Saturday, November 21, 2015

Module 13: Amulet: The Stonekeeper

Book Summary: The first book in a graphic novel series, Amulet: The Stonekeeper tells the story of a brother and sister named Emily and Navin. A few years after their father's death, they move to their great grandfather's remote home. While there, Emily discovers an old amulet. Her mom is quickly kidnapped by a monster, and Emily and Navin race after her to the rescue. After arriving in the parallel world, Emily discovers new powers, and the siblings find new friends, new dangers, and new responsibilities. 

APA Reference: Kibuishi, K. (2008). Amulet: The stonekeeper. New York, NY: Scholastic, Graphix.

Impressions: The artwork is great, reminiscent of a high-class manga style. The story is run-of-the-mill, at least at this point, but the characters are well written, and the action moves the book forward very quickly. Enough intrigue is left, as well, to make the reader want to continue on with the series to see what happens to the characters and to find out what is really going on.

Professional Review: Almost too clever and poignant, Amulet is, on the surface, about navigating the murky waters of adolescence and, beneath that, an exploration of abandonment and survival. Emily and Navin are lost children, literally lost in a dark, new world and struggling to save their mother, who has been kidnapped by a drooling, tentacled beast. With stellar artwork, imaginative character design, moody color and consistent pacing, this first volume's weakness lies in its largely disjointed storytelling. There is the strong, young, heroine; cute, furry, sidekicks; scary monsters--all extraordinary components, but pieced together in a patchwork manner. There is little hope in his dark world as Kibuishi removes Emily and Navin's frame of safety. Their hopes rest in a magic amulet that seems to be working in the interest of the children--until it suddenly isn't. The most frightening element of Amulet is the sense of insecurity we feel for Emily, fighting her way through uncharted terrain with no guide and no support system. This first volume of Amulet isn't a disappointment, but it does feel like a warmup to the main event. If anything, it's a clear indication that Kibuishi has just begun skimming the surface of his own talent.

Publishers Weekly. (2008). Amulet: The Stonekeeper (Book). [Review of the book Amulet: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi]. Publishers Weekly, 255(4), 48.

Library Uses: The book series could be used to get reluctant readers, particularly boys, interested in reading by discussing and going through it with them.

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