Graphic Novel Review: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. by James Buckley Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Voice for Equality! 
by James Buckley Jr.Youneek Studios (Illustrations)John Roshell (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel wonderfully summarizes the powerful life story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his peaceful fight for civil rights in the United States.

I especially liked that many exact quotes from MLK, Jr. and others are used as the dialogue, but some of the dialogue is conjecture and added to enhance the story, imagining what might have been said in various situations. I’m always on the lookout for reputable historical books, and I felt that the history here was accurate and true to actual events.  Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Midas

Midas by Ryan North
Midas 
by Ryan North Shelli Paroline  (Illustrations)Braden Lamb (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Captain Joey and her space crew are approaching a hidden planet, known only in the ancient past as Earth. They have heard rumors that a weapon transformed the entire planet into gold, and they are searching for that weapon to protect their people against the dreaded Federation. But when the “weapon” turns out to be the perfectly preserved body of the legendary King Midas, can Joey and her friends still find a way to stop the power-crazed Federation general from enslaving their home planets?

This epic space saga covers a lot of ground, from the total destruction of several planets to long-forgotten mysteries of the ancient past, and Captain Joey and her intrepid crew are just the rebels to boldly adventure through it all and still find time for snarky one-liners and peppery dialogue. The plot is never dull, and does a good job of giving a lot of world-building information in small chunks that fit in with the action.

I was surprised at every turn in the plot, and I kept thinking, “There is no way they are gonna make it out of this one.” But somehow the team would pull through, only to be confronted by another impossible challenge! Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: The Iliad

The Iliad by Gareth Hinds
The Iliad 
by Gareth Hinds 

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This graphic novel retelling of Homer’s Iliad was not quite what I expected. It’s much too word-heavy for a graphic novel, and I found myself bogged down in the text. Most of the panels have so much text that there is barely room for the artwork. And the artwork itself is nothing special. I didn’t care for the cartoony look, and it just didn’t grab my attention. It looks somewhat amateur, or hastily drawn.

If you are a big fan of the Iliad, you might like this, but I did not enjoy reading it. Usually I love classical literature, and I have read The Iliad before, so I was happy to be revisiting the story of the Trojan War with all the drama. But this book does not deliver drama. It feels stale and static, like the characters are all made of stone.

Disappointed in this one. Continue reading

Manga Review: MacBeth

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Macbeth 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapted by),William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the exact dialogue of the play is used in this manga, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Pilu of the Woods

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Pilu of the Woods 
by Mai K. Nguyen

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Willow has a fight with her sister, and runs out to the woods where she used to go hiking with her mother. She meets a tree spirit named Pilu, who has run away from her grove, and the two form a friendship and help one another navigate their turbulent emotions.

Both girls are struggling with loneliness and anger, and they are remorseful after arguing with their families, but don’t know how to stop. When Willow’s emotional monsters begin to take on a real form, the two girls are in danger, until Pilu discovers how to resolve the emotional pain both girls are hiding.
Continue reading

NonFiction Review: Solve This!

Solve This! by Joan Marie Galat
Solve This!: Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You 
by Joan Marie Galat (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This fun book gives problematic scenarios, and encourages the reader to find solutions by using engineering and science! The problem is set with a description of a place or difficulty, and then various people of different professions give their original solutions, and finally the engineers give a solution, and you can decide which one is best!

There are a wide variety of professional people from different areas giving imaginative solutions on each page; a marine biologist, a teacher, a librarian, an architect, a nurse, a plumber, and dozens more in addition to the actual engineers. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Illegal

Illegal by Eoin Colfer
Illegal 
by Eoin ColferAndrew Donkin, Giovanni Rigano (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


A heartbreaking story about a young boy who follows his brother across the Sahara. They then travel in a leaking boat across the Mediterranean, in an effort to make a new life and reunite with their sister in Italy.

There are many sad stories of lives lost along the way, dodging violent gangs, forced to trust conmen who steal their money, and hiding from the police since they don’t have ID or travel papers.
A lot of their refugee companions die on the road, and the story is mostly serious and sad, but there are some light moments with humor and a blazing hope that spurs the characters onward.  Continue reading

Comic Review: Batman and the Justice League

Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 by Shiori Teshirogi
Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1 
by Shiori Teshirogi

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Justice League done in a manga style? Yes, please!
A young boy from Japan comes to Gotham City looking for his missing parents, and becomes the unwitting victim of a devious plot involving the Joker. Only Batman and the Justice League can solve the mysteries of the boy’s missing parents, and the enigmatic power leaking from magical ley lines around the globe.

I enjoyed reading this manga of the Justice League!
However, I didn’t like some of the characters. Batman has never been my favorite, and I HATE the Joker. I can’t even look at his ugly face. But I liked the story and the other characters. I would enjoy reading it more if it focused more on Superman, who is a favorite superhero of mine. Continue reading