Ben and his friends are determined to follow the river on the night of their Autumn Festival. Every year thousands of lanterns are floated down the river, and legend says that the lanterns float up to join the stars. Ben makes a pact with his friends to find out the truth about where the lanterns go, and they hop on their bikes to follow the lanterns. But the weird kid, Nathaniel, follows them, and when everyone else turns back, Nathaniel and Ben discover the true magic that surrounds the lanterns.
This book is so beautiful and whimsical! I was enchanted from the very beginning. The lovely artwork, the imaginative plot, the emotional characters, and the engaging dialogue kept me entranced through every page. Continue reading →
Young Bruce Wayne is weeks away from getting his driver’s license, and decides to repair his father’s classic car, and maybe give it some upgrades, and maybe start calling it the Batmobile. Bruce is tracking a car theft ring, and hoping they will lead to clues about his parents’ murders. He is isolated and alone, but as he searches junkyards for replacement parts and tracks the car thefts, he befriends two teens that he is certain he can trust… until he can’t.
I loved this graphic novel! Batman has never been my favorite superhero- too dark for me- but I really enjoyed reading about a young Bruce who is just forming his identity as a hero and learning from his early mistakes. Bruce is charming and just so cool. He takes too many risks and has a lot of anger inside though. It was great to see his character growing and developing as he dealt with some of those issues. Continue reading →
Tai discovers the power of the Green Lantern when his grandmother passes on her jade ring to him. With very little training from the other Green Lanterns, Tai tries to stop vandalism in his neighborhood. But there is an even bigger threat hiding right under his nose, and Tai will need his friends support while he learns to harness his new powers.
I loved this comic from start to finish!
Tai is such a deep and complex character. His close relationship with his family is at the heart of everything he does, and there is a huge emotional aspect to his story that really drew me in. Tai is Vietnamese-American, and his family heritage is important to him. I loved seeing the rich Vietnamese culture, and the traditions of kindness and generosity in his family. Continue reading →
Zatanna is just trying to survive middle school. She and her stage-magician Dad live in a mysterious house with an adorable pet rabbit, Pocus. Zatanna believes that her father’s magic tricks are just illusions, until one fateful day when she encounters real magic. She realizes that the house holds more secrets than she ever knew, and she must navigate trick stairs, cold dungeons, and enigmatic doors to escape the clutches of a wicked sorceress and save her father.
I loved this comic from start to finish! Zatanna is a wonderful character, and she has some good personal development and teen angst that packs an emotional punch. The plot is enchanting and mystic with lots of wonderful surprises and twists. I loved the magical elements in the House of Secrets, and especially the magical characters and creatures that Zatanna meets as she discovers a new world of wizardy and spells. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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.