Friday, February 20, 2009
A Complete Adventure
Into the Volcano by Don Wood is another one of the elementary/middle grade graphic novelCybils finalists I'm determined to tell you all about.
Volcano is a well-done graphic novel (no narrative and plenty of wordless panels where the images carried the story) that is also a realistic adventure. It has that classic kidlit device of the missing, mysterious parent, but in this case she is not some fantasy figure but (be still my heart) a scientist! (This feminist-leaning woman of a certain age could just weep.) She's also sort of an adventurer out to collect some kind of pearl. She has a falling out with her sister who is also a partner in her pearl gathering scheme. Her two sons, who had been living in what appeared to me to be the United States with what looks to be their wealthy father, are invited out to visit their aunt, who plans to use them to help find scientist mom and the pearls.
In a volcano.
So the kids take part in a dangerous adventure that is resolved by the end of the book. Personally, I'm always satisfied when a story is wrapped up at the end of a book, and this one also involves a change for one of our main characters. Meaning readers get some character development with their adventure.
In the event that you are one of those adults who can't resist pushing a little education with your kids' recreational reading, you can check out Wood's Story Behind Into the Volcano for an account of his research--told graphically.