Showing posts with label Graphic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graphic. Show all posts

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Student Saturday: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Student Reviewer:  Amari B.
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Realistic Fiction

This book is dramatically realistic fiction. It starts out with this girl named Callie who is in love with a boy named Greg. But, later in school when she is putting up fliers for the play...these two boys named Justin and Jesse are interested in the auditions for the play. Later in the story Justin has a confession to make. This book is a little bit confusing and weird to me. Let's say there is TONS OF DRAMA! I would recommend this book to drama makers and...certain...uh....people!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Student Saturday: Bogus by Karla Oceanak

Student Reviewer: Darrell S.
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic

Bogus is a funny book. I can sit there for hours and read this book. It's about a boy named Aldo Zelnick.  This is the sequel to the book "Artsy-Fartsy". The book "Bogus"  is about when Aldo, Jack and Bee find a ring. Aldo thought that the ring was super bogus. But, Jack thought it was real. When aldo had the ring he lost it. The next day there was an article in the newspaper. It turned out that the ring was real and someone had a $1,000 reward for whoever could find it. One of the best books ever. If you want to find out what happened, then I want you to read this book.

Teacher's Note:
This student was so into this series that his giggles and sharing with his neighbor, along with his, "You have GOT to read this Mrs. Stiles", prompted me to read Artsy Fartsy.  He was right, I loved it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Stereotypical Freaks - Howard Shapiro

Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Four disparate high school seniors come together to compete in their school's battle of the bands. Sharing a love for playing rock and roll, the members name the band "The Stereotypical Freaks" because they feel stereotyped by their classmates - smart kid, geek, star athlete and quiet weirdo… when in fact they know they are much more than those labels that have been placed on them.

When one member reveals life altering news, winning the competition takes on more of a meaning to each member. Scared and angry, upset and yet still with a lot of resolve they set out to win one for the good guys… will they?

My Thoughts:
Howard Shapiro has made me a lover of graphic novels.  At least I can say I love his graphic novels.   I don't read a lot of graphic novels.  I would read his non-stop. My students keep them circulating.  In The Stereotypical Freaks we meet four teens who seem to be so different, but are really more alike than they know.  Music is what brings them all together and shows them how similar they are.  Tom is the nerdy one. He tutors his former best friend Mark. Dan is his newest best friend. Dan has issues with his dad. Dan and Tom have a band.  Dan wants them to enter the Battle of the Bands. the problem is that they need a drummer and a guitar player.  This is where Mark and Jacoby enter.  Jacoby is fairly new at the school. They end up forming the band The Stereotypical Freaks.  Jacoby is the motivator in this group.  When you read the story you learn that he is the person who you would expect to have legitimate reasons for being depressed.  The story is about true friendship and healing relationships.  The lessons are those that teens need to hear.  It is not preachy at all.  I would say it is very real.  That is why my students like his books. They can relate to them. One thing I found extremely cool was at the introduction of each chapter there was a list of songs to listen to while reading that particular chapter.  My students were shocked that I knew some of them.  Definitely one of my favorite books of the year. I had just finished it in the class when a student said, "Can I check it out now?" There are now three others in line for it. They know a good book when they see it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Student Saturday: Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi

Student Reviewer: Luis O.

Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: My teacher recommended this book to me because it’s an easy graphic novel

This book started with a little girl finding a white doll in a box that said, “I’m made of wax and very small I’ll be your friend, not just a doll. Keep me out of the sun and we’ll be fine. What’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine”

The doll does all the little girl’s chores and starts to look like her until she’s 100% her. The doll draws on walls and her mother thinks it was her, but it was the doll. The girl chases the doll outside and the doll melts. There are a lot of stories like this one in this book I recommend this to people who like different stories talking about the same thing (the mystery box).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro

Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Graphic Novel
Source:  I received a copy to help facilitate my review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

This Book will be released October 14, 2014

Blurb from Goodreads:
Twenty-one year old Jeremiah Jacobson is the world's best hockey player, but he wasn't prepared for the frenzy and scrutiny that came with that title. Tom Leonard is an average college sophomore... just a guy trying to find his place in the world as he sorts through issues that are both very real and seemingly insurmountable. 

Through a chance meeting, these two strike up an unlikely friendship. Their bond is tested when Tom discovers that his idol isn't as perfect up close as he seems from afar. With Jeremiah living a little too much in the moment and with his past catching up to him, will Tom be able to help him before it's too late?

My Thoughts:
At first I wasn't sure about this graphic Novel. The storyline was great.  It depicted a story of a young college kid who meets the hockey great Jeremiah Jacobson.  What he finds is not the self-absorbed, stuck up player that is so often portrayed on the news.  Instead he has discovered that Jeremiah has a secret hidden life.  He has kept it out of the limelight because he doesn't want people to think he does the things he does for the publicity. He truly has a heart of gold.  Unfortunately there are river rats that are always trying to bring someone down. They look for the dirt on those who are in the limelight.  Jeremiah has two major problems. As an athlete he smokes and drinks too much.  The message in this book is clear.  Don't idolize those who are just like you.  They may have a job you wish you had but they are still just like you.  You both put your pants on the same way, one leg at a time.  For me this was worth putting on my shelves for the message.

About the Author:
Howard Shapiro has also written four children's books. The Stereotypical Freaks, the first book in the Forever Friends Trilogy won the 2013 Best Graphic Novel Award at the eFestival of Independent Books and it was also a finalist for the Young Adult Library Services Association's Great Graphic Novel for Teens Award. Hockey Player for Life has been the off and on #1 downloaded children's hockey e-book on Amazon's Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011. His first children's hockey book, Hockey Days, was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Magazine Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children.

Where you can find him:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Student Saturday: Bone - Jeff Smith

The opinions expressed in this review are those of my student Rodshon

Bone was set in a dessert in ancient times.  Bartleby is the main character of Bone.  He's a very large bone with a long neck and nose.  Bartleby complained continuously about the hot and dry weather in the desert. Roque Ja is a purple rat-like creature with big ears and big eyes.  Roque Ja is very quiet and sensitive.  The last character is Rock Jaw a male lion with a bad attitude.  Rock Jaw was always picked on by bartleby and Rock Jaw because he didn't have a mane like most male lions.

The main plot of Bone is about two friends, Bartleby and Roque Ja pick on Rock Jaw the lion.  Rock Jaw does not have a mane and the two friends call him a little girl.  Rock Jaw 's feelings are hurt.  He plans on hurting them by eating them.  Because everyone knows a lion can kill a rat and a bone.  The story is about the lion attempting to eat Bartleby and Roque ja and for them to find different ways to survive.
The connection I made with this book was thinking about different times when people who I thought were my friends called me names.  It is not a good feeling.  I try hard to be a good friend and not call people names.  If I was in the situation like Rock Jaw I would just ignore them and be friends with people who deserve my friendship.  I would recommend this book to people or students who have issues with bullying.  They may be a bully or have been bullied in the past because it can make them see they are not the only one getting picked on.
My opinion of the book Bone it's funny but at the same time a learning experience.  It exceeded my expectations because I never thought this story could be this serious and important.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The First Escape - G.P. Taylor

Publisher:  Tyndale
Pages:  288

Genre:  Young Adult, Graphic Adventure

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher through NetGalley

This is the first book in the Dopple Ganger series by G.P. Taylor.  The main characters are twins Saskia and Sadie Dopple and Erik Morrisey Ganger.  They have been left at Isambard Dunstan’s School for Wayward Children.  Sadie and Saskia are troublemakers with a capital T.  They seem to be spurred on by Erik.  The person in charge of the school, Miss Rimmer wants the girls gone.  When Muzz Elliott, a famous novelist and benefactor to the school comes in with plans to adopt an heir, Miss Rimmer seizes her chance to get rid of one of the girls.  Saskia is chosen and whisked away.  Erik and Sadie run away to try to locate Saskia and rescue her.  Saskia finds herself facing many challenges while living with Muzz Elliott.  Saskia is comforted by someone named Madam Raphael who keeps telling her that she can call on “The Companion” when she needs help.  The author has used  Madame Raphael and  the companion to bring a light Christian theme into the book.  I was given the opportunity to review the second book for Tyndale and after doing so decided I needed to read book number one.  I at first looked at this series because my students love graphic novels.  I on the other hand don’t care for them.  When I looked at these I found that they were a mixture of novel and graphics that balanced each other out quite nicely.  I will definitely buy the physical book to add to my shelves and will recommend this to anyone who likes a good adventure and especially to those who  love graphic novels.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Great Mogul Diamond - G.P. Taylor

Publisher: Tyndale
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult Graphic Adventure
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Read For:  What's in a Name Challenge

In this third book in the Dopple Ganger Series we find Saskia and Sadie living with Muzz Elliott.  After over- hearing a phone conversation they determine that someone is trying to blackmail Muzz.  They call and get Erik and Dorcus Potts involved.  While Muzz takes the girls to France on what she calls a vacation, Dorcus and Erik head to France by car.  It is obvious someone doesn’t want them to get there.  But, Why?  Muzz is confronted with crimes that seem to have been taken right from her books.  The girls and Erik must find out who is blackmailing Muzz to steal The Great Mogul diamond before it is too late.  Once again we find the  three kids coming to the rescue with help from Madame Raphael and a man in a pin striped suit.  I look forward to reading the last three books in this series as they come out.  They are good enough to hold my attention.  If you check Amazon it says they are for ages 9 – 12.  I say they are better suited for 12 and up.  I’ve heard many adults say they love them as much as their kids do.  I recommend it whole heartedly as a fun, adventurous, clean book, with a Christian theme.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Secret of Indigo Moon – G.P. Taylor

Publisher:  Salt River
Pages:  304
Source:  Book provided by Tyndale in exchange for my own honest review
Genre:  Middle Grade/Young Adult Graphic Mystery

Book Summary:

From best-selling author G.P. Taylor comes the highly anticipated second installment of The Dopple Ganger  Chronicles, a series that combines art and traditional text to help “reluctant reader” discover the wonder of books.  Erik Morissey Ganger, famed explorer and detective (well, in his dreams, and his mischief-making sidekicks, twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple, didn’t go looking for a secret tunnel beneath the school.  They never intended to make acquaintance of a shifty private eye with a nose for trouble.  It wasn’t part of the plan to come face to face with an old enemy, one with an agenda of his own that could destroy them all.  And unraveling the “secret of indigo moon” was the farthest thing from their minds.  At Isambard Dunstan’s School for Wayward Children, these things just seem to happen.  IN the Secret of Indigo Moon, confirmed troublemakers Erik, Sadie and Saskia plunge headlong into a new and perilous mystery, one that challenges everything they thought they knew about their lives, themselves, and who it’s safe to trust.

My Review:

I must say right up front I am not a big fan of graphic novels.  Because I’m always trying to find ways to get my students to read; and because my students love graphic novels, I decided to give this book a try.  I am glad I did.  For me so many graphic novels are more pictures than words.  This series has a great balance of both.  This is the second book in the Dopple Ganger Chronicle.  Erik Morissey Ganger and twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple find themselves once more in the thick of things.  They have another mystery to solve.  In this book they must face a enemy they met in the first book “The First Escape”.  With the help of Madame Raphael they may just have a chance of surviving and solving the mystery.  This series will go on my shelves and I will talk it up and recommend it to all of my students.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bogus - Karla Oceanak

Publisher:  Bailiwick Press
Pages:  160
Source:  Copy from publisher
Genre:  Middle Grade, Graphic Novel

As a teacher I know that one thing my students hate is vocabulary.  This book is the perfect answer.  It shows them that vocabulary doesn't have to be boring.  It can actually be fun.  Aldo is given a second sketch book from his Grandma Goosy.  He begins to fill it with his drawings, adventures and most importantly to me his fabulous "B" vocabulary words.  In this story Aldo and his best friend
Jack find a diamond ring in the gutter while playing kick the rock.  Aldo throws it back because he thinks it is fake.  Jack retrieves it.  Then Aldo loses it and learns it is real.  Now he is on a mission to find the ring.  I didn't read the first book in the series "Artsy Fartsy".  I will however purchase the first one and the next one "Cahoots".  I know the perfect students to recommend this book to.  This is a book that kids who like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" will enjoy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up - Drew Aquilina

Publisher:  Five Star Publication, Inc. (September 4, 2010)
Source:  Bostick communications for review

This book had two things I really enjoyed, comics and an educational look at our environment without letting people know they are being educated.  Drew Aquilina has created four memorable characters with their own personality.  They share their lives with each other in a pond.
We are introduced to Iggy a turtle who is laid back with an obsession for waxing his shell with "turtle wax" of course.  He is constantly being "bugged" by Radic the dragonfly.  This was the only character I didn't like.  I kept thinking about what a pest he was to everyone and wondering why someone didn't eat him.  His ideas usually created more problems for Iggy and he seemed only to think of himself.  Roc the raccoon was the fun character.  He parties hard and goes dumpster diving making it seem like he eats at five star restaurants. He was the spice to this pond.  My favorite character however, was Cabby the frog.  As a  young tadpole exposed to pollution, his legs didn't develop properly.  However, his brain was supersized.  He has a scientific mind and tries to solve all kinds of problems in the pond. 
Mr. Aquilina has created a good mix of characters and takes us through the four seasons in this, his first book.  I enjoyed other aspectsof the book such as the humor when we see a bear darted for gettng into the garbage cans.  We find out about a controversy linking birds to dinosaurs through the G.P.T.V. Public Access channel.  We don't really think about how animals feel when we dart them and then fit them with a radio colar until the opposite happens and the human is collared by the animal.
  This is a book that I can't wait to share with students and recommend to all of my adult friends.  I look forward reading more by this author.  I would recommend you check out his site at:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime by Mizuke Nomura

I came about reading this book in a strange way.  A student in one of my after school classes said he had a book for me to read and that I needed to write a review of it and give it back to him.  I read the book and then learned that his mother, who works at a coffee/book shop was given the book to read and gave it to her son to read and he didn't think he would like it so he gave it to me to read.  If you followed all of that then maybe you can get through my review.

From the back of the book:
"The Book Girl Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "deavouring a good book".  In this fun, charming fantasy novel series about the wonders of the written word.

For Touko Amano, a third-year high school student and self styled book girl, being the head of the literary club is more than just an extra curricular activity.  It's her bread and butter....literally!  Touko is actually a literature gobbling demon, who can be found at all hours of the day munching on torn out pages from all kinds of books.  But for Touko, the real delicacies are hand written stoeries.  To satisfy her gourmet tastes, she's employed (rather borwbeaten) one Konoha Inoue who scribbles away each day after school to satisfy Touko's appetite.  But when another student comes knocking on the literary club door for advice on writing love letters, will touko discover a new kind of delicacy?"

My response to the book:
This was my first Japanese story and at first I was a little confused. Somewhere about the half-way point I decided the book was pretty good.
We are led to believe that Konoha despises writing because he sees himself as fake.  So I kept wondering why he kept writing.  When Touko Tells Chia Takeda that Konoha will write love letters for her he goes along with the plan instead of standing up for himself.  The farther you got into the book the more it reminded me of nesting dolls with one mystery inside another mystery.  This is a book I enjoyed once I got used to the  writing style.  Would I purchase this book for myself?  Probably not.  It is not a genre I really care for.  And CC if you are reading this review, I hope it gives you enough information to decide whether you want to read it for yourself or not.

Friday, June 19, 2009

First Graphic Novel

Today's reading was light. I am on antibiotics due to an infections from eye surgery. I managed to read my very first graphic novel. I can see where this can have great benefits for my students, especially my non-English speaking students. The Book was called Owly: A Time To Be Brave. It is about an owl and his friends who learn that you should not be afraid of what you
don't understand. I will buy more graphic novels for my students in the future. I will however rely on other readers to make suggestions. I love words and found it difficult just looking at the pictures and trying to piece it all together when I know in my mind I should see words. Over all I gave the book a 5 and will put it on my shelf at school.