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May 16, 2006

reviews and things

My, my, it's busy days... Reviews are now coming in earnest. I'm off to Washington, DC for Book Expo America, where a zillion publishing people gather from around the world.

The excellent VOYA, or Voice of Youth Advocates, the library magazine for young adults has a bunch of reviews on our Spring titles. Here are a few juicy excerpts:

THE LOST COLONY by Grady Klein-- 5Q (5 out 5 for Quality)

Life is good in the little community on the Island until Mr. Stoop stumbles onto the place and start putting up posters about the slave auction in a nearby port. Everyone wants to have a word with the newcomer, whether to work with him or to drug him and ship him back to the mainland.

(...)

At first glance, this novel appears to be a cartoony rendition of America in the nineteenth century, but it quickly proves to be chock full of insight into the controversies of the past. The messages are hidden in plain sight as Klein uses his pictures to tell the real story behind all the words of the characters.

(...)

a fantastic addition to public and most school libraries.

VAMPIRE LOVES by Joann Sfar

(...) When Ferdinand breaks up with his cheating girlfriend, he starts to look for love in all the wrong places. Chance encounters, near misses, and pickup lines combine to detail one failure after another with woman both alive and undead. As Ferdinand tries to navigate his way through a variety of relationships, readers encounter the mixture of strange creatures that inhabit Sfar’s universe. Readers of Sfar’s other works will see many familiar faces among this motley crew of characters, from the traditional ghosts to the distinctive tree-folk. The viewpoint and humor of the four independent but interconnected stories will certainly resonate with older teens who will have experienced the same trials and tribulations in their own searches for love.

(...)
Edgy and creepy but at the same time universal and normal, Vampire Loves is a unique study in contrasts that will be a pleasurable discovery for graphic novel enthusiasts.

THE FATE OF THE ARTIST by Eddie Campbell

Campbell’s latest book follows the investigation into the disappearance of Eddie Campbell. Interweaving segments reveal glimpses of his life, relationships, and philosophy in a variety of formats.
(...)
With a large body of fictional and semiautobiographical work to his credit, this book is Campbell’s most artistically ambitious work to date. Reader who have followed his Alec series will find continuity here. In this thoughtful and funny meditation on art and its affect on the artist, or vice versa, he nimbly switches stylistic gears from detective noir to humor, often featuring his perpetually swearing daughter.
(...)
librarians will appreciate where the body is finally found, the location itself a commentary on the
state of the graphic novel.

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