By Yūsei Matsui

Assassination Classroom is a slice of life/action manga. The story follows the idea that on modern day earth, 70% of the moon is mysteriously blown up by an unknown force or entity. Hours later the government would come to see the arrival of a mysterious, octopus-like creature. He would tell the world government that the moon event was his doing and in exactly one year from now, the earth will suffer the same fate. However, the creature, mysteriously enough, decides to provide a compromise to the government. In exchange for getting rid of the creature, he would be allowed to become a teacher at a school. Specifically, a teacher at Class 3-E, a class comprised of supposed “failures” of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. The government complies with his request, as they see it as the only way to be rid of the creature, and the rest of the year, this strange octopus-like creature will teach a class full of “failures.” But the class is also tasked with another job, kill the creature by the end of the year and if successful they will be rewarded a sum of 100 million USD. So the race is on to kill this creature by the end of the year, while it teaches them, and before it destroys the world.  

Despite the odd and dark premise of assassination classroom, it manages to be a fun and enjoyable read with many gags added in. A lot of the characters in the manga do feel somewhat real. As well, Koro Sensei, the creature in the manga, has a great balance of mentor, antagonist, and gag character.  My one critique for this manga is that its side cast is less than developed. But considering it is only the first volume, that is forgivable.  

-Tashkin A. 

View in Library Catalogue: Print 

The Vanishing Stair

Maureen Johnson

In Maureen Johnson’s second installment in her Truly Devious Series, readers delve into the present while keeping an eye on the past. Stevie Bell has solved one mystery, but the murders of the past still haunt her. However, when she is forced to leave Ellingham Academy against her will, she must try to move past her obsession with the case. Then, a deal is struck and Stevie is whisked back to Ellingham Academy where the past never leaves and the present stalks the school like a ghost. A captivating mystery with twists and turns, The Vanishing Stair will leave readers wondering and wishing for the final and third installment.

View in Library Catalogue: Print