I first heard of this story as a clay-action movie. I own it, and I love it. But then, when I was looking for a graphic novel to read for my YA Lit class, I saw this! YAAY! Then, only did I realize that the graphic novel is “based off the novel and now a major motion picture.” So, there is a real novel somewhere out there I have to read too.
Coraline Jones has just moved into a new house with her family–the attic is owned by eccentric Mr. Bobo and the Forcible sisters live in the basement. Coraline finds a door that leads to nowhere, but opens for her and leads her straight to her other mother. Should she trust her other mother who wants to sew buttons in her eyes and love her for eternity, or stay in the boring, monotuous life she has?
I read a lot of anime, so that is what I am basing this review off. Anime allows the picture to do the explaining, the telling, a lot of times, however, in this book, every single picture has description, even those where the action shows us anyway. Now I know why my roommmate, an Animation major, says she doesn’t care for Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels–he does too much telling instead of showing. “Pictures are worth a 1000 words.”
Still, it was interesting to see the differences between the movie and this graphic novel.
So, when I heard the different titles of Robert Cormier, and hearing that he wrote bleak books, I was excited to read one of his novels for my YA literature class. Boy was I wrong in my anticipation!
A bus of preschool students has been hijacked and held for ransom. Miro is new at the job and wants to do Artkin proud, but has to deal with Kate, the substitute bus driver. While on the other hand, Ben is pulled into his father’s dangerous duty as part of the Inner Delta to try and stop this hijacking.
The first thing that caught me off guard was the very sporadic narrating in the beginning. Ben speaks in the first person, but sometimes reflects on the Bus and Bridge accident, sometimes considering suicide, and other times noticing what is going on in the present. Then it reverses time and goes to the very beginning of the hijacking incident, but in thrid person. Not only that, but it switches from 3rd person limited between Miro and Kate. Then, Cormier throws you for an even bigger loop by having Ben’s father start talking in first person.
I didn’t enjoy this book. I didn’t think the suspense was held very well. I have read books that have kept my heart pumping so hard that I HAD to finish it in that setting. This didn’t do that for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but just the way he wrote didn’t capture me at all. Even during the climax I was mildly interested.
Another one of Cornelia Funke’s mix of modernity and fantasy. Only this time, she focuses on fairy tales rather than mythical creatures.
Will wasn’t supposed to find out about the Mirrorworld his older brother Jacob often escaped to, but he did. And now, stone is growing over his skin, turning him into the fabled Jade Goyl. Jacob sets off on a quest to find the cure before his borther is lost forever in the midst of the war between the imperials and the Goyls. Can he beat the Dark Fairy and time itself?
With this novel, Funke has grown up a bit–it is a bit more mature and darker than her other books, especially Dragon Rider and The Theif Lord, but is only a step up from Inkdeath. Funke does a good job creating well-rounded characters, ones with their own foibles that we come to love.
As always, Funke does a wonderful job mixing fantasy and reality. Her Mirrorworld is a world based on Grimm’s fairy tales, but this world is reaching an Industrial Age, aching to catch up to our world. I love seeing her interpretation of how that affects fairy tale creatures.
As always, I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Reading ability-wise and content-wise, I would recommend it to 8th graders or higher.
This realistic fiction was a good book. It follows young Cassie and her three brothers as they deal with the prejudices against African-Americans in the South during the early 20th century. They learn first hand about the precarious situation of owning their own land and not depending upon the whites in the community, as well as how everything they do or say is judged by the white population.
This was a very good book–Taylor did a good job with keeping it interesting, and the climax kept me on the edge of my seat because in tough situations like these, you are afraid of what will happen because it has sadly happened far to often in real life.
However, I have also read Family by J. California Cooper who also writes about an African-American family, but during the Civil War era. She uses eubonics perfectly, whereas Taylor doesn’t. While the characers are actually speaking, some eubonics and Souther dialect are found, but when Cassie is narrating, it is perfect grammar, compared to the full eubonics of Cooper’s novel.
Since the main character is only in 4th grade, I would let any secondary education student (grade 6-12) read it. It deals with some heavy issues, but light enough that I would want an 11 or 12 year old to realize what happened in our past.