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Into the Volcano

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  540 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Caldecott Honor Illustrator and international bestseller Don Wood creates his first full-color graphic novel, filled with action, drama, and adventure.
Sumno and Duffy pugg (brothers) are told they must travel to a volcanic island to help an aunt they have never met. When they arrive on the island, they soon discover that their mysterious auntie is up to no good. They are
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Blue Sky Press (AZ)
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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  540 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Nov 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who don't need sensible narratives
Recommended to Joe by: School Library Journal
The starred review in School Library Journal captured my eye: here was a graphic novel that didn't look comic-booky and that would appeal to the male reluctant readers in my school.

That appeal may hold true, but there are so many problems with the story, its plot, and the illustrations, that it's hardly something I could recommend with enthusiasm.

First of all, the story is paper-thin and, in the spirit of most treasure-hunting tales, the plot mechanizations exist only to propel the characters c
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Look, I hate to burst your bubble but not every picture book illustrator born is necessarily cut out to write his or her own graphic novel. It’s an entirely different set of muscles, after all. Melding text and image well enough to sustain a story means having a firm grasp of what does and does not work as a comic. So I know you might have gotten all excited when you heard that Don Wood had written a graphic novel, but don’t be happy because a great Caldecott-winning illustrator has dipped his t ...more
Sara Geiser
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn't really like the book. I think it was fine, and had a good plot line. I liked that it was a graphic novel, and a easy read, but I would never read it again.
Brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg are a little confused when they’re sent to stay with Aunt Lulu and their cousin Come-and-Go (that's really his name) for 10 days while their parents are away on business, but that’s nothing compared to how confused they’ll be later on. Amid earthquakes and volcano eruptions, the boys are forced to evacuate with trusted family guides into the maze of tunnels under the volcano itself. It’s soon evident, though, that the guides are looking for something… and the boys ar ...more
Lars Guthrie
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A powerful kids' graphic novel that adults will enjoy, too. Beyond the full color panels that often carry the impact and excitement of an action movie, Don Wood has concocted a complex and involving story with multiple themes.

Two brothers are pulled out of their dreary classroom in a dreary American suburban school on a dreary winter's day by their father. One boy, Duffy Pugg, is a small, wiry, and ready for adventure. His brother Sumo is larger, bulkier, cynical, and worried.

Both have darkish
Monica Edinger
May 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Just rewrote this for my blog.

Wow. Don Wood’s Into the Volcano is one powerhouse of a graphic novel that you won’t want to miss. In fact, as far as missing goes, I almost missed my bus stop so engrossed was I in this totally wild adventure in and under and around an erupting volcano. The word gripping is completely apt for this (here comes another trite but accurate word) roller coaster of a read. Wood grabs you on the first page as brothers Duffy and Sumo are called out of their classroom to me
Nicola Mansfield
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This started off pretty rough and I almost put it down but since the author is a Caldecott winner I decided to keep going. The dialogue is pretty bad, unrealistic and painful to read at the beginning. Sumo is such a whiny, moany, lazy crybaby that he is a painful character at first also. However, as the story gets over its initial hump the action starts and it is pretty much non-stop from that point on. The point of the story is that Sumo's character changes; he gains more confidence in himself ...more
Alyssa Peters
Alyssa Peters
Graphic Novel
This book is 22 chapters of wonderful graphics! It is about two brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg. The two boys are pulled from their classroom and introduced to their cousin Mister Come-And-Go. The boys cousin came to invite the boys back to the island of Kocalaha to visit their Aunt Lulu while their mom finishes her research. The boys then find themselves on this island with their crazy Aunt, her Winnebago ,and a treehouse that may have stiging centipedes lurking in it. Th
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I love this book because I love adventure and mystery books. My favorite part of this book is when the kids find their mom and see the glowing green pearls because it got me more interested in what happens.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's JGN, but it doesn't have to be. The underlying plot involves dysfunctional families, Pacific island culture, scientific innovation, and treachery, both for profit and of bloodlines. The art is evocative of stuff like Asterix & Tintin, but also Wallace Wood and old Dick Tracy/Phantom-type stuff. It's pretty and the story is good, and the focus on just who exactly is the 'main' character evolves over the course of the story. A quick read, and something I enjoyed the hell out of, actually. ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Into The Volcano Is A Really Good Story, It Has Graphics And Dialoge That Seem Like An Adventure Movie. It Contained Such An Amazing Backstory And Everything. This Graphic Novel Was Pretty Good, But It Would Have Been A Bit Better If It Was At Least 200 Pages, But I Can Understand Making A Masterpiece Takes A While. Recommend This To People Who Love Graphic Novels And Mystery!
Emily Ross
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The anti hero and unlikeable protagonist journey is not my favorite type of story but this graphic novel gripped me and sucked me into the volcano, literally! Well drawn and a great story, I didn't want it to end!
Heeje C
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was really thrilling
Michael Brown
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Learned a bit about volcanoes. Decent art.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very fun storyline with a great character-growth arc for the main character, Sumo! The art is great!
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
3 stars

- Ms. Jenn
Elena Lydon
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's action-filled. I like it because they find their mom.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love comic books and love the action is the book i read it a 1000000 times it is awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome yaaaaaa!!!!!
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anyone 8-12 who like graphic novels/high adventure/Goonies
As I began Don Wood’s Into the Volcano, Steven Spielberg/Amblin Entertainment came to mind. The Pugg brother’s adventure had that wonderfully familiar 1980s Goonies-ish flair.

Per Aunt Lulu’s request and their father’s consent, the boys are taken out of school and sent to visit their maternal Auntie on an Island with Cousin Come-and-go (the big bald guy in the above image) as their escort. The differences between the brothers (who are in the same classroom) begin when their father breaks the news
Rachel Denny
Title: Into The Volcano
Author: Don Wood
Genre: Graphic Novel
Theme(s): Family, Courage
Opening line/sentence: Pugg Brothers…please report to the principal’s office. Oh, and I think you’d better take your things with you.
Brief Book Summary: The Pugg brothers are sent to a volcanic island to help their aunt they have never even met. They are sent on an expedition that takes them into an erupting volcano where they must brave the forces of nature to get out and survive.
Professional Recommendation/Rev
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When used in the right way, a unique setting can take an adventure tale to the next level. The magnificently rendered volcano in this, Don Wood’s first graphic novel, does just that. It provides the perfect backdrop for a tale of mystery, suspense, and good old fashioned life-risking. At times thrilling, at times challenging, engrossing to the core, ”Into the Volcano” will go down as a standout book of aught eight.

The story begins abruptly. Brothers - the confident Duffy and the cautious Sumo -
Becky B
Duffy and Sumo are sent to stay with an aunt they didn't know they had on an island kingdom they didn't know existed. From the get-go, it is clear that something odd is going on. Duffy is making the best of the situation and enjoying the tropical weather. Sumo is excelling at being a wet blanket and grump. Before much time at all has passed, the two boys find themselves loaded into a boat with four adults headed straight at an erupting volcano and wondering if these adults are certifiably insane ...more
Morgan Ogden
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Into The Volcano is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Don Wood. The story takes place in modern day America where two young boys, the older called Duffy and the younger Sumo, are given the dhance to travel to go see some family in a faraway unnamed island. The boys agree to the trip, and are sent on a private plane to the middle of nowhere, where they meet their musclely cousin Come and Go and a crazy castaway named Magno Jo. On the island the boys are introduced to their aunt, who clai ...more
Dani Shuping
Aug 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Brothers Duffy and Sumo live nice, normal, relatively quite lives. Till the day they are sent off on an adventure to Hawaii with their mysterious cousin, Come-and-go, and their aunt whom they've never met before. They soon find out things aren't as they appear to be as they are led on a perilous adventure into the heart of an erupting volcano. And questions are soon raised about where their mother really is and why they're being led into the volcano. Duffy and Sumo don't have much time to escape ...more
Maxzine Rossler
Into the Volcano is a graphic novel about two brothers, Sumno and Duffy who travel to a volcanic island to meet up with and help their aunt whom they have yet to meet. Once they get to this island they start to realize that their aunt is not who they thought she was. They are facing challenges that they could only dream of and are sent out on adventures. After facing a close call they are only hoping to make it out alive. The graphics in this book really paint that picture in the readers mind an ...more
Eva Mitnick
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Into the Volcano by Don Wood is taller and wider than the usual graphic novel, allowing plenty of room for the eye-bugging subject matter – a boatful of obsessed people, including two young brothers, who head straight into and underneath an erupting volcano! That Don Wood lives in Hawaii and has intimate knowledge of volcanoes, erupting and otherwise, is clear. His artwork is visceral and detailed, allowing me to imagine in more detail than comfortable exactly what it would be like to be faced w ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Genre: Junior Graphic Novel


This book tells the story of Sumo and Duffy Pugg, who are removed from class by their father and told that they must go on an adventure to their absent mothers home island. They must go with their large cousin named Come-and-Go to visit their aunt. They are eventually asked to enter a volcano and the drama ensues. Sumo is scared but when faced with his brother Duffy being in danger, summons the courage to do things he thought were impossible.


(a) The
Thurston Hunger
May 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This one didn't captivate my kids or even myself. It felt like there was more going on, and perhaps I failed to catch the proper voice for the Pidgin passages. I actually enjoyed reading the reviews here, and could concede points on both sides of the star spectrum.

The tale is unique, but not *that* unique in terms of kids in peril, and on a quest of ill-defined nature. The absent mother, eventually located and then interestingly suspicious made for a fascinating character. An untrustworthy narra
Ellen Shackley
Oct 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Genre: Graphic Novel

Summary: Two brothers are pulled out of school to visit their estranged Auntie, things soon take a turn for the worse when they are sent on a dangerous expedition with their dangerous-looking cousin.

A) Area of Focus: Illustration

B) The author/illustrator successfully uses the illustrations to further inform the reader. The format of the graphic novel doesn't allow for much text, so it is important for the illustrations to tell as much of the story as possible.

C) For example,
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Into the Volcano is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel by Don Wood. While the drawings are vibrantly done, the plotline of this book is very weak.[return][return]Sumo and Duffy are pulled out of school abruptly to go visit their Auntie on the island of Kocalaha; their mother is away on business in Borneo. I am not exactly sure what happens or why, but suddenly a volcano erupts and for some reason their Auntie takes them on a boat in the middle of it. The narration and dialogue is poor and c ...more
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