Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 3/31/10

If this is the second time you're seeing this post, I apologize.  I'm having some difficulty getting my RSS feed to post to my Facebook page, so I'm re-posting.

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews (courtesy of Comic Book Resources) where available.  As always, thanks to iFanboy for the list of new releases.

It looks like Bluewater has really stepped up its scheduling of the Political Power and Female Force lines.  Definitely worth having in the classroom.

Also, don't forget to click on the links of the Collected Editions to purchase these titles at the Amazon store at huge discounts!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Comics and Boys' Literacy

I'll tell you, at least anecdotally, some of my most struggling male readers gobble up the comics and graphic novels in my classroom. Has it made an impact on reading scores? We'll see.

This article mentions teachers' resistance to the use of comics in the classroom, but moreover explains why the medium is so engaging.

[EN/SANE World and The Beat]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Trailer: "The Storm In The Barn" by Matt Phelan

A while back (over at the old version of my other blog, It Might Blow Up), I reviewed this fantastic graphic novel by Matt Phelan.  I stumbled across this book trailer a while ago, and thought I should share it.  Again, it's a fantastic addition to any middle or high school library.

[EN/SANE World]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 3/24/10

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews (courtesy of Comic Book Resources) where available.  As always, thanks to iFanboy for the list of new releases.

Though I haven't read the relaunch of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man yet, I haven't heard a bad thing about it yet.  I'll definitely be picking it up for my classroom.

Also, don't forget to click on the links of the Collected Editions to purchase these titles at the Amazon store at huge discounts!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 3/17/10

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews (courtesy of Comic Book Resources) where available.  As always, thanks to iFanboy for the list of new releases.

Personally, I can't wait to grab the Superman 80-Page Giant, as the reviews have been great. 

Also, don't forget to click on the links of the Collected Editions to purchase these titles at the Amazon store at huge discounts!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 3/10/10

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews (courtesy of Comic Book Resources) where available.  As always, thanks to iFanboy for the list of new releases.

This week, Disney continues to roll out some great comics, both from their own imprint and through their partnership with BOOM! Studios.

Also, don't forget to click on the links of the Collected Editions to purchase these titles at the Amazon store at huge discounts!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review – “Foiled” by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro


2010. First Second Books, New York. 160 pages.

Recommended Reading Age: 16+

Role-playing games. Fencing. Frog dissection. Enya. Boys who can only be described as 'beautiful'. Foiled's narrator and protagonist Aliera Carstairs (that's a mouthful, no?) loves 'em all. Okay, maybe not frog dissection. In Foiled, Aliera (who also narrates) tells a tale of teenage awkwardness that is compounded by her love of all things Geek. And when she finds out that the 'weapon' (i.e. fencing sword or 'foil') that her mother picked up at a thrift store is actually Aliera's ticket to a real fantasy world of faeries, dragons, gnomes and the like, it seems like fitting in at school is the least of her worries.

Unfortunately, even an inexperienced reader sees the high-school-drama-turned-fantasy plot coming a mile away, and the payoff falls flat. When after nearly 100 excruciatingly slow-paced pages in which Aliera obsesses over the new boy in school, the author (an accomplished YA writer, nonetheless) finally reveals in full the fantastic 'twist', it's far too late to save the narrative. Too much time has been devoted to rote teenage angst and schmaltzy friendships here, and as a result Aliera comes off as a whiny good-girl bookworm whom it is difficult for the reader to care about. (Don't even get me started on the 'strong female protagonist' trope in so common in YA literature; too transparently are the authors' personalities projected onto their female leads, and in reality many 'average' students find these protagonists unbearable.)

While at first blush the art of Foiled is impressive, as an experienced comics reader I find it in direct opposition to the narrative. While the story itself is straightforward to the point of being unoriginal, the perspective and panel layouts seem to be trying too hard to make a statement. Devoting a two-page spread of Grand Central Station (even if it is beautifully drawn), for instance, does not serve the greater purpose of advancing the plot. Such an iconic image need not be reproduced here, and though it is only one example of a misuse of using a visual narrative, it is a telling one. This is only one of many moments I found myself racing through in order to get the 'big reveal'.

Foiled's storytelling is too predictable, its characterization too familiar, and its art too disconnected to be a fun read. Simply put, I would not recommend this book for a school or classroom library

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 3/3/10

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews (courtesy of Comic Book Resources) where available.  As always, thanks to iFanboy for the list of new releases.

It's a slow week for comics, but the Invincible Iron Man Omnibus would be nice addition to a classroom library, as the story is pretty true to the recent blockbuster film.

Also, don't forget to click on the links of the Collected Editions to purchase these titles at the Amazon store at huge discounts!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions: