Mini-review: Excalibur (Lee and Hart)

Product Details:
Reading level: MG or YA
pages: 144
publisher: March 8th 2011 by Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763646431
Source: library book


Excalibur: The Legend of King ArthurThe Arthurian legend springs to life in another powerhouse graphic novel from the creators of OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD.

Arthur Pendragon was raised in obscurity, but fate will not leave him to the shadows. In a moment of desperate need, he draws a legendary sword from its stonebed and commences the life he was born to lead. A series of adventures sparked by the elusive wizard Merlin launches Arthur through love and betrayal, domination and defeat, and toward the prophesied end awaiting him. Merging a faithful retelling with dynamic illustrations, EXCALIBUR invites long-time fans to relive the legend and those new to the story to experience it up close in a vivid graphic adventure.



Here is another graphic novel on the reading list of my YA book club: Excalibur by Lee and Hart. I don't think I need to justify why I picked this one. It's a King Arthur legend. 'Nuff said.

I really liked the overview of the legend of King Arthur that this graphic novel gave. Some of the finer elements of the legend were missing, but a novice wouldn't notice. All of my favorites were in the story: Morgana, Merlin, the Lady of the Lake, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The way everything fit together made the plot feel more like a well-developed story than the other graphic novels I've read.


I wasn't that impressed with the illustrations, though. They were only so-so. I found them to lack facial expression and detail. This made the pictures seem like they were better suited for a low end comic book.
 

 
 


Review: Anya's Ghost (Vera Brosgol)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 221
Publisher: June 7th 2011 by First Second     
ISBN: 9781596437135
Source: Library book



Anya's GhostAnya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part...

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.




I am new to the genre of graphic novels. I'm really trying to break out of my reading shell. Anya's Ghost was my second graphic novel ever, and I have mixed feelings.

First off, the drawings were awesome! The author/illustrator is so talented. The characters' faces had so much great detail and expression. The color graphics made it easy to get "sucked into" this story.

Now, the plot itself... eh. The ghost story aspect was pretty clever. I did enjoy that. I thought it was a fresh take on a tired genre. Was it ground breaking or mind shattering? No. Not even close. Would younger readers like it and find it creepy enough? Probably. There was also a pretty good message about accepting who you are hidden in the mystery.

What I didn't care for was how mature this character--Anya--was for a high school student. She was drinking and smoking often. Yes, I know teenagers do that. I was one of those teenagers some of the time, but I still don't think it has a place in books. I'm just funny like that. And there is something about it being illustrated in books that doesn't sit well with me. It's much harder to glance over something or forget something that you actually see. I think taking those things out of the book wouldn't have changed the story at all. They really weren't needed. In fact, they would keep me from recommending this book to a younger reader. No sense in unneccessary exposure.


 


Cover Appeal: Thankfulness



I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted a Cover Appeal post! It's been so crazy busy around here... Since it's Thanksgiving as I write this, I thought I would do something a little different today. Instead of listing the things I'm thankful for, why not show them with pictures? And of course, these pictures would also make awesome book covers!
 
 
*
Peace and quiet
 
Sunrise in Cappadocia
Adventure
 
flowers
Nature
 
Family
 
 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
 


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