Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Graphic Novel Snippets

I joined the Graphic Novel Challenge this year. I think I will be a little more successful with this reading challenge than I was with the Art History Reading Challenge from last year. Crossing my fingers anyway. I'm entering at the Intermediate level where I just have to read 3-10 graphic novels this year. Well, I've already read three, so I guess I can't lose!

I requested Calamity Jack from the publisher when I saw it listed on someone else's blog. I really LOVED Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale so I was very curious about Jack's side of the story. While this chapter of the story was an interesting retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story, I wasn't quite as riveted as I was with Rapunzel's story. I think part of that is that I loved Rapunzel's character and how strong the Hales portrayed her. She definitely plays the role of sidekick in Calamity Jack and there is much more of a love story going on in this one as well. While I didn't respond to this one as much as the first, it is still entertaining with a few twists and turns that keep the reader focused. I think it would be great for a reluctant reader (though I believe that with just about all graphic novels) and boys might be a little more interested in this one, just because of the main character as well as the storyline of Jack overcoming the giants.
Source disclosure: I requested a copy directly from the publisher for review.

Zeus: King of the Gods is the first in a planned eleven-part series by George O'Connor called Olympians. This graphic novel starts from the very beginning of Greek Mythology talking about the Titans and eventually getting to Zeus's (whose father was the Titan Cronus) story. The story continues through Zeus defeating his father. O'Connor eludes to other books in the series in a couple places (like the story of Aphrodite) and there is a great Author Note at the end. I definitely recommend this one and hope the rest of the series is as fun as Zeus. I think this (and the rest of the series) would be a great introduction for any young readers who might be interested in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series but might need or want some background on Greek Mythology first. Or maybe a great complement along with reading the Percy Jackson series.
Source Disclosure: The publisher sent a copy of this to me.

This young adult memoir by David Small depicts his childhood in images (and a few words). David was subjected to repeated x-rays from his father (a radiologist) as a treatment for his sinus issues as a small child. All the exposure to radiation caused David to get cancer in his throat as a young teen and was subjected to an operation that left him with one vocal cord and a huge scar on his throat.

Though this is categorized as young adult and touted as a coming-of-age story, I would be hesitant to have anyone younger than 15 or 16 or so read it. Many parts of the story would be difficult for a young reader. David's parents lie to him about his cancer, he finds his mother in bed with another woman when he's fifteen, his grandmother tries to burn down her house with his grandfather inside, and I'm sure there's more that I can't remember off the top of my head. While this book sounds disturbing (and it is), it's also really interesting because of the graphic novel medium the author chose to use.
Source disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

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