Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mom and Me Mondays: Scholastic Canada Graphic Novel Edition

Well this is a very special Mom and Me post as Jake is here at work with me today. I am very lucky to work in a place that encourages you to bring your children in.  He is currently playing video games on my office mates computer so he thinks I have the coolest job EVER!  I hope the following reviews make sense as I am working on no sleep thanks to Jesse having a rough night! 

by Raina Telgemeier
Scholastic Canada
ISBN: 9780545132060
224 Pages
Ages: 10 and up

Description: Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

Jake's Review: Um Mom, this is like a girls book, do I really have to read it.  Come on Jake, just try a few pages and tell me what you think.  1 hour later.  Mom this is pretty good for a girls book, but I hope I never have to wear braces.  It doesn't sound like its much fun and btw girls are gross!  The pictures are very funny and I like that she plays video games.  I didn't like the drawings of when she broke her teeth because there was too  much blood -- ICKY!.  I don't think my friends would like this book because they are boys and boys don't like to read girls stuff.  Also I think this book is for older kids because they are talking about liking boys and other icky girls stuff.  I don't like that her friends made fun of her for having braces.  You shouldnt tease people (Mom's note, he said this 1 hour after teasing his 17 mth old brother) its just not nice. I like the authors drawing and the way she told the story, but I would have liked it better if it was about a boy my age.  You can bring me more graphic novel though ok -- much more fun to read than books!
Rating: 7/10 (I know I am surprised he gave it such a high rating)

Mom's Review: I honestly didn't think Jake was going to finish this book, figured he would just read a couple of pages and than give up.  Surprised that he read it all and gave me a review on it, I am very proud of him for sticking through it.  I absolutely loved this graphic novel, eventhough it brought back many painful memories of my own experience with having braces.  This graphic novel is sort of like a cross between a Judy Blume novel and a  For Better or Worse  comic.  The story is written with tons of humour and portrays the awkwardness of being a teen extremely effectively.  The story is fast paced, realistic and I think would appeal to the reluctant reader as well as most pre-teen and teen readers.   Definately required reading for those who have or have had braces.   I think it would be great if all Orthodentists had a copy of this in their offices -- and a few of them REALLY should read it (They might even learn how to be a little more sympathetic with their patients).  The underlying message of encouraging us to focus more on what we are on the inside rather than how we look on the outside is very sublty done and not at all preachy.
Rating: 10/10

I love this display for Smile

(Photo courtesy of Scholastic Canada)
Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher
by Jake Parker
Scholastic Canada
ISBN: 978-0-545-11715-9
172 Pages
Ages: 8 - 12

 Description: Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is a risk taker and a rule breaker, which is why he's in hot water at GSA headquarters. Then RIP, the Rogue Imperium of Planets, kidnaps a scientist who knows about the Star Crusher, a doomsday machine capable of destroying the entire universe. Time to let loose the mouse! Missile Mouse battles giant space slugs, corrupt agents, killer bugs, and a pair of shark-headed thugs to save the day (and the scientist!). And when he's sucked into the exploding Star Crusher, he becomes pure energy... energy that will consume him unless Missile Mouse can release it and destroy RIP's spaceship fleet in time. KABOOM! (Hint: No worries! Missile Mouse IS the hero of this sci-fi graphic novel with sensational, full-color art!)

Jake's Review: Mom I give this 20 out of 10. It is AWESOME, are there any more like this. I'm going to read this instead of watching tv tonight -- OK?  Lets go to the Library tomorrow and see it there are any more -- Mom, why are you grinning (Moms note: finally have someone in the family that I may be able to convince to go to a convention) .  I really liked this novel. The pictures are exciting and funny and made me want to keep reading.  Lots of cool pictures of things blowing up - but not in a scary way.  I liked the way the guy drew the aliens. Missile mouse kinda reminds me of that character you like -- the old guy -- Han Solo. (old guy -- come on he aint that old)  I liked that Missile mouse was always saying funny stuff like "If by better circumstances you mean me locking you up in solitary confinement, then I'm game". Some of the pictures were really drawn funny too like on page 127.   The bad guys were kinda cool and said funny stuff too.

Rating: 20/10

Mom's Review: As I said before, any book that Jake doesn't want to put down, pretty much guarantees me giving it a good review.  I am also a geek, so I highly recommend graphic novels in general,   I think they are fantastic especially for reluctant readers. This one is an excellent introduction to the world of graphic novels for the younger set. Lots of humour and action, but nothing too violent or offensive.  The artwork is simple but not too juvenile and the story line fast paced.   Jake was right on with his comment about Han Solo, Missile Mouse is always making some smart alecky quip to the bad guys. I would say that Missile mouse is like a cross between Han Solo and Mighty Mouse.
Rating: 8/10

The above graphic novels were given to us in exchange for a review from Scholastic Canada.


  1. It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series - is coming out in July-August. Contracts are also signed for Captain Jack's Treasure and River Rampage.

    Keep up your good work.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010

  2. Thanks Max, I will be checking out some of your books for my son and I to read. I guess that means there is hope for my younger boy who is just eating books at this time in his life (17mths)