Sunday, October 13, 2013

Graphic Novels Your Kids Won't Put Down

It's time for new graphic novels!  This week I have some fun ones.  First off, the Nathan Hale series has a new addition which is just as good as the last two.  This guy doesn't miss a step.

Of course, Jeffrey Brown, author of the very cute Darth Vader and Son book has expanded his repetoire and ventured into the graphic novel/diary arena with Jedi Academy.  Nice to know that all that Star War's trivia your child has amassed will come in handy when they get caught up in this new series.

And in keeping with an intergalactic theme, there is a new graphic novel where Earthlings are the most feared creatures in the universe.  Ha!  I know my kids think I'm scary, but now apparently the universe knows it too!

I am aware that some parents worry about giving their kids graphic novels, but I am a firm believer that the only way your child will get better at reading is actually reading.  Kids enjoy these books and in the case of Nathan Hale, they present historical material that a child might consider boring, in a way that captures their attention and draws them into a significant moment in time.  Graphic novels are part of a "diet" of books that your kids should be consuming.  Believe it or not, as they gain confidence their appetitite for more challenging fare will increase, although we all still need a little comic relief from time to time!

Don't forget to "like" One Great Book on Facebook or Twitter for more comics, I mean graphic novels, that will keep your child with a book in their hands.

Title:       Donner Dinner Party

Author:   Nathan Hale

Target:    Grades 4-8

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
As the name would imply, and I absolutely love the name, this is about the Donner Party.  The Donner Party was a group of families, traveling by wagon from Illinois, who set out in 1846 looking for new opportunities in California.  They decided to take an untested shortcut through Utah and Nevada, which left them trapped in the snow of the Sierra Nevada during the winter.  Lack of food and sickness caused many of them to parish, and the remaining pioneers had to eat the remains of their fallen family members to survive.

Why I love this book:
Nathan Hale does it again.  If you are unfamiliar with his other books, he is taking on famous events in American history and using a graphic novel format to make history come alive for kids.  In his other books, One Dead Spy and Big Bad Ironclad, he recounts the  story of the actual spy Nathan Hale in the Revolutionary War,  as well as the clash of the ironclads in the Civil War.

Hale’s use of humor, his ability to create unique and engaging characters and his clever graphics engage the reader making these retellings of famous events just wonderful.  While the Donner party could be a relatively gruesome tale, in Hale’s hands he treats it with understanding and tact (and just the right amount of humor.)

Who this book is for:
This book is great for kids who like history, but, I think it is also wonderful for kids who haven’t shown an interest in this area.  He makes history fun and memorable and for kids who just don’t get why this subject is so great, they may have a new appreciation for history after Nathan Hale’s books.

Final thoughts:
I can’t say enough good stuff about this series.  Especially for boys, it is a must read.

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Author:   Jeffrey Brown

Target:    Grades 3-6

Series:     This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about:
Roan has wanted to go to Pilot academy since as long as he can remember.  His dad is a pilot and his brother is training to be a pilot.  When his application is rejected and it is recommended that he go the Agricultural Academy, Roan is less than thrilled.  However he receives a last minute reprieve when Yoda (yes, that Yoda) requests that he become a Jedi.  Since he is the oldest “new” kid at Jedi Academy,  where most students begin when they are toddlers, he is a little behind.  But as he finds friends and his place, the Jedi Academy begins to feel more and more like home.

Why I love this book:
This is a fun book that uses a kid’s love of Star Wars to get them into a story that deals with failure, determination and friendship.   While this book certainly has funny moments (I caught my 6th grader laughing out loud several times) it is not a comic romp.  The book actually has more substance and given the author’s other two books, Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess, I have to say I was surprised.  It did take a little while to adjust given my expectations.

Who this book is for:
Kids who love Star Wars will enjoy the clever references in the story.  I must admit that I probably missed quite a few as I am far from an aficionado!  I also think kids who like the format of Diary of Wimpy Kid will like this book.  The comic/notebook style of presenting the story will appeal to them.

Final thoughts:
You won’t have to “force” your kids to read this one.  My sad, pathetic attempt at Star War’s humor!

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: Star Wars: Jedi Academy  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Earthling

Author:   Mark Fearing

Target:    Grade 3-6

Series:     No

What this book is about:
When Bud moves to a new town and gets on the wrong school bus, his life is changed forever.  Turns out this bus goes to outer space, or more specifically the Cosmos Academy, where Earthlings are the most feared creatures in the universe.  But thanks to a new friend Gort, who helps him blend in, he manages to hide his true identify.  The only problem will be finding his way back home.

Why I love this book:
This book is just a lot of fun.  The full color graphics make it visually appealing and the pictures successfully move the story along, without being confusing.

There is an amazing amount included in this story.  This story has adventure, friendship, action and humor, as well as the invention of a new sport, Zero Ball.  Kids will immediately get caught up  in Bud’s situation, as he is a very relatable character.

Who this book is for:
Fun book for kids who like graphic novels.  Kids who liked Zita the Spacegirl will probably really enjoy this story.

Final thoughts:
A well done graphic novel which will really capture a child’s attention

To purchase this book from Amazon, click on the following link: Earthling  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great list, thank you for publishing it. As an author of a graphic novel series for children, I like to share other well-thought of books with my friends and fans. Education combined with a sense of adventure is my key as an author, and I like to stay in good company with that. Thank you!