In the near future, scientists have discovered how to genetically engineer babies not to require sleep, resulting in highly intelligent, rational chil...moreIn the near future, scientists have discovered how to genetically engineer babies not to require sleep, resulting in highly intelligent, rational children called “Sleepless.” Leisha is one of the Sleepless. Although she has a happy childhood, as she begins to mature she realizes that her place in the world is much more complex than she expects. “Sleepers” unable to compete, treat Leisha and her kind with jealousy, and disgust. Is there a way for the Sleepers and Sleepless to find peace? How can you create a society based on equality when all people are not, technically, created equal?
Beggars in Spain is the September selection for calico_reaction's bookclub on livejournal. I was a little skeptical about it first, but I'm glad that I picked it up, because I ended up falling in love with Leisha's story. Beggars in Spain is an intelligent novel about a woman struggling to find equality in a world of genetically engineered inequality. It's about judging people on their individual productivity, while still paying attention to the “beggars in Spain” or people that cannot be productive. Throughout the book as Leisha shapes and reshapes her personal philosophies, the reader is right there with her, trying to find answers in an increasingly complex world.
Beggars in Spain is divided into four sections that take place over eighty years of time. During this time you encounter a large variety of characters, watch them grow from birth to old age, and are able to see their impact on the world. This allows us to cover a lot of territory in one book. Under a lesser writer, covering so many characters and concepts could result in the entire cast feeling undeveloped, playing second fiddle to the author's big ideas. I did not find that this was the case here in Beggars in Spain, as I really enjoyed getting to know the characters. Outside of Leisha, the character that fascinated me the most was actually the main villain. As the book continues, she ends up doing some pretty awful things, but she is so rational about it in her thought process, that you can almost see where she's coming from. I also enjoyed the character Alice, who is Leisha's Sleeper twin sister, and watching the different paths their lives took as a result of their differing statues.
Beggars in Spain is a fascinating sci-fi book that will really get you thinking. It is also the first book in a trilogy. I am very curious as to where the series will go next, as the author has already covered so much ground in book one. I will pick up the second book, Beggars and Choosers, soon. (less)
One Leaf Rides the Wind is a short collection of haikus written by Celeste Davidson Mannis, and accompanied by illustrations by Susan Kathleen Hartung...moreOne Leaf Rides the Wind is a short collection of haikus written by Celeste Davidson Mannis, and accompanied by illustrations by Susan Kathleen Hartung. The story takes place in a Japanese garden. It tells the story of a little girl learning how to count, by counting the plants, animals, statues, and other objects around her. As a result, this book is not only a way to teach children about haikus, but also counting as well. Telling the story in Haiku's is a very appropriate choice. Not only is it appropriately Japanese, but the short and memorable form will be easier for young children to catch on to. At the bottom of each page are facts about Japanese culture, and the back of the book has more information on haikus and Japanese gardens. It's not a requirement to read these, especially the first time around, but they are very informative. The illustrations, which feature a young Japanese girl, accurately depict koi ponds, pagodas, an temple dogs, among other things. The illustrations can be quite calm at times, and then very lively the next. The young girl has a friendly demeanor about her, making her accessible to young children.
The second Red String Omnibus collects several hundred pages of the webcomic Red String. A new year has started. Miharu has transferred to a prestigio...moreThe second Red String Omnibus collects several hundred pages of the webcomic Red String. A new year has started. Miharu has transferred to a prestigious new high school, giving her a glimpse at Kazuo's privileged life. Reika and Eiji have remained at Fuyuzono high, Miharu's absence giving them a chance to grow closer. And Fuuko has moved to Tokyo, where she must begin anew once more. Unfortunately, the trails they face this time around will be much more challenging, and heartbreaking, then before.
The chapters collected in the vol 2 of the Red String Omnibus are some of the strongest in the entire series. Creator, Biggs is not afraid to make some risky moves. This is first seen in the decision to transfer Miharu to another school, and in a later twists that had me gasping when I was originally reading the comic. I remember staying up until after midnight, just so I could catch the latest page. I needed to see what was going to happen next! Some of these twists may not be appreciated by all, but I really think they make the comic stronger.
On top of really strong writing, volume two also has some of the strongest artwork of the series as well. We get to meet a lot of new characters in these chapters and Biggs does a great job of giving them all unique looks and styles. The omnibus also contains additional bonus material. My favorite would have to be the Actor's Dressing Room scenes, which re-imagines the comic as a TV show, and asks what would happen to the actors once the cameras stopped rolling.
If you're a fan of the webcomic Red String, I would highly recommend picking up this Omnibus. There is to be a third and final Omnibus of the series, but no release date has been set yet. I believe Gina will be setting up a kickstarter for it near the end of 2013 for all interested.(less)
One thing should be obvious to fans of the Dresden Files by the time they get to Small Favor: Harry does not get any time to relax. In this book, the...moreOne thing should be obvious to fans of the Dresden Files by the time they get to Small Favor: Harry does not get any time to relax. In this book, the tenth in the series, Harry doesn’t even get five pages of calm before he’s attacked by strange creatures from faerie. Harry does a little digging and discovers that he’s been targeted by the summer court, and the Summer Queen has sent out none other than the Billy Goats Gruff to take him down (note: they’re a lot tougher than that sounds). Harry’s life is further complicated when the Winter Queen, Mab, calls in the second favor he owes her. His new task is to find and rescue kidnapped gangster Johnnie Marcone. As Harry digs deeper into this new case, he finds that things are more difficult than he suspects when he learns that he’s not only up against the Gruff but Fallen Angels as well.
The best way to describe Small Favor would be fast paced. We get thrown into the action right in the beginning and the story does not let up much for its 400+ page length. The thing I enjoyed the most about this particular volume was the fact that so many of my favorite characters return. We get to see Sanya, the Russian Knight of the Cross, Kincaid the Mercenary, and Ivy the Archive among many others. We also get satisfying development on certain underlying plotlines (one, as you can probably tell from above, Harry paying off the second favor he owes Mab). One thing I did not expect was a small romantic subplot involving Harry and a particular female character. This added a nice spice to the novel. Still, Small Favor is not all fun and games. With Harry up against some of the biggest bads of the series, a few characters that have seemed untouchable up until now get hit very hard. I’ll be interested to see how these developments impact future books in the series.
Small Favor is probably one of my favorite of the Dresden Files, with only Summer Knight and Blood Rites ranking above it. I eagerly look forward to Turn Coat, the eleventh book in the series, which is set to be released this April.(less)
At the age of sixteen, Grace Marks, a maid, was convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress. She was sentenced to live the rest of her life b...moreAt the age of sixteen, Grace Marks, a maid, was convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress. She was sentenced to live the rest of her life behind bars, but retains no memory of the actual event. Years later, Dr. Simon Jordan enters her life, and is determined to discover if Grace is sane or insane, and if there is any way that he can help her break through her wall of amnesia to recover her lost memories. At his bidding, Grace begins to tell the story of her life, from her childhood in Ireland, to her immigration to Canada, to her eventual employment and the murders that came after.
Alias Grace is the third novel that I have read by Margaret Atwood (the first two being The Handmaid's Tale, and The Blind Assassin). It is the first that I have read not to feature any science fiction elements. The result is a stunning work of historical fiction, a creepy Gothic novel based on the life of a real person (Grace Marks) convicted of murder in 1843. Although it's a very different story than The Handmaid's Tale or The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace touches on many similar themes. For one, it is very focused on the lives of women and the challenges they face due to their specific time frame. Reading Alias Grace made me feel very fortunate that I didn't happen to be born anytime close to 1843, given the limited opportunities for women like Grace, the harsh punishments delivered for honest mistakes, and the poor treatment from most of the men. Grace Marks is a great protagonist that you cannot help but feel for during her journey, as are many of the others characters you meet along the way.
Like the previous works I have read by Atwood, Alias Grace is written with an impressive amount of skill. I had to pause several times and just linger over the beauty of her words. Another aspect that I ended up enjoying about the novel is that Atwood wasn't afraid to keep things vague when they needed to be. Not everything is spelled out for us. At the beginning of the book there's a satisfying amount of mystery. Is Grace a murderer? Is she insane? Can we trust what she tells Simon? Over the book, Atwood does an impressive job of slowly building a fascinating story, filled with a twist or two that had me gasping aloud (much to the amusement of my fiance). I enjoyed the fact that by the end of the book, that Atwood wasn't afraid to still keep a few things vague. Instead of feeling unfinished, it was surprisingly satisfying, as if she left it up to the readers to make up their own minds.
Alias Grace is a beautifully written work of historical fiction by a talented author. Although it doesn't have any of the science fiction aspects of The Handmaid's Tale or The Blind Assassin, that doesn't make it any less insightful or entertaining. I happy that I decided to pick up this novel, and am planning on reading more works by her in the future.(less)
With Cubs in Toyland, Fables hits its eighteenth volume with one of it's strongest storylines yet. Most of the graphic novel consists of a six issue a...moreWith Cubs in Toyland, Fables hits its eighteenth volume with one of it's strongest storylines yet. Most of the graphic novel consists of a six issue arc the focuses on the cubs, mainly Therese and Dare. The Cubs in Toyland Arc is probably the darkest in the series yet, especially given that these dark moments involve children. As a result, I suspect your enjoyment of this storyline is highly dependent on your ability to stomach such dark moments. I, personally, thought they did a great job with this one. Cubs in Toyland really fleshes out the characters of Therese and Dare who, up until this moment, have just kinda seemed like brats. I really appreciated the sort of undercurrent of dread that's present in the earlier issues of the arc. You know that something is wrong about Toyland, and Willingham does a great job of ramping up the tension. Artist Mark Buckingham also deserves credit for crafting the eerie landscape of Toyland, and the wide variety of creepy toys that Therese and Dare encounter.
The graphic novel ends with a story that takes us into both the future and past of Fabletown, giving us another glimpse of Bigby during his Big Bad Wolf era. "The Destiny Game" features fantastic artwork by Gene Ha and is truly a treat to read.
If you've made it this far in the series, I would highly recommend picking up Cubs in Toyland.(less)
After seeing this book pop up on several "Best of 2013 Lists," I knew that it was finally time to read it. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a beaut...moreAfter seeing this book pop up on several "Best of 2013 Lists," I knew that it was finally time to read it. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a beautiful little fairy tale of a novel, the story of a seven year old boy who discovers that there are darker, magical things, hidden beneath the mundane. Despite the fact that it's not even 200 pages (which makes me wonder if it's actually more of a novella then novel), The Ocean of the End of the Lane is just filled with emotion. Filled with simple, but lovely writing, the novel eschewed the bigger storylines than can be fond in some of Gaiman's other adult novels (such as American Gods), and instead delivers a story which feels intensely personal.
There's a lot I enjoy about this book. For one, I found the protagonist (who never gets a name) to be incredibly likable. As a formerly bookish child, it's hard not to see a little piece of myself in this seven-year-old boy that gets along better with books then other children. At the same time, it's clear that he's far braver than I ever was (or, probably every will be). Yes, he gets scared, but there were moments when I was quite impressed at his actions. I also loved how the novel, despite the fact that it takes place in the 60s, often felt like a classic fairy tale. This can be found it's fantastic balance of innocence and darkness. Older versions of fairy tales were often dark and dreadful, and this books ability to switch between light/dark moments is done very skillfully.
You might raise your eyebrow at a hardcover price for such a tiny book, but it's one of those rare books that are really worth every penny, despite it's length. I'd recommend getting this book for the fantasy fan on your Christmas shopping list this year.(less)
On her first day of becoming Lady Saren’s maid, Dashti learns that her new mistress has refused to marry a powerful man. For punishment, both Saran an...moreOn her first day of becoming Lady Saren’s maid, Dashti learns that her new mistress has refused to marry a powerful man. For punishment, both Saran and Dashti are to be locked in a tower for seven years. Saren immediately falls into depression, and later, madness, but Dashti, who grew up in poverty cannot help but rejoice in the fact that she will be able to eat three whole meals a day for seven years. But as time passes, their food storage is depleted well before it’s time due to a rat infestation and Saren’s hungry stomach. Even the ever positive Dashti cannot keep her spirits up. She knows that if they don’t find a way out soon, both of them will die.
I’ve always enjoyed Shannon Hale’s book. She has a wonderful, beautiful way of writing that is simple yet elegant, much like the fairy tales which her books are often based on. Book of a Thousand Days is roughly based on Maid Maleen, a little known brother’s Grimm tale about a noble woman and her maid who are locked in a tower for seven years. Shannon Hale diverges a lot from the original tale, first by choosing to tell the story from the maid’s point of view. This is a very good decision. Dashti is an amazingly likable character. One can’t help but admire her for her courage and ability to see the best in every situation. It’s a joy to watch her develop from a very innocent peasant girl, to, by the books end, a hero. The diary format in which she tells her tale is quite intimate, and draws the reader in right away. I typically don’t cry during books, but I got quite teary eyed when Dashti reflected on how she felt when she lost her mother.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was its unique setting. The Eight Realms is based on Mongolia. I have never seen a fantasy book based here before. The author gives us plenty of details about its history, food, folklore, and other aspects of its culture, and she does so without bogging down the narrative with details. One thing I liked was the mucker healer songs, which are simple, almost nonsensical songs that have the ability to help heal physical or mental pain. Shannon Hale has used songs in her past book, the Princess Academy, as well. One has to wonder if she has an interest in music, or the power of songs.
I highly recommend Book of a Thousand Days to those who are looking for a well written fantasy tale, set in a unique setting, with a satisfying ending. (less)
When Katie's parents receive new jobs, their family is forced to move from their home in Iowa to Georgia. One of the few Japanese-Americans in town du...moreWhen Katie's parents receive new jobs, their family is forced to move from their home in Iowa to Georgia. One of the few Japanese-Americans in town during the 1950s, they struggle at first to fit in. The largest challenge of all comes when Lynn, Katie's older sister and idol, becomes gravely ill. Kira-Kira is a sometimes bright, sometimes sad book about sisterhood and family. The reader will quickly warm up to the likable Takeshima family, especially Kaite and Lynn's humorous uncle. Katie herself is a complex heroine, who admits that she has a habit for being “bad” but still deeply cares about her family. Kira-Kira touches on many issues of the time, such as racism and labor disputes at the factories where Katie's parents work, but the crux of the story is Katie's relationship with Lynn. When the book opens, young Katie views her older sister with a kind of hero worship, and even as things come between them, whether that be boys or disease, nothing can break Katie's devotion to her sister. When it comes to Lynn's disease, the book is not afraid to descend to some darker territory that parents may not feel that their children are ready to encounter. For all of the sad moments of story, the novel does end of a note of hope. Kira-kira is a beautifully written story about family, poverty and loss that will make the reader laugh and cry.
For the longest time, Flycatcher (aka The Frog Prince) was simply the janitor for the Woodland Building. But before that, he lived in the Homelands as...moreFor the longest time, Flycatcher (aka The Frog Prince) was simply the janitor for the Woodland Building. But before that, he lived in the Homelands as Prince Ambrose, a man who lost both his wife and children to the Adversary. Flycatcher has lived for years with these memories erased from his mind, but now he has been given them back, and finds himself overwhelmed with grief. That is until a gallant knight emerges and shows Flycatcher how he can strike back at the Adversary.
The Good Prince is the tenth volume in the Fables trade paperbacks, and I found it to be the most satisfying volume in the series since March of the Wooden Soldiers. The Good Prince marks Fables as it's most epic, most heroic, and dare I say optimistic, as it follows Ambrose on his quest to cripple the Adversary without shedding any blood. There are definitely shades of classic Arthurian Legends in this tale, so it makes sense that one of the new characters to be featured in this arc would be a classic Arthurian figure. To be honest, I don't want to spoil too much about the direction of this volume, because I really enjoyed getting surprised at some of the places it went. What I can tell you is we visit someplace completely new, and revisit old characters that we'd thought we'd never see again.
I've always enjoyed Mark Buckingham's art style but where it really shines is when it needs to show something on a grand scale. Fortunately for Buckingham, this volume features several epic battle sequences where he can show off these talents. There were a handful of large, double pages spreads where Buckingham really did a good job of showing the grad scope of Ambrose's surroundings, or the the terrifying spectacle that is the Adversary's armies. The Good Prince has a bit of an intermission, a single issue story called The Birthday Secret that focuses on the cubs back on the Farm. This art style (drawn by Aaron Alexovich) is much more cutesy and does a good job of setting the tone for this more lighthearted tale.
Final Thoughts: The Good Prince is Fables at it's best. We're neck deep into the Adversary storyline now and the developments here will certainly change the world of Fables in major ways. I really enjoyed at how Bill Willingham took Flycatcher, whom most people would just see as a throwaway character, and really developed him into someone worth caring about, giving him one of the best arcs of the series. The fantastic story combined with the fantastic art certainly makes The Good Price a worthwhile read for Fables fans.(less)
For the past year or so, I've felt as if my geek card had been revoked. Despite the hundreds of sci-fi and fantasy books that sit on my shelves, my gr...moreFor the past year or so, I've felt as if my geek card had been revoked. Despite the hundreds of sci-fi and fantasy books that sit on my shelves, my growing collection of comics, my geektastic DVD haul, and my familiarity with a twenty-sided die (among others), I just wasn't cutting it. The reason? I had never read A Game of Thrones.
A Game of Thrones is the first book in the fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which focuses on the struggles (both in politics and war) of several powerful families in their “game of thrones.” A Game of Thrones is a prime example of epic fantasy as everything here exists on a grand scale. The book itself is long, the cast of characters is expansive, the story spans multiple countries, and the stakes are very high. What I found really pulled me into A Game of Thrones was not necessarily it's vastness, but Martin's talent for created nuanced and memorable characters. I have a soft spot in particular for a lot of the young characters: the child bride Daenerys Targaryen, the unwanted bastard John Snow and the headstrong Arya Stark. Even the characters that aren't always all that likable come off as very well rounded (Sansa Stark for example annoyed me at first, but I ultimately ended up feeling a lot of sympathy for her). It's important to note that although Martin can create fantastic characters that the world they inhabit is treacherous. Sometimes awful things happen to people who really don't deserve it.
Part of the reason I took so long to pick up A Game of Thrones if the fact that it's such a lengthy volume. With all of the great looking books out there, a 700+ page tome has to be really worth it in order for me to devote my time to it. I'm proud to report that A Game of Thrones is really worth the time investment. The book doesn't feel long, and never drags. There's enough going on in the story to keep the pages moving vast, but not to the point where you're completely overwhelmed. I also really enjoyed the world building. Although A Game of Thrones is clearly a fantasy book and embraces a lot of classic tropes (such as a Conan-esque Barbarian race), the fantasy elements are really under emphasized, which makes it read like a historical fiction novel at times. When fantasy elements do occur (perhaps because they're so rare) they really pack a punch.
Thoughts on the Audiobook: Roy Dotrice does a solid performance with his narration, although sometimes I couldn't help but feel that he was miscast. He does a fantastic job in crafting various voices for the adult characters, but struggles with the kids, who often end up sounding too old or too alike each other. I think that casting someone with a better grip on children's voices (perhaps a female narrator?) would have been a better choice.
Final Thoughts: A Game of Thrones is epic fantasy at it's finest. Reading this long novel is a timely investment, but thanks to its fantastic cast, event-packed storyline, and memorable worldbuilding, it's worth every moment. (less)
Mitsuko spends her days writing poetry, and keeping herself hidden from most of the world outside of her own family. But when her sister Amaiko’s husb...moreMitsuko spends her days writing poetry, and keeping herself hidden from most of the world outside of her own family. But when her sister Amaiko’s husband, Yugiri, is murdered, and her sister’s spirit attempts to follows him into death, Mitsuko must flee her sheltered life and find Yugiri’s lost soul. With a crow-demon for a companion, Mitsuko begins a dangerous journey where she must deal with gods and monsters, and save her family before it’s too late.
Little Sister is a book that I first looked at when I was thirteen at a bookstore near my middle school. It’s not until now, at twenty-three, that I’ve taken the time to read it. I don’t know what took me so long. The writing (as seen above) is absolutely beautiful, the language simplistic, yet often heavy with meaning at the same time. The character of Mitsuko, starts out the story very lady-like and almost meek. To watch her growth to a fearless woman is very satisfying. Her journey flows more like a legend of a fairy tale, than a modern day novel, making for a very different reading experience to what I’ve been picking up lately. The setting of Heian Japan is an interesting choice for a fantasy novel. Dalkey has done her homework very well, and sprinkles the story lines with bits and pieces of old Japanese culture. I found myself drawn in right away, and was very sad when it ended.(less)
So what is Saga, you ask? Saga is a futuristic space opera about one family caught up in an intergalactic war. Saga is a unique mixture of the sci-fi...moreSo what is Saga, you ask? Saga is a futuristic space opera about one family caught up in an intergalactic war. Saga is a unique mixture of the sci-fi and fantasy genre, with attention gabbing artwork. Saga is action packed, humorous, moving, and more than a little bit bizarre.
Saga's main focus is on two characters, Alana and Marko, who have just given birth to a little girl named Hazel. Unfortunately, their lives are much more complex than most new parents, as their homes (the planet Landfall and it's moon Wreath) are at war. Over time, the combat has been outsourced to other planets, meaning everyone is caught up in the fighting on one side or another. They spend the first six issues on the run. Their pursuers are the Robot Prince IV, and two ruthless mercenaries known as The Will, and The Stalk.
Upon picking up Saga, my first impression that it was kind of weird, but in a really fun way. The artist, Fiona Staples, has a really great style of drawing that has a slightly sketchy feeling to it. Her talent for conveying the cast's emotions is only matched by her ability to craft really interesting character designs. By issue six our already large cast consists of quite a diverse collection of alien types. Some of our characters, such as The Will, appear completely humor. Others, like Marko and Alana, appear mostly human except for a few noticable features, like the inclusion of horns or wings. Other characters, like Prince Robot, or the The Stalk, look decidedly alien, I thought it was interesting that despite the bizarreness of their features, these characters feel just as human as the rest of the cast. Prince Robot may have a television screen in place of his head, but he also has very normal needs, such as the desire to settle down and begin a family. I enjoyed how the creators occasionally used the screen (which is usually blank), to express his emotions. For example, there is one screen where he loses his temper and the screen goes completely to static.
SagaCover3This of course brings me to the next thing that I really enjoy about Saga, which is the comics well developed cast of characters. By this point in the series, there's plenty of mystery left surrounding our main characters, although we learn a little bit about the idealistic Marko and more pragmatic Alana from their conversations, and the intel gathered by the people pursuing them. Still, we know enough about this Romeo and Juliet-esque couple to sympathize with them. After all, they basically want what we all do, the ability to live their own lives safely, and on their own terms. At the same time, they are not an idealized couple. They clearly love each other, but that doesn't mean that they don't get grumpy every now and then or have secrets. I found it interesting how the side cast of characters, although villains, are just as well developed. The Will, for example, is presented as basically being a monster who's willing to do anything for a job. But, as we see on the brothel planet Sextillion, that even he has his limits. Also, his companion is a giant cat that can tell when someone is lying. There's no denying that that's cool.
It's also worth mentioning that the first six issues of Saga are really comics for adults, which is pretty obvious from the first issue which includes scenes of pretty graphic violence and unapologetic nudity. At th end of each issue is a section where the author responds to letters from fans. Usually when I come across this in comics, I actually either skim or skip other them all together, but I've found that I've actually enjoyed these offerings.
Final Thoughts- Saga is the comic that I look forward to reading the most every month. This is why I'm a mite unhappy that there will be no new issue until November. But for people looking to jump on board, now is a pretty good time, as the trade paperback of the first six issues will be released in October. The fact that Saga is able to sell so well, despite not being one of the Big Two really showcases it's quality. What has drawn me in is the great artwork, the complex characters, and the overall satisfying bizarreness of it all. I impatiently await the seventh issue, set to be released this November.(less)
The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody “Bod” Owens. After his family is murdered by the man Jack, Bod, still a toddler, innocently wanders from...moreThe Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody “Bod” Owens. After his family is murdered by the man Jack, Bod, still a toddler, innocently wanders from his home and into a graveyard. Here he is taken in by a pair of ghost, and raised by all of the dead. The story then follows him as he grows from a baby to a young man. The biggest charm of The Graveyard Book comes in the many characters that Bod encounters in The Graveyard, which include ghosts, witches, werewolves and ghouls. The way that Gaiman creates a feeling of normalcy and friendship in such an unusual place as a graveyard is quite impressive. Bod is also an interesting protagonist, and children and adults alike should enjoy watching him grow form an innocent child to a more complicated young man. The book itself is divided into eight chapters that tell stories about the adventures Bod encounters over the years. Most of the chapters have the added bonus as being able to stand alone as short stories. The stories are relatively lighthearted but become darker as Bod grows older and learns about the man who killed his parents.
With elements of The Jungle Book, Rhoad Dahl, and Tim Burton, The Graveyard Book is a satisfying, and surprisingly friendly tale about life and death and everything in between. It deserves all of the attention and awards it has been getting over the past year or so. Recommended Grade Level- 3-5 (This review was written for a class)(less)