Published by First Second
Summary: These two entries into the History Comics series tell the story of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that helped bring gay rights into the national spotlight and the history of the National Parks System that helped preserve natural wonders and historical artifacts in the United States. In The Stonewall Riots, Natalia’s abuela takes teen Natalia and her friends Jax and Rashad back in time to the night of the first protest. Abuela had a girlfriend at the time, and the three kids, all part of the LGBTQIA+ community, get some lessons about the people and events of that time. The National Parks features two narrators, a bigfoot and an eagle, who look at the patchwork history of the National Parks System, going all the way back to the early 19th century. Each book starts with a foreword and includes an author’s note with additional information and resources at the end. 128 pages; grades 4-8.
Pros: Both books make history accessible through the graphic format and the fun narrators (abuela and Bigfoot). The additional resources at the end make these a good introduction that could lead to further research.
Cons: I thought this format worked better for a specific incident (Stonewall Riots) than a longer period of time (National Parks). I could see kids losing interest in such a sprawling history that included so many different people and places.