Kiddosphere: May the Force be With You: New Books for Star Wars Fans
With the first official trailer dropping last Monday, we are officially in countdown mode before “The Last Jedi” opens on December 15. During the next two months, an avalanche of Star Wars books will be headed our way. If you have a young Star Wars fan in your life, keep an eye out for these titles (and maybe get some early Christmas/Hanukkah ideas as well?). Some are available now, while others will be published when we get closer to the actual theatrical release.
The cutest addition to the Star Wars universe since the Ewoks certainly deserves his own picture book. BB-8 on the Run is basically BB-8’s origin story in picture book form.
What are porgs? I’m not quite sure (birds, I think), but one was featured very prominently with Chewbecca in the trailer. Perhaps Chewie and the Porgs will give us more details; it seems like he and these little creatures have a bond of some sort!
I continue to be amazed at the talent involved in the new Star Wars books (Adam Gidwitz, Claudia Gray, etc.) The critically acclaimed YA author Elizabeth Wein is one of the latest outstanding authors of a Star Wars novel; Cobalt Squadron introduces us to some of the new characters in “The Last Jedi” fighting in the Cobalt Squadron.
“Star Wars Forces of Destiny” originally aired on Disney’s Youtube Channel and later on the Disney television network; if your young fans are already hooked on the series, you definitely need to check out Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures and Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Tales of Hope and Courage.
While “Level 1” “Level 2” and other designations vary wildly from publisher to publisher, I’m encouraged by the fact that A Leader Named Leia has a “Level 2” status. Quite a few of our Star Wars readers are a bit too complicated for beginner readers, so I’m hoping this will be easier for our “just beginning” readers to comprehend.
Heroes of the Galaxy introduces us to the new characters, vehicles and planets in “The Last Jedi,” along with brand-new information on returning characters. At 48 pages, this is a perfect length for fans not quite ready for more in-depth guides, such as….
The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, by Star Wars storyline guru Pablo Hidalgo, is a continuation of the DK Star Wars visual dictionaries. Like all DK books, it will be filled with first-rate photographs and every little detail you could possibly hope to know about the movie.
Many fans are hoping that “The Last Jedi” will explain exactly what Luke’s been up to since the defeat of the Empire. As implied in “The Force Awakens,” Rey grew up hearing myths and legends about Skywalker but never knew that he was an actual person. In The Legends of Luke Skywalker, deckhands on a cargo ship trade stories about Luke and argue over his existence (or if he was actually part-droid). Written by award-winning fantasy author Ken Liu, this is an enormous (400+) read all about the Jedi Master; whether or not the tales are true remains to be seen!
Rey to the Rescue is another addition to our always-in-demand Star Wars easy readers, and a most welcome one! Find out about Rey’s origins (what’s been revealed so far), her friends and enemies, and more.
While we have many fabulous and popular Star Wars comics in our YA section, publishers definitely need to create more Star Wars comics for younger readers. While The Rise of a Hero is more of an illustrated story than a comic in its layout, graphic novel fans won’t care about the difference. This is basically Luke’s origin story as told in “Star Wars IV: A New Hope.”
Thank goodness for the Star Wars Golden Books; they fill a need for Star Wars picture books. Tales of the Force weaves stories about force users (Light and Dark), including characters from both the prequels and sequels.
YA readers, take note! We also has some awesome Star Wars books coming your way (the visual dictionary and Luke legends books would also be enjoyed by preteen/teen fans).
Fantasy author Claudia Gray is becoming one of the go-to authors for modern Star Wars novels, both YA and general adult. Leia, Princess of Alderaan, which takes place before the events of “A New Hope,” follows teenage Leia as she trains to be the next ruler of Alderaan and becomes interested in the Rebel Alliance.
Captain Phasma joins our ever-popular YA Star Wars comics section, and promises to expand upon her story and how she escaped the destruction of her base. Want more Star Wars comics? Look for Star Wars 4, 5, and 6 on our shelves soon (note: these are not retellings of the movies).
That should keep fans occupied while waiting for the new movie! (And hope you have some holiday gift ideas for Star Wars fans.)
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library