Monday, October 21, 2013
Is your best never good enough? Do you keep trying and trying and still the people you are trying to help trash your efforts? Then you might find accidental superhero Lin fascinating as she brings her writings to life with the push of a button when she becomes the hero from her books. With flash photography as her superhero weakness, Lin a.k.a. AC makes an interesting if unsure teen champion whose cell phone uses binary code to transform her into a superhero.
The manga style of the illustrations is fine but if the writer hadn’t explicitly told me that the superhero is constantly surrounded by flower petals, I would not have been able to tell what the white blobs were from the illustrations. The three color style is too simple and serves the storyline poorly. Purple is used both the hero and the villian which can be moderately confusing. Full color or black and white illustrations would have made the images sharper and easier to understand.
Although the ending is somewhat satisfying, this can only be book one of at least a two book series because there are so many unanswered questions at the end.
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Monday, August 26, 2013
I’ve been very interested in Afghanistan since the 1980s and I eagerly devour as much non-fiction as I can on the diverse cultures, complex history and natural beauty of the country. Ellis’s My name is Parvana was created to be a realistic fiction novel based on the lives of multiple children that the author met during her time in Afghanistan. The importance of education and its positive impact on the lives of girls is readily apparent throughout the book. At the same time the author also emphasizes the trauma of war as it permeates every aspect of life for these Afghan teens. The natural dialogue between friends and family members is both compelling and endearing as it moves the story along. Other scenes from the book do not feel as authentic because the author provides Parvana with reactions that are distinctly American. For example when Parvana smells onions on someone’s breath she mentally references a hamburger not bolani, which is a common Afghan dish.
This book is a good introduction into Afghanistan because it captures the emotions of some of the war-weary populace. For a more Afghan perspective on life in Afghanistan I would recommend Zoya’s Story by John Follain or Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez.
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