March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review Graphic Novels: November 2012

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”SchoolDEUTSCH, Barry. How Mirka Met a Meteorite. Bk. 2. illus. by author. 128p. (Hereville Series). Abrams/Amulet. Nov. 2012. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0398-0.
Gr 4-7Meteorite picks up right where How Mirka Got Her Sword (Abrams, 2010) leaves off. When Mirka, an 11-year-old Orthodox Jew, goes to retrieve her sword from the troll, he inadvertently summons a meteorite. Fortunately, she is able to prevent the destruction of Hereville with the help of the witch. Unfortunately, the witch turns the meteorite into a clone of Mirka. It isn’t long before “Metty” begins to make our heroine’s life difficult. When Mirka asks the duplicate to leave, Metty proposes three challenges to decide who will stay in Hereville, and who will be banished. Deutsch seamlessly weaves elements of Orthodox Judaism in with themes of individuality and self-worth. The color illustrations are as crisp and clear as they come. The endlessly creative panel and perspective work adds visual interest and gives experienced graphic-novel readers plenty to savor. A well-crafted addition to a truly distinctive series.–Travis Jonker, Wayland Union Schools, MI

”SchoolDUPRAU, Jeanne. The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel. adapted by Dallas Middaugh. illus. by Niklas Asker. 144p. CIP. Random. 2012. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86821-4; PLB $21.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96821-1; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86793-4; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97910-0. LC 2011051619.
Gr 5-8–Lina and Doon have spent their entire lives surrounded by darkness. Lina is an optimist and a dreamer who just knows there is something beyond the city of her birth. Doon is much more practical. He knows that if he can just get a good look underground, he can fix the city’s constant blackout problem. A chance encounter on Assignment Day allows the two children to meet and exchange jobs, essentially giving the other what they’ve always wanted. They start to unearth an evil plot by the city’s obese and greedy mayor to steal away precious resources from the people who live there. Using clues left behind by Lina’s late grandmother, they travel beneath Ember’s tunnels in a desperate attempt to find a way out. Based on DuPrau’s novel (Random, 2003), the story brings the city of Ember to life using many muted yellows and earth tones. While the interior vantage points from Lina’s and Doon’s perspectives make Ember’s public buildings and homes seem large, advanced exterior shots surrounded entirely in black give readers a sense of just how isolated Ember is. Lina’s wonder and Doon’s frustration are easily visible through Asker’s skill in detailing facial expressions, helping to visually elevate a story literally besieged by shadows. Dystopian stories can be dark, and this one is literally so, but its ultimately hopeful message will resonate.–Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library

”SchoolTELGEMEIER, Raina. Drama. illus. by author. 238p. bibliog. CIP. Scholastic Graphix. 2012. Tr $23.99. ISBN 978-0-545-32698-8; pap. $10.99. ISBN 978-0-545-32699-5. LC 2011040748.
Gr 5-8–Callie has ambitious plans for her school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi. She has more to contend with than the logistics of building a working stage cannon, though, including the tension between stage crew and actors and her confusion about her new friend, Jesse. Does he like her, or is he gay like his twin brother? Telgemeier deftly portrays the ambiguity of sexual identity in the middle-school years in a story that simultaneously appeals to that audience. Callie is a strong character, confident in her ability as an artist and warm and friendly to her peers. She and her fellow students grin frequently, to the point of seeming unrealistically well adjusted. More often, however, Telgemeier is just showing the best side of teens. “Keep it professional,” the stage crew head tells the group, and they do. The full-color cartoon-style illustrations are graceful, assured, and, along with the twists and turns of the plot, guarantee an entertaining and enlightening read.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

The following titles are reviewed in the November 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Elementary and Middle School

COLFER, Eoin. The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel. illus. by Giovanni Rigano. 128p. CIP. Hyperion/Disney. 2012. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-7868-4879-9; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7868-4880-5. LC 2012003835.

GIALLONGO, Zack. Broxo. illus. by author. 240p. First Second. 2012. pap. $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-551-3.

L’ENGLE, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. adapted by Hope Larson. illus. by adapter. 392p. CIP. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson. 2012. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-374-38615-3. LC 2010044120.

MODAN, Rutu. Maya Makes a Mess. illus. by author. 32p. Toon Bks. 2012. RTE $12.95. ISBN 978-1-935179-17-7.

RIOUX, Jo. The Golden Twine. Bk. 1. illus. by author. 112p. (Cat’s Cradle Series). Kids Can. 2012. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-1-55453-636-8; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-55453-637-5.

ROBERTS, Steven. Bigfoot! ISBN 978-1-4488-7901-4; ISBN 978-1-4488-8001-0. LC 2012002150.
–––– . Chupacabras! ISBN 978-1-4488-7902-1; ISBN 978-1-4488-8002-7. LC 2012004337.
–––– . Dragons! ISBN 978-1-4488-7903-8; ISBN 978-1-4488-8003-4. LC 2012001909.
–––– . The Loch Ness Monster! ISBN 978-1-4488-7904-5; ISBN 978-1-4488-8004-1. LC 2012005776.
–––– . Vampires! ISBN 978-1-4488-7906-9; ISBN 978-1-4488-8006-5. LC 2011047508.
–––– . The Yeti! ISBN 978-1-4488-7905-2; ISBN 978-1-4488-8005-8. LC 2012005786 .
ea vol: 24p. (Jr. Graphic Monster Stories Series). glossary. index. websites. CIP. Rosen/PowerKids Pr. 2012. PLB $25.25; pap. $10.60.

TATULLI, Mark. Li o : There’s a Monster in My Socks. Bk. 1. illus. by author. 224p. (Amp! Comics for Kids Series). Andrews McMeel. 2012. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4494-2304-9.

TORRES, J. Into the Woods. Bk. 1. illus. by Faith Erin Hicks. 100p. (Bigfoot Boy Series). Kids Can. 2012. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-1-55453-711-2.