Cover Image: The Weirn Books, Vol. 1

The Weirn Books, Vol. 1

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A gorgeously drawn graphic novel with an interesting narrative, plot, and concepts. Definitely recommended for fans of this genre.
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Another great graphic novel by Svetlana Chmakova! Set in the magical world of her Night School series, The Weirn Books, Volume 1: Beware of the Silent Woods, follows Ailis and her cousin, Na’ya as they navigate their supernatural school. Dubbed “The Loser Cousins” by mean girl, Patricia, they are trying to prove themselves in the upcoming astral race, but their priorities change when the learn about the creepy mansion deep in The Silent Woods, and its dark history. Soon, they find themselves fighting an ancient power for their lives, and the lives of their friends and family. 

The illustration style, engaging story line that is both magical and relatable to young teens, and the cliffhanger ending are sure to keep kids clamoring for this book and all of the next volumes! A great addition to any middle school or high school classroom library.
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I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one but it was so good!! I loved all the magical aspects of it as well as the spooky story of the Headmistress. The two main characters, Ailis (Leesh) and Na'Ya and so cute together and I love their friendship throughout the book. I also really loved the town that they live in - it gave me really strong Halloween Town vibes from back in the day on Disney Channel. I would highly, highly recommend this to anyone but especially kids that are interested in books that have magic in them. I absolutely LOVED this book!!
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I was not expecting a lot when I picked up this book but maybe that's why i enjoyed it so much! I loved the creepy/scary atmosphere throughout the book. I felt the children were genuinely in danger but that they would manage to find a way out of it. I would recommend this to my middle grade graphic novel lovers. I hope to read more of this story.
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Great start of a new series by Chmakova. Her talents never cease to amaze me-excellent artwork and excellent plotting. Interesting characters. I can't wait to see where this goes.
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Funny, creepy, and filled with magic, this tale of weirn children, their families, mysterious stranger, and an old house is sure to delight readers.  The art style is spot on.
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This was such a fun read.  I love the author's middle grade realistic series that includes the book Awkward, and I love that she is once again leaning toward magic and things that go bump in the night.  Until this book I didn’t know there was a Night school series so I will be looking for that.  This book takes the read back to that world (or introduces them to it for the first time) where students have magic, and live at night, while normal kids sleep during the day.  There is an old spooky house on the way to school and things are just not quite right about it. I find the story to be  This book is great for middle schoolers, but I think adults will love it was well.  In part it reminds this reader of The Golden Compass with a bit of Narnia thrown in.  The illustrations are fun, the story entertaining, and a great read.
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I wanted to read this one because I love this author. Awkward, Brave, and Crush are three of the best books I have ever read and this one is right there with them. I love the plot.  The characters. It was exciting and had a great message. I can not wait for book 2.
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This paranormal graphic novel has lovely art and the kind of characters that kids love.  The main characters are two cousins with a strong bond.  The cast is rounded out with a school bully, a little brother, a crush, and another friend.  The story is simple enough to appeal to the target audience, and the plot is straightforward enough for those readers to follow and enjoy.  The story has some mystery, some danger for the characters, and a resolution that children will be happy with.  This is a title I would stock in my classroom reading bins.
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Ailis and her cousin Na’ya are Weirns, a particular type of witch who has an Astral paired with them at birth. The girls attend school at night to learn all sorts of magical abilities, and can compete in Astral races with their partners.  The girls often take a shortcut through the Silent Woods and past a house their grandmother has forbade them to go near. Of course, something bad happens with the scary house.  This fun adventure comes complete with bullies and crushes, annoying little brothers, and lots of magic!

This book is very cute and the girls are a great team.  I love the idea of an astral as a protector and sort of another arm of the character, complete with its own personality.  Some of them are noble and keep their Weirns safe, others are troublemakers, and others are shy.  Chmakova’s illustrations are cartoony but beautifully colored, conveying the magic of the world.  The characters are all animated and have great facial expressions when they are shocked or acting sneaky.  Even the astrals get some facial features! 

This title is part of Yen Press' JY Imprint, a line of middle grade graphic novels. JY's age rating wasn't available, but this fun title is definitely something middle grade audiences would enjoy.  There is no cussing, no drug use, and only a bit of scariness at the very end to of which warn some of the more timid readers.

Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 4-10

This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.  This graphic novel will be on sale TODAY! June 16, 2020.

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I was SUPER excited Netgalley allowed me to review Chmakova’s latest book.  I absolutely love everything she does, though my favorite was her Nightschool series.  Be Wary of the Silent Woods (The Weirn Books, Volume 1), is set in the same world as Nightschool with astrals, witches, werewolves, and every kind of night creature you may or may not have heard of living their lives at a different time of day.  It’s fantastic.  This book is focused on a set of middle-schoolers dealing with family, school drama, and learning magic. While it starts off hilarious, it quickly turns into a mystery and a group of 5 kids learning to solve a life-threatening problem on their own.  You know, as they do in such stories.  

My favorite parts of the book are the personal touches to the characters.  For example, Grandma’s no-nonsense personality shows through on the sign her magic café’s door. The sign reads “NO we don’t sell stamps”.  It feels like someone asked this question one time and she thought it was such a stupid question, she had to put a sign up.  In that same panel, she says “You will bring your own mug and you will like it”, referring to how people take their coffee.  That tells the reader that Grandma doesn’t play.  It’s beautiful.  The book gets even better when there is an actual RED BUTTON scenario just few pages later.  There was the perfect opportunity to cast a spell and wreak havoc.  I don’t know one middle-schooler, heck, one student who wouldn’t have done the same.  

I was pulled into the Weirn Series world within the first few pages because the characters and situations are incredibly relatable and hilarious. Diversity even takes on a whole different meaning in these books and I love it.  That the graphic novel gets even better the more you read just proves that anything Chmakova writes and illustrates is amazing.  I can’t wait for more!  It may read for middle-schoolers, but fans of Nightschool- which is more for high schoolers- like me will love it all the same.
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Svetlana Chmakova has done it again with yet another refreshing set of characters. They all go on a journey and each one comes out a little stronger than how they started. I am eagerly awaiting Vol. 2. I cannot for more from these characters and awesome storylines.
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I think this is based on earlier works from the graphic novelist best known lately for the Awkward/Brave/Crush trilogy. She also has a lot of manga and comics including a series called Nightschool, which I have not read, but it seems inspired this new series that I read through NetGalley. Weirns are witches and they wake up at sunset to get to their Nightschool, which transforms from the school that humans use during the day. It is very much like other school stories with cliques and bullying except the students are witches, shifters and vampires. Allis and her friends stumble upon an old house with a mysterious past on their way to school and can't resist taking a peak. Predictably, this sparks some action that sheds light on what really is happening in the house and also on Allis's family's past. It's entertaining, there are some witty characters and have fans of Svetlana Chmakova's earlier series will likely enjoy this one.
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I actually requested this book because my students LOVE graphic novels and I am always looking for the next big thing to hook them.  I don't think I even realized Svetlana Chmakova was the author until my daughter glanced over my shoulder and recognized the artwork.  

It was a fun, quick read, the exact thing my reluctant readers are sure to get hooked on.  Ailish and her family are weirns that live in a small town where they happen to have a night school for just such people!  We get to learn about her and her family, their dynamics and all that goes on at a "night school". It's just the right amount of scary and suspenseful for my young middle grade students.  A paper copy will be joining our classroom library in the fall, as soon as my 9 year old gets done with it!
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This first volume in the Weirn books introduces us to a small town like any other, except shifters, vampires and weirns (witch born with a demon guardian spirit, aka astrals) walk the streets and live just like anyone else. Ailis and her cousin Na’ya are branded outcasts at their school, fun and competitive they strive to prove themselves (clumsily), especially against their nemesis (former friend) Patricia.
The story introduces us to a spooky mystery, on the outskirts of the town is an old mansion, that used to be a school. One day the headmistress and all the kids there disappeared without a trace. One day Ailis, Na’ya, and D’esh (Na’ya’s younger brother) walk past the mansion and see a light on again. Have the missing kids returned? Is the headmistress back to continue her terrible experiments? And what is with the creepy person in the woods that keeps popping up around them?
This book is full of heart. About family, friendship and just keep trying and doing your best. 
The art is adorable and even without that ending I was looking forward to more of this. With that ending I definitely need more.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Once again, I am excited to delve into a world created by the creative genius of Svetlana Chmakova. There is a sense of slice-of-life even in this supernatural version of small town Americana where weirns (witches who have companions called astrals tied to them for life) and vampires and werewolves and other night things make a cozy living, and I cannot get enough of it. In fact, if you blended the Berrybrook Middle School series with Supernatural, readers would get this book. 

With charming characters like Allis, Na'ya, D'esh, Russ, and even Grandma Julia, readers will enjoy the mystery that's tied to the old run-down mansion near their Night School. The closeness of family and friends (even frenemies/nemeses) is a key part of most of Chmakova's works, and it's no different in <i>Be Wary of the Silent Woods</i>. Whether looking for a supernatural summer read or perhaps a perfect book to get into the Halloween spirit come fall, I think many readers both familiar and new to Chmakova's work will enjoy this start to a new series. I know I'm looking forward to the next volume. 

Highly recommended!
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My students already love books by Chmakova and I think they will enjoy this one too. The Weirn Books will be a great way for students to move towards fantasy fiction. I would love to see them compare the art in The Weirn Books with other books by Chmakova. Action, adventure, family, friendship and magic are all found in this book!
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The Weirn Books: Be Wary of the Silent Woods is a great and somewhat scary comic book for kids. This is actually perfect, since hardly ever comics for kids are like this. The story is set in the Night Realm where human passing night things live, such as weirns. Weirns are witches that have a demon guardian spirit bound to them for life. This group of friends finds an old abandoned house and kids go missing too and it all links to the house that can transform. The old teacher wants to stay young by using the kids and our heroes need to save the day, but getting rid of evil and finding someone long lost isn't all. The plot is very interesting, there's humor and bickering in the comic too. The kids are very real and not friends as such, not all of them, so their interaction with each other changes.

Chmakova has gotten better throughout the years and this is a steady and solid comic. Somehow it reminded me of Stranger Things. The art looks wonky, which fits the world well and the soft colors work nicely with the otherwise dark atmosphere. I'm excited to see what happens next, since this felt like a ready piece. A good and different kind of series!
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I received an ARC through NetGalley from Yen Press. I loved Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series that began with Awkward and this graphic novel didn’t disappoint either. Ailis is a weirn who goes to school in the Night Realm with other weirns, shifters, vampires and werewolves. When her and her friends see a light on in the creepy old school where children disappeared decades ago they feel like something bad is going to happen. Then one of Ailis’s cousins disappears and her and her friends set out to save the day. Weirns are witches born with a demon guardian that reminds me of The Golden Compass, but with all the great middle grade-ness of the Awkward books. The art was fantastic, both Thing and the astrals were so alluring, LOVED it all. Highly recommended for Chmakova fans.
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There is a special school for children who are weirn, meaning she has a supernatural creature attached to her. Allis goes to a special school for those have supernatural abilities, during the evening, when the school for the mundane children turns into the night school.

Allis's grandmother once had a brother, but he is gone, and that is all Allis knows about him. Well, that, and that there is a weird house in the woods, where no one lives.

Or do they?

This is the first in who knows how many books, so some mysteries are solved, and others are hinted at.  Like Svetlana's other books, there are very human, very full fledged characters in these books. Great fun, and good first story in what looks to be a fun series. 

Give me a mean girl with a back story. Svetlana does, and makes you wonder what is going on there. I hope we learn more in the next volume.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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