I totally loved this and almost wish it was a full length novel. I ordered it because it was recommended during conference I went to so I didn't knowI totally loved this and almost wish it was a full length novel. I ordered it because it was recommended during conference I went to so I didn't know much about it. I picked it up as I was cataloging and started to skim through it to see what I could tell kids about it. A period later I was done and checking to see if the second volume is out yet. (It's not by the way.) I can't wait to book talk this one.
The characters are great Seifer is struggling to do the best he can in this situation as well as stay true to what he believes. Cassie is a strong female character who is often rescuing Seifer. They are both smart and funny and great role models.
There isn't much else to say except I loved just about everything about it. The only thing that could have made it better was more details. It reminded me a lot of TenNapel's books in that way. With Pandemonium as with his books I found myself wishing it was a full length novel because I just wanted MORE! I would have lost out on the beautiful illustrations though.
Verdict: If graphic novels are popular in your library you should definitely pick this one up. I love giving people graphic novels like these to prove that they really do have substance and that they do have a place in libraries. If you are just growing your graphic novels section this would be a good book of substance to get your hands on.
Doug TenNapel is my graphic novel hero. His books are the ones I would use to argue the value of graphic novels to a non-believer. I know I've said thDoug TenNapel is my graphic novel hero. His books are the ones I would use to argue the value of graphic novels to a non-believer. I know I've said this before but it bears repeating, TenNapel perfects the blend between humor and heart. His characters are likeable and flawed.
Cam's father is a likeable guy. He is a good father and is doing the best with the hand he has been dealt. Cam is a good kid and Marcus though annoying and obnoxious is not a total loss. The characters are well developed and the story is interesting and thoughtful.
Verdict: TenNapels books are very popular in my library. I don't expect this one to be any different. ...more
I did not love this one as much as the first Unwanteds. The story picks up right after the end of Unwanteds and does not progress the story as much asI did not love this one as much as the first Unwanteds. The story picks up right after the end of Unwanteds and does not progress the story as much as I would like. I often have this problems with the second book in a trilogy. I did enjoy the story and the new mysteries but it just wasn't enough. I wanted to know more about Justine and Mr. Today. Where they came from and how did they come up with the vision of Quill? What made Mr. Today change his mind? I feel like a lot of those questions started to get answered but not enough to satisfy me. And what is with the silent people?
Verdict: Over all I enjoyed the book. It's already in the library and already being checked out by students read and loved the first one. I would be interested to see what they have to say about the sequel. ...more
I tried to imagine myself as a 13 year old boy reading this book. I'm pretty sure if I was it would be a four or five star book. As an adult I had toI tried to imagine myself as a 13 year old boy reading this book. I'm pretty sure if I was it would be a four or five star book. As an adult I had to give it three maybe two and half.
Noah is orphaned (small pox) in 1944 and is sent to live with his only living relative, his uncle. An uncle he didn't even know existed until Noah was on the train to meet him. Turns out Noah's uncle is part of a mostly unknown military outfit called the Phantoms. Phantoms are a skiing military unit in the mountains of Colorado. For Noah, from Texas and raised a pacifist, this a big change. He is forced to decide if he wants to go against everything he has ever known and train with the Phantoms or take his chances with an orphanage.
The Tenth Mountain Division was an actual outfit during World War II that fought in the mountains of Italy and helped turn the tides of the war there. Also interestingly enough from what I can tell (please someone confirm if you know) they are now stationed at Fort Drum. I had no idea and will be doing more research in the near future! This makes for an excellent selling point with boys in this area.
For the most part I enjoyed the book there were a few things that bothered me. First there was the end, I felt like the entire book was building to some great climax and when I got there it was over. Just like that. I had to read the last two or three pages three times before I figured out what happened. It was really disappointing. I wanted so much more from this book. I wanted to see how Noah reconciled his pacifist upbringing with the horrors of war he was now witnessing. I felt the same way about losing people. It's war, people die, but give me a chance to really mourn them.
Like I said it has the potential to be a big hit with young boy readers but for me it fell short emotionally. It was interesting learning about the training and learning to ski with guns and while shooting and being shot at. Noah is a likable character and so are the others in his outfit. They have some pretty crazy adventures which, according to the author, were pulled directly from actual events.
Verdict: My copy is already in the library. I book talked it and three boys fought over it. It hasn't come back yet with an "I don't like this. I can't read it."...more
When I was little I used to imagine as we were driving around that if we just took the right road, made just the right turn we would end up somewhereWhen I was little I used to imagine as we were driving around that if we just took the right road, made just the right turn we would end up somewhere magical. I was convinced my parents just didn't know the way. I would fantasize about when I learned how to drive because I just knew I could find it. There had to be some magical hidden world just underneath or beside ours.
In the land of Quill the journey is much more terrifying. When a child turns 13 in the land of Quill they are "sorted" into three categories. The Wanted, children who show exceptional promise and are to be sent to military school; The Necessary, children who will grow up and be essential to keeping the community running, farmers and factory workers; and the Unwanted, children who have at some point shown a spark of creativity. At some point in their 13 short years they have told a story, or drawn a picture, or even sang a song. Alex is one of those children with demerits for drawing in the mud he knows he will be an unwanted. He leaves his family and his twin brother Aaron, a wanted, behind and prepares to travel to his death. When he arrives he expects to be thrown into the lake of boiling oil but as it turns out he is whisked away to another world, a magical world where creativity is valued and even honored. Here in Artime with the other Unwanteds Alex learns to become and artist and even how to use magic. He is free to do and think pretty much as he pleases. Perfect place right? Except Alex misses his brother desperately and he believes that Aaron is trapped in the land of Quill and only wants to set him free. Revealing that he is still alive could risk everything in Artime and bring about a magical battle that could end both worlds.
The quote on the cover of this books says "Harry Potter meets the Hunger Games." How could I not pick it up? While I found it more Harry Potter than Hunger Games I still really enjoyed it. Although I'm not sure I would compare to Harry either. Yes they are both magical schools with infinite amounts of space and they both have a set of friends struggling to find their place. However the magic in Potter seems to be more of a science than an emotion. Because magic is based on imagination in this book it comes from a much more emotional place (in my mind anyway). Also can I say how much I love the idea of magic based on imagination. The characters are relatable if not always likeable. There can be a lot of repressed emotions when your family simply lets you be carted off to die. There is a little mystery, a touch of romance, and a lot of adventure. Definitely can see the appeal to middle grade readers.
The Verdict: My copy is already in the library and has been passed on to at least three students. I will be ordering the sequel in September with a couple more copies of the first. Also I still occasionally look for that magic road...I may never stop looking. ...more
Every year I take approximately 40 sixth graders to Washington, DC to see the capital. I picked up this book to learn a little more about the construcEvery year I take approximately 40 sixth graders to Washington, DC to see the capital. I picked up this book to learn a little more about the construction of the Washington Monument so that I can share with them accurate information. I will be making a cheat sheet from this book. The information was wonderful and pictures were beautiful. ...more
Every year I take approximately 40 sixth graders to Washington, DC. We travel to the monuments and museums and every year there are about 100 questionEvery year I take approximately 40 sixth graders to Washington, DC. We travel to the monuments and museums and every year there are about 100 questions about everything. I picked this one up off the shelf to learn a little more about the history of the Lincoln Memorial. I think I will make myself a little cheat sheet for next year with all the information I learned. Good resource but could use some updating. ...more
After reading Ghostopolis I was pleasantly surprised to find we had another Doug TenNapel book in our library. I wanted to see if all of his books werAfter reading Ghostopolis I was pleasantly surprised to find we had another Doug TenNapel book in our library. I wanted to see if all of his books were as interesting and wonderful as that one. I was not disappointed. Although I didn't like this one as much as Ghostopolis I still enjoyed it very much.
Reese and his family are forced on a family boating trip by his father when things go horribly wrong and a storm strands them on a seemingly deserted island. As they begin to explore the island they find it covered with strange creatures and a bug like monster chasing them around the island. It's up to Reese and his family to figure out how to get off the island before it catches up to them.
Once again I find that TenNapel has the amazing ability to find an amazing balance between humor and heart. In Bad Island he has perfectly captured the family dynamic of people who love each other but at the same time drive each other nuts. Sounds a lot like my family.
As with Ghostopolis I found myself wishing there was more so we could delve into the story and the characters more. I just found myself wanting more all around. ...more