Cover Image: Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an arc of this book!

This middle-grade graphic novel would be perfect for kids with a growing interest in Dungeons and Dragons! Our main characters Jess and Oliva have been playing make-believe together for the entirety of their friendship and have found themselves deep in the throws of a D&D campaign. The games they play have always just included the two of them, so when Oliva wants to start a D&D club at school, tension starts to build between our two main characters. 

What really set this book apart was the reliability of both of our main characters. Jess is a shy and introverted person who is afraid to lose her special connection with her best friend. Jess finds it challenging to connect with other students and fears the changes that come with inviting other people to their table. Oliva on the other hand is stuck between D&D and the student council election, which she is being pushed to take part in because her Mom is worried about college applications. Wanting to take care of her best friend, she forgets to ask Jess how she feels about the club which is the main point of conflict between the two.
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An utterly delightful story about D&D and its power to bring worlds to life and to give everyone a bigger piece of courage outside of the campaign.

The art style, characters and plot were all so sweet. I'd love to see this graphic novel becoming a series, each following new campaigns and the progression through school! It has so much potential but I can really see this as a gateway for younger children to finding out what D&D is and making new connections.

This was, overall, a very cute story about friendship and the power of our own imaginations. Cannot recommend enough! I loved all of the characters and really wished we were given a little bit more time with this story to get to know them all. I loved this but just wished it was a little bit longer to get a bit more depth!
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I love Molly Knox Ostertag and her writing. Jess and Olivia have been best friends since third grade after discovering they both love telling stories, which forms into a long D&D campaign. Starting middle school Jess doesn't want things to change and only wants to hang out with Olivia, but Olivia has other friends and wants to make the D&D group bigger. Through some mean actions and harsh words, Jess discovers that maybe she doesn't have to do everything on her own, and that letting someone in is okay. Lots of fun and great for those trying to get the idea of stories and adventures for their kids.
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How I wished this had been my middle-grade story.

"Why is middle school so much harder than slaying monsters?"

The first pages of this middle-grade story show dragons on a beautiful double-illustrated page. What can top that? Every page that follows. 

Such great parallelism between the characters in real life and their games. 
Olivia and Jess are eighth graders and best friends. Instead of gossiping they love to create stories and find the perfect game where they can develop their world. But... Olivia wants more friends to join the fun. 

"Middle school is impossible if you are not in a group." 

Jess has a hard time accepting more than Olivia in her world (we learn several reasons why) and all gets worse before it gets better...

Awesome artwork, page design, humor (in visual expressions and the reactions of different ages to D&D ) awesome cast of characters, and great pacing with each chapter. 

Awesome "starting to grow up" journey. And an awesome D&D campaign. Love that we can see the stats for each character.
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I love this book so much! I really liked how the plot flowed as well as the graphic novel style. It's such a cool book and I really enjoyed it!
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A cute, quirky, D&D-themed graphic novel about friendship and navigating the intricacies of middle school life. Perfect for D&D aficionados. But also very relatable, even if you know nothing about D&D. 

Great graphics. Easy to follow. Diverse characters. Anyone who likes fantasy is sure to get a kick out of this book.
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An absolutely charming middle grade graphic novel highlighting the trickiness of the middle school social game as well as the joy of D&D! For any middle schoolers who like a combination of contemporary and fantasy or who have an interest in D&D themselves.
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A very well-written book. While the characters sometimes acted in ways that annoyed me, they're just kids so that can be forgiven. The character designs of the PCs are attractive and simple, and the overarching story would be relevant even to someone who doesn't know what the game is. Very accessible, with a great message.
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As someone who is not familiar with the world of Dungeons and Dragons, I wasn't sure if I would be able to connect with this graphic novel. Ten pages in, I was wanting to learn more. This book connects the D&D world with the tricky navigation of middle school so beautifully. Ostertag introduces us to a group of kids who may not be 'cool' at school, but in their after school D&D club, they are able to be the heroes of their own worlds. Highly recommend this graphic novel for your collection!
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Thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for an e-ARC of this book for an honest review!

Okay tbh! Tbh! I am a huge Molly Knox Ostertag fan!! I've been reading SFG since high school, I love reading comics she works on, I'm always enamoured with her LOTR art, etc. So getting to read this was so special for me!

And the thing about this is that it's also just fun!! It captures being in middle school and coming up with stories with your friends, and how special and delicate that feels. Also Xanthe's art is just so stunning, and works for both the cute and more high drama moments so effectively. Like yes, it is very much a story for kids, but I'm  happy that it exists, and is something that's just... very sweet and very emotionally rewarding.
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This middle grade graphic novel is a delight from beginning to end. It is well-suited for its target age group and will be enjoyable for kids who are already familiar with D&D or who are hearing of it for the very first time. As a lifelong nerd, I wish I'd had more books like this to read as a little kid! It's a celebration of imagination and friendship, and readers will enjoy following along with not just one story, but two. The intermixing of the campaign plot and the equally challenging reality of navigating adolescence makes for a tale that is entertaining as it is compelling. I hope to see more of Jess, Olivia, and Tyler (alongside Sir Corius and Sunny, of course!) in the future.

The illustrations in this book are sharply rendered and include beautiful, expressive characters. I loved taking my time to absorb the art on each page and the way it facilitated the storytelling, exactly as it should have. The creators of this book did a marvelous job! My thanks to them, as well as the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title!
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All you D&D lovers get ready…Dungeon Club: Roll Call by Molly Knox Ostertag releases on November 29 and it’s just for you!

This graphic novel follows Jess and Olivia, best friends and roll-playing enthusiasts as they balance school friendships, class elections, bullies and their two-person D&D club. This book is a perfect balance of all those things.

The illustrations are awesome and includes D&D style stats when each character, even those IRL, are introduced. I am not a Dungeons & Dragons player but still enjoyed it as a middle-grade and fantasy lover.

Put this one on your list!

Thanks to @NetGalley and @Harperalley for the ARC.
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This romp of a middle-grade graphic novel is all about creating and sustaining supportive relationships even when it might sometimes seem easier to go it alone in the perilous dimension known as middle school. Through lessons learned in the D&D Club initiated by their DM and best friend Olivia, Jess takes control of their eighth grade narrative and positively interweaves it with the narratives of others. Under Olivia's leadership and gentle guidance, reinforced by Jess' dad's advice and encouragement, the knightly Jess amends wrongs and develops new friendships. I appreciated this book for its depiction of nurturing peer-to-peer and father-to-child relationships and its apt handling of bullying and clique-ish behaviors (without suggesting an easy resolution for them). In addition, Ostertag and Bouma subtly depict kids playing with gender through the medium of the RPG. While not a central point of the narrative, I loved their joyous representation of gender exploration.
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A charming middle grade graphic novel perfect for role-playing enthusiasts and fans of Svetlana Chmakova. Dungeons & Dragons exploded in popularity over the last few years, and there have been quite a few D&D-themed graphic novels to go along with it. All the ones I've read tend to follow the same formula, with an established group of friends and a new player to create friction. Dungeon Club: Roll Call doesn't stray much from that tried-and-true plot line, but it does include a few fresh ideas that help it stand out a little bit from the crowd, like clever stat blocks that flesh out major characters. I also assume that Ostertag got permission from Wizards of the Coast to use official D&D imagery and language, which hopefully wasn't too expensive, because I really prefer it over mimic phrases like "Monster & Mazes".

I think the depiction of a middle school bully is a little stereotypical - shaking another kid down for the cookies in their lunch, that's some 1950s sitcom stuff that readers may roll their eyes at. But it's easy to just let that slide as the whole thing was just super enjoyable. Will definitely be purchasing for my public library.
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I received an electronic ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books through NetGalley.
Olivia and Jess are best friends. Jess only has one friend, but Olivia is friends with many people. They deepen their friendship bond through playing D&D. Olivia is an incredible Dungeon Master and Jess is a hero who battles alone. The analogies to middle school come through clearly. Readers will connect with both main characters and also identify with Tyler as a new member of the D&D Club Olivia is trying to start. Their family stories are hinted at and revealed as the story unfolds. Again, readers will connect with their backstory or know someone with a similar background.
The artwork is stunning. The details in both the real and fantasy worlds will keep readers interested.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Molly Knox Ostertag for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Also a huge thanks to Xanthe Bouma for their amazing artistic work in this book.

"Middle school is a dungeon... At least that's how Jess sees it."

"Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call" is a short graphic novel in which best friends Jess and Olivia, whom have been playing the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons for years exclusively together, have life shoving them into changes. When Olivia decides it'd be more fun to start a club and seek out new members for their once solitary sessions, Jess's world-- and their friendship-- turn upside down!

My thoughts:
This graphic novel is one where I am overjoyed to have read. Sure, I am well beyond the demographic (middle schoolers) but even I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will introduce it to the young people in my life! The book did so much right:

- It did a realistic depiction of middle schoolers and middle school: forget hyper-sexualization, excessive mature drama, or feeling like the characters are adults speaking through them. It shows how kids don't always initially approach problems the most mature, and the intense social pressures of middle school.
- There is a lot of natural feeling representation, some of it being: Diné, messy home life, and more.
- Presents the idea that your hobbies don't have to "contribute" to something greater to be worth something.
- Shows how much pressure for some meaningless things (such as young student council) is pushed onto children who may not want to engage in it.
- Shows a wholesome, beautiful way for characters to make up
- The main characters don't always win: and that's okay!

This was very enjoyable, and I recommend finding a copy for yourself and/or someone young in your life.
I really can't even find a thing I dislike about this graphic novel: great art, great storyline for middle grade, and while a bit generic in school plot, still very fun and a real page-turner!
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A middle grade graphic novel about navigating new friendships and old ones in middle school, all played out in the realms of Dungeons and Dragons. I really liked how diverse the players were in the club, which is a great alternative to how we traditionally see D&D being played (mainly white male players). I thought the book did a great job in showing the stress/anxiety behind the idea of making new friends, while also showing how important it is to include others and branch out in terms of making new friends.
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Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

What an absolutely precious book. I’m a sucker for D&D and I loved the little character sheets for all the characters here. The friendships were wonderful and I found myself actually getting a bit invested - even though I’m not the target audience I found myself caring about these kiddos and wanting to read more about them and their lovely little D&D group.
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realistic middle school fantasy adventures and this graphic novel has some aspect of emotional-ness through scenes where the characters in the book have to solve and go through the problems they are facing
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars.

Spoilers ahead. I will not reveal anything big - most of the review vaguely alludes to plot, structure, and characters.


I am so, so glad to see books about Dungeons and Dragons coming out that allow younger kids to get into the game in an age-appropriate way - like books, Dungeons and Dragons is for everyone. This is a very cute middle grade graphic novel about the social, emotional, and general benefits of roleplaying games and Dungeons and Dragons in general - we can see how the characters use it to navigate their own problems and expand emotionally and socially. The art is so cute and very accessible - which I mention because sometimes Dungeons and Dragons art is needlessly intricate and intimidating for newbies. Overall, this is a lovely, heartfelt story about coming to terms with change and growth while navigating the challenges of *gasp* middle school.


Again, thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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