Small town librarian discusses crafts, books, comics, media, teens, and more.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Comic book rundown

Visited a number of comic book stores this weekend and picked up a bunch of stuff. Here's a rundown:

Echo- Terry Moore's new series looks interesting and science-fiction-y. Will it be good? Probably. Will it be appropriate for teens? Hard to tell so far, as really very little has happened, but I hope so. The cover of the first issue is very shiny.

Serenity: Better Days- Joss Whedon's new miniseries, which is nowhere near as good as the show, but if you are a fan of Firefly I'd suggest picking it up, or at least reading the forthcoming collection which your local public library will likely get. This one is a lost episode type mini-series, so everything is pre-movie state. *Bonus info* The letters page reveals that a Shepard Book mini-series is planned for later this year.

Teen Titans Year One- I love the art style (other than Aqualad, who looks scary) in this, and it is good to see young Ollie, Barry, and Arthur. Batman and Wonder Woman really haven't changed in appearance or even attitude (depending on who is writing them).

Tiny Titans- Adorable, short, and funny, yet somehow strangely wrong. Cyborg is not an Easy Bake Oven and Wonder Girl doesn't seem like the type to bake cakes. I'll admit that Terra throwing rocks cracked me up. When this gets collected, I'm definitely putting it on the kids' graphic novel order.

Booster Gold- I have a strong fondest for the characters from the old Justice League International. Something to do with reading the comics while I was growing up. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle were two of the leads in the series, and the ones who were always causing trouble. After both dying recently (they got better), they have ceased being simply comedic characters and are now saving the multi-verse and time. That's cool, and the series makes fun references to things and people past. It is funny and serious. Unfortunately, time travel, paradoxes, and the general current state of DC makes the whole series rather confusing and difficult for a new reader to pick-up.

Also picked up the first volume of Honey and Clover, which I haven't had a chance to read yet. It looks amusing. Wanted to buy, but couldn't find, the first volume of Pumpkin Scissors.

I also managed not to be mistaken for a bookstore employee this weekend, so that's good.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Review of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by George

"Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" is Jessica Day George's second book. It is a retelling of the old Scandinavian story "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," which has elements of Beauty and the Beast and the myth of Cupid and Psyche. It is a story of which I am particularly fond, and George's version did not disappoint me at all.

"Sun and Moon" is in the same vein as Gail Carson Levine's "Ella Enchanted" and Shannon Hale's "Goose Girl." They tell an old story, but make it their own story, adding new elements and making the characters well-rounded. George adds some nice backstory for our heroine, though, as usual, the male lead could have used a bit more himself. It is a book I had trouble putting down. Fast-paced, with a good supporting cast and likable lead, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes Levine and Hale's books, or enjoyed George's first book, "Dragon Slippers."

George also gets bonus points from me, as she is a Scandinavian Studies major. Maybe I should write a Scandinavian story based novel.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Quick book reviews

Read a number of books this week so here's a quick run down:

"A Wreath For Emmet" by Marilyn Nelson
One of the Printz Honor books for 2006, "A Wreath..." is a complex poetical remembrance of Emmett Till, a young man, only fourteen years old, brutally murdered for supposedly whistling at a white woman in 1955. Everyone has heard the story at one point or another in high school history class, though this book drives home the true horror, and reminds the reader that Emmett was not simply another death, another note in the history textbook. The book is a quick read, but it will stay with you for a long time. The art completes the power of this book, and compliments the poems. This is a powerful book, though one you may want to read with a dictionary handy, as it has some complex vocabulary. Make sure to read the author's notes at the beginning and end.

"Not the End of the World" by Geraldine McCaughrean
This book theorizes what life would have been like on the Ark, and is told largely through the eyes of Noah's daughter, Timna (no daughter was mentioned in the Bible). It is realistic, sparing no details of grim and horrors of the flood and spending more than a month in a large boat with a zoo's worth of animals. The first days involve Noah's family dealing with the swimming survivors who are trying to get on board. It is ultimately a book about understanding God and His will. Does he speak to and work through only Noah, or does Timna have some part of the great plan as well.

"eleven" by Patricia Reilly Giff
Sam is just about to turn eleven, and he's decided to find out where his birthday presents are hidden. In the attic he finds a box of things, including a newspaper article with his picture. Sam cannot read, and only is able to figure out the word "missing." Does the contents of the box have anything to do with the dreams he has been having? Maybe the new girl at school can help him figure it out, though she starts out by telling him she won't be around long.
Patricia Reilly Giff writes another book with a tween with a mystery and a secret in their life. A enjoyable read, though it wraps up a little too nicely in the end. As the book is from Sam's POV, though it is in third person, certain details are left out, such as why Sam can't read, that would have been helpful. Also, the cover makes the book look more creepy and exciting than it is.