroom drama, and the fine-tuned, sensitive depiction of Vera's relationship with her mother. It's no surprise that Vera's comic reflects her own situation, emotions, and hopes. The unexpected twist here comes when Little Spoon triumphs by creating a happy ending for Vera's story as well as her own. A rewarding addition to the After-School Superstars series, which opened with Nixie Ness, Cooking Star
"Students who love comics in any form can relate to the realistic and varied characters that depict typical students and personalities. The vocabulary is simple enough for early chapter readers and the interspersed pencil drawings add to the compelling storyline." —School Library Connection
"In her usual assured and friendly style, Mills respectfully tackles some common elementary-grade dilemmas; the confident, funny, and capable characterizations bring Vera’s explorations to vivid life, as Vera worries, new friend Nixie sunnily beams, and Vera’s mother keeps a tight rein on everything. Budding artists will appreciate the respect for and information about the comics process and relate to Vera’s joy at immersing herself in her beloved pastime." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books