Graphic Novels for Young Readers

These two books come from Stone Arch Books and are a part of a larger series called Graphic Sparks which the publishers describe as "good-humored", graphic novels especially designed for younger readers with "wacky comic-book-style artwork". And I concur with that. As with all Stone Arch graphic novels they are also well suited for educational use. With the back pages containing: About the Author, About the Illustrator, Glossary, More about the topic of interest (in this case the myth of werewolves and a brief history of Frankenstein), Discussion Questions and Writing Prompts. Plenty of material for a teacher to buy a set and include these graphic novels in a book study. Of course, we just read the books here at home! No further study required.

Eek & Ack vs the Wolfman by Blake A Hoena. Illustrated by Steve Harpster. 33 pgs. 2009. RL: 1.8.

Eek & Ack are two aliens who fly around in a spaceship which looks suspiciously like a washing machine. They decide to visit Earth to find out why it is so hard to conquer. They arrive on Halloween night dressed in costume with funny results but eventually meet up with a Wolfman who has also used the night to fit in with humans and decides that Eek & Ack look tasty . Lots of fun! My son had a great time reading this one, even though there were quite a few hard words for him. I had to help him out quite a bit but he loved the characters and really enjoyed the story. He would be very happy if we placed another Eek and Ack book in his hands and fortunately there are several already out about the alien duo. The illustrations are wonderful! Done in cool colours, most pages showcase greens, blues and purples and they are a perfect fit for the story. 4/5

Other Eek & Ack books are:
Eek and Ack Invaders from the Great Goo Galaxy
Eek and Ack Ooze Slingers from Outer Space
Eek & Ack Beyond the Black Hole
Eek & Ack The Puzzling Pluto Plot

Zinc Alloy vs Frankenstein by Donald Lemke. Illustrated by Douglas Holgate. RL: 1.9. 2009. 33 pgs.

Zack Allen has a robotic suit that turns him into a superhero, Zinc Alloy. A twister is headed his way and when Zinc tries to push it out of the path of his town he short circuits and ends up in the forest where he comes face to face with another robot, Frankenstein! Zinc's superhero efforts all seem to lead to unexpected results. Another fun book that my 9yo son really enjoyed. My son is a reluctant reader and the superhero aspect of this book grabbed him right away. Some words are a bit difficult but with me sitting beside him and helping as needed the story kept him going and frustration-free as he enjoyed the fast-paced action and the subtle humour found in some of the illustrations. It's wonderful to find books that are easy to read but hold the interest of an older child. When he finished reading this my son's first words were "Are there any more Zinc books?" So we flipped the book over and there on the back cover were the pictures of the first two in the series! 4/5

Other Zinc Alloy Books:

Zinc Alloy Revealed!
Zinc Alloy Super Zero


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