Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reading Reviews

I will be honest in that I have hit a lull in my reading. Not because I have lost motivation because I have a TBR pile that is about 60 deep in my office. I have hit a lull as I try to expand my reading horizons. By now everyone knows that I like those weird, twisted, disturbing books that just make you feel weird when you are done reading. I have tried to switch gears. I am trying to immerse myself in graphic novels and lower level reading(grades 4,5,6). I must remember that not everyone reads at that high level nor do they like that crazy content. So, I have fought my way through two books this week when I should be working on my Drake homework.

First up is Into the Volcano by Dan Woods. This is a graphic novel about two boys
Sumo and Duffy. They are taken out of school by their dad and sent to live with their weird aunt on an island that just so happens to be by an erupting volcano. Sumo is portrayed as a baby because he is scared of everything. However, I would too if flowing lava and almost drowning while being under a volcano in tunnels. I will be honest the story did not quite grab. I will say that this may be the perfect book for someone who likes action and great images on every page. I think it is a solid choice for that boy or girl who does not like to read or struggles with reading. It took the author five years to create and with that in mind I was hoping for much more. Don't disregard it because I am not a fan. I for one don't really dig graphic novels, but this could be something just right for students.

The second book I just finished was Eleven.

Pages: 176
Age Range: 9-12
Time Spent Reading: 1 hour, 30 minutes

It was a quick read. It is a good story. As mentioned before not my twisted crazy type of novel so it took me a few pages to absorb the storyline. I think this is one book that many people could connect with quite easily. The main character is Sam and it is his 11th birthday. He is searching up in the attic where is not supposed to be looking for his presents when he comes across a newspaper article about a boy who has gone missing. Well that boy is Sam and it has a picture of him from when he was 3. The reader begins to realize that Sam may have had a different life from the one he knows now. You read these flashbacks through little snippets.

Sam begins to think he was kidnapped. The problem is that he loves his life and everyone who cares for him. He lives with Mack in a building with three shops below who are run by people who make up his makeshift family. Onji, who runs a deli, and Anima, who owns an Indian restaurant. Sam loves Mack and is trying to figure why he would kidnap him.

The reader also learns that Mack cannot reader and has to go to resource room for help. He also needs someone to read him the clues and things he finds in the attic. He calls upon help from a new girl in school who he thinks will not make fun of him. This friendship begins to unfold despite her trying to avoid the relationship for personal reasons.

There are great characters in this book. Good, positive teachers(Yeah!), a great mystery, Sam and his insecurities that students can relate to on a honest level. Every character is believable and the family of various people is very real for many students. I will admit that I did like the story and think it is perfect for middle school.

Now back to my deranged fiction to keep me sane. Good night all.

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