Sunday, May 12, 2013

Can't Miss Graphic Novels for Kids

In honor of Mother's Day I am doing my least favorite genre - graphic novels!

Oh, I have found many that I actually enjoy, but in vetting graphic novels for the blog, I read quite a few duds.  Maybe I am just from another generation, but there are so many graphic novels out there where the story is hard to follow, or where the text is so small that I miss so much.  I admit it, I'm old!  However, when I do find a graphic novel that works, it is like getting a good prize in the Cracker Jacks box!

So here's to the best of a genre that I may find trying, but kids love them.  And in the end, getting kids excited about books is what it is all about.  So I will suffer through .... for you!

Book:       Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders

Author:    Michael Townsend

Target:     Grades 3-6

Series:      No

What this book is about:
Get a bag.  In it put comics, a love greek myths, quirky humor, bold and colorful illustrations and throw in some clever gags and a set of bunnies for good measure, shake, and you have the Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders.  Townsend has retold nine relatively famous greek myths in a humorous fashion, with just enough modern sensibilities to keep readers utterly engaged.  The basic stories stay true to the originals, and Townsend has not forgotten the moral at the end of every tale.

Why I love this book:
Townsend has made greek myths interesting and funny, even for kids who don’t think they care about greek myths.  Now that, my friends, is talent.  I enjoyed all of the stories, but even the few that weren’t necessarily my favorites, I was completely invested in seeing how he tackled them, and I was never disappointed.

I dare your kids not to enjoy this book, no I really do.  I double dog dare them!

Who this book is for:
Kids who like comics, Percy Jackson and a good chuckle.  Perhaps I have gone too far, because kids will actually have no idea they are learning something, so lets just go with kids who want a good laugh.

Final thoughts:
I hate the cover.  No one in my family picked this book up, until I shoved it into their hot little hands, and then forget about getting it back!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog, at no cost to you.  Yipee!

Title:       Stickman Odyssey

Author:   Christopher Ford

Target:    Grades 4-6

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Ok, here goes!  Zozimos is a stickman who is looking to return to his kingdom, Sticatha.  Along the way he tumbles into quest after quest, fighting golems and monsters, but never seems to get closer to his kingdom!

Why I love this book:
While I can’t say this book impressed the socks off of me, I did have to wait while all my kids read it before I got my turn!  It is quirky and more than a little silly, but I think that quite appealed to my brood.  It loosely (and I mean loosely) follows the story of Homer’s Odyssey.  The drawings are literally stick figures and lack any detail, but surprisingly they work with the story!

Who this book is for:
This book is especially good for reluctant readers.  It is fast and funny and the graphic novel format will appeal to them.  However, I am sure quite a few kids will enjoy this zany tale.  

Final thoughts:
This book definitely takes doodles to the next level!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Stickman Odyssey, Book 1: An Epic Doodle  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog, at no cost to you.  Yipee!

Title:       Crogan’s Vengeance

Author:   Chris Schweizer

Target:    Grades 7 and up

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
The Crogan family is widespread, and their adventures infamous.  In this book, we learn about “catfoot” Crogan, the pirate from the 1700’s.  He is faced with a moral dilemma when the ship he is sailing on is captured by pirates.  He becomes a pirate to save his skin, but will living by the “pirate code” be enough to ease his conscience?  The story is full of water battles, thunder storms and plunders.

Why I love this book:
This book is a lot of fun with action and adventure everywhere.  The fact that it also includes a bigger moral lesson simply makes it more substantial fare.  I love that throughout the book series we learn about the Crogans who were minute men in the civil war, gunfighters in the old west and private eyes in the 1950’s.   These books actually appeal to a teenage boy - imagine that!

The artwork is quite descriptive and the speech bubbles where big enough to read, although they may have detracted a bit from the pictures.  This is a swashbuckling tale where not all decisions are necessarily black and white, but I think kids will appreciate that.

Who this book is for:
I have targeted this book older because of some of the violence.  While I appreciate that none of it is drawn explicitly, it is inferred, so if you want a younger child to read this book, you need to be aware that it is there.  Also, kids who like Nathan Hale's Adventures will like these books.

Final thoughts:
My older son has read and reread all three books that have been released.  You don’t need to read them in order.  Their historical appeal is quite enticing!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon:Crogan's Vengeance (Crogan Adventures 1) (The Crogan Adventures) (Crogan's Adventures)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog, at no cost to you.  Yippe!

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