Roxanne Hsu Feldman's Reviews > Into The Volcano

Into The Volcano by Don Wood
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Nov 26, 08

bookshelves: 4-6grade, 6-8grade, graphicnovels, mystery, bestbooks
Read in November, 2008

I liked the latter half of the novel much better than the exposition, but fortunately the leading chapters are few and short. It's interesting how Don Wood chose to use only dialog and thought bubbles, without any descriptive paragraph boxes that one sees frequently in the American Graphic Novel titles. This works well for the majority of the novel but the moments of Sumo's climbing down to rescue Duffy become awkward at times due to his constant "narrating" of the situation and the surrounding. I think these passages might have been presented more effectively if fewer speech/thought bubbles are present and the images are clearer. (The skull mounts and the skeleton clown are also weird inventions that take the book out of the realm of reality to fantasy -- and it's unclear whether that's all in Sumo's head -- there are not enough visual or textual clues to verify the potential for hallucination.) Over all, though, this is an exciting story where moral judgments can be shifted and altered and the "messages" are not so clearly defined, leaving the readers a lot to ponder and savor.
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