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Showing posts from January, 2011

19. MAOH: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 3

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MAOH: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 3 by Megumi Osuga. Translated from the Japanese by Stephen Paul (Canada) - (US)
MAOH: Juvenile Remix

Pages: 192
Ages: 16+
Finished: Jan. 21, 2011
First Published: 2007, Japan (Nov. 9, 2010 US)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, manga, action, fantasy
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:


"P-put it out, you moron!"

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Wow! This series is consistently remaining exciting and receiving 5 stars from me. I'm loving it and really can't wait for volume 4. Ando tries to help out when some thugs are threatening to blow up a gas station. This forces a face-to-face meeting with him and Inukai, the mysterious leader of the vigilante group The Grasshoppers. I don't want to give any plot away but we see into Inukai's character in this volume and he is not someone to be liked, but the issue of whether he is a god or demon is still equally possible. Two fabulous new charact…

Fire Fighter! (DK Readers)

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Fire Fighter! by Angela Royston (Canada) - (US)
Dorling Kindersley Readers, Level 2

Pages: 32
Ages: 5+
Finished: Jan. 20, 2011
First Published: 1998
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Genre: easy reader, non-fiction
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

It is busy at the fire house even when there is no fire.

Acquired: Bought used at a thrift store or book/garage sale.

Reason for Reading: son read aloud to me as his reader.

Not too much to say here. Everything you could want in an easy reader. Engaging text and DK's usual exciting photography to compliment. We see inside the fire station and what fire fighters do there; then we are taken on the road with them to a real fire. The pictures of a house on fire are stunning, though could be frightening for younger children. As well as the plot which involves the fire fighters thinking a child may be in the house, exciting but possibly scary for younger readers. Every now and then there is a fact box of information. These use a smaller print and are an asid…

18. Taro and the Magic Pencil by Sango Morimoto

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Taro and the Magic Pencil by Sango Morimoto. Translated from the Japanese by Katherine Schilling. (Canada) - (US)
Adventures of Taro, 1


Pages: 104
Ages: 6-10
Finished: Jan. 19, 2011
First Published: 2008, Japan (Nov. 2, 2010 US)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: manga, fantasy
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

This is Taro, the Prince of Comics.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: The plot sounded fun and I thought my son might enjoy the book.

This is an absolutely adorable story with a plot worthy of any popular cartoon show. Taro loves to draw comics and when he isn't reading them he is drawing them in his sketchbook and has pictures all over his room. He imagines they all live in a world called Doodledum. One day the very first drawing he made comes to life to tell him that Doodledum is in great peril. A nasty villain, King Crossout, is erasing everything in Doodledum and if Taro doesn't come to save them they will all be deleted. …

Emmett's Pig by Mary Stolz

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Emmett's Pig by Mary Stolz. Pictures by Garth Williams. (Out of Print)
An I CAN READ Book


Pages: 63
Ages: 6+
Finished: Jan. 18, 2011
First Published: 1959
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: children, easy reader, animal story
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

{unknown} my copy is missing the first few pages.


Acquired: Purchased at a book/garage sale or thrift store.

Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud as his reader.

Even though we are missing the first few pages of this book it really didn't matter to the story. We could easily tell what had been discussed on the missing pages as it was recapped for us on a further page. This is a darling book! The story is about a boy who just loves pigs and has his whole room decorated with pigs and pig everything. He wants a pig of his own but they live in the city so his parents always so no. Emmett has dreamed everything about owning his own pig, how he'll care for it and even what he'll name it. But then along comes his birthday and his paren…

17. Fire in the Sky: A Tale of the Hindenburg Explosion

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Fire in the Sky: A Tale of the Hindenburg Explosion by J. Gunderson. Illustrated by Claude St. Aubin* (Canada) - (US)
Graphic Flash series

Pages: 49
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jan. 18, 2011
First Published: Mar. 30, 2009
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Genre: children, historical fiction, graphic hybrid
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

I had the best bedroom in Germany.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Stone Arch Books.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son as part of our history curriculum.

This is a hi-low chapter book with occasional pages of graphic panels used within the story to continue the action instead of text, a hybrid. Michael Roth, his brother and father, an American, are moving to America from Germany for at least the duration of the war and they are coming via the Hindenburg. Michael has been fascinated with the airship ever since it was built. There is a strange man aboard whom Michael starts to wonder if he is a spy who plans to blow the airship up. As Michael sneaks around trying to f…

16. Genkaku Picasso, Vol. 1

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Genkaku Picasso, Vol. 1 by Usamaru Furuya (Canada) - (US)
Genkaku Picasso Trilogy, Vol.


Pages: 249
Ages: 16+
Finished: Jan. 19, 2011
First Published: Nov. 2, 2010
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, manga, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5


First sentence:

I meant to write Hikari Hamura.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon and Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: The publisher's simple one line tag at pre-publication grabbed my attention and piqued my interest. "Having cheated death, Hikaru Hamura must save himself by using his artistic abilities to help others."

Hikaru, who has been nick-named Picasso, is pretty much a loner type of guy who really likes to spend his time alone drawing in his sketchbook whenever he can. He has one close friend, a girl named Chiaki. They are both in a terrible accident and Chiaki is killed but Hikaru survives. What he soon learns is that he really did die but he has been allowed to live if he uses his drawings to help others. If he lets too much time go by his…

15. Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp

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Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp by Jerry Stanley. Illustrated with Photographs (Canada) - (US)


Pages: 85
Ages: 11+
Finished: Jan. 17, 2011
First Published: 1992
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Genre: YA, non-fiction, American history
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Life had always been hard on the farmers who lived in Oklahoma, and in the 1930s it was especially hard on those who lived in the Panhandle, a barren stretch of rock and red soil sandwiched between Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico.

Acquired: Purchase a copy through an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son for our history curriculum.

This is the story of a group of people who called themselves "Okies", having come from the Oklahoma region, who migrated to California from the Dust Bowl area during the Depression of the 1930's. Through extensive photographs and quotes from those who were youngsters at the time we get an insider's look at the Dust Bowl and what it was …

Monday: Books in the Mail

Sorry no pretty pictures or descriptions today. The links will take you there though! I have to get these posted and am so busy. I've been cleaning the house for the cleaners to come tomorrow. (Yeah, it's that bad!) We are only having a very small wedding but still some family members are flying, busing, driving in starting Wed. and our 3 bed. house is going to be full! Then we get married on Sat!

Here's what my mailbox held last week:

Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba (from Vertigo/DC Comics)

Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 by Jake Parker (from Scholastic Canada)

The Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor (from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)

Vermonia #4: The Rukan Prophecy by Yoyo (from Candlewick Press)

My son's math curriculum:
Math-U-See Gamma

And that's all folks!

14. The Last Airbender Prequel: Zuko's Story

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The Last Airbender Prequel: Zuko's Story by Dave Roman & Alison Wilgus. Illustrated by Nina Matsumoto (Canada) - (US)


Pages: 144
Ages: 10+
Finished: Jan. 17 , 2011
First Published: Jan. 18, 2010
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: children, manga, fantasy
Rating: 3/5



First sentence:

"Prince Zuko, you have shown yourself to be unworthy of the crown and unfit to stand upon the land of our noble ancestors."

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: This was a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels was required reading for me. The panelists did not receive a review copy from the publisher and, I, unfortunately, was unable to find a copy before our nominations were due. My copy from Interlibrary Loan request had just now come in.

I have not seen this movie, though I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan movies even when the critics trash them. I have watched the cartoon some years ago when my son was younger, it was one of his favourites but he no …

I Finished The Stand!

Yeah me! I did it! I finally read The Stand by Stephen King after putting it off for 2 years. Silly me was looking at 15 days but in reality it took me 21 days to read the 1141 page Signet paperback with tiny print. First goal of 2011 completed! And now I can get back to moving forward with my Stephen King project.

And now I can start reading other books!

Asperger's Comedy

This is a video that makes fun of Asperger's but as someone with Asperger's I can say it is very close to the truth and it is ok to be able to laugh at yourself. I find this quite hilarious!

I've taken those facial expression tests myself and can never get sad right very often myself. I always think the emotion is surprised. Of course, in the real test there is no tear to give it away.


Asperger's HighUCBcomedy.comWatch more comedy videos from the twisted minds of the UCB Theatre at UCBcomedy.com

Rex Murphy on "Iranium" & free speech

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13. Stuart Goes to School by Sara Pennypacker

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Stuart Goes to School by Sara Pennypacker. Illustrated by Martin Matje. (Canada) - (US)
The Amazing World of Stuart, 2

Pages: 58
Ages: 6+
Finished: Jan. 16, 2011
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: children, humour
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

As soon as he woke up, Stuart knew it was going to be a bad day.

Acquired: Bought a used copy at a book sale.

Reason for Reading: Honestly, the illustrations had me!

This is a cute little story in a chapter book format that is really intended for reading aloud. Being about a third grader it certainly is for the younger crowd but elementary students will probably have a hard time reading it themselves as it is not exactly an easy read and the print is quite tiny. No, this story is going to be much more appreciated as a read aloud.

It's the first day of school once again and Stuart, constant worrier, has even more things to worry about than usual. But with the help of his magical cape he made for himself he thinks he'll be able to make i…

DNF. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith. Adapted by Tony Lee. Illustrated by Cliff Richards (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 176
Ages: 18+
Finished: DNF
First Published: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: graphic novel, humour, horror
Rating: DNF




First sentence:

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: This was a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels was required reading for me. The panelists did not receive a review copy from the publisher I, unfortunately, was unable to find a copy before our nominations were due. My copy from Interlibrary Loan request had just now come in.

I'm not a Jane Austen fan. I haven't read this novel. However, I do like zombies and thought the graphic novel of this might be fun. I was wrong. The pages are unnumbered so I don't know how man…

Pro Life - March for Life Theme Song

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12. Two Generals by Scott Chantler

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Two Generals by Scott Chantler (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 243
Ages: Adult (but easily a YA crossover)
Finished: Jan. 14, 2011
First Published: Oct. 26, 2010
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Genre: memoirs, biography, WWII, France,Canadian history
Rating: 5/5




First sentence:

"I-is that you, Lieutenant?"

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I love reading journals,memoirs and books based on them.

Wow! That one word could some up my complete review. Wow to the story! Wow to the graphics! Wow to the physical book itself!

Let's start with the book. The top and bottom halves are faux leather-look, the corners are rounded on the board and the pages. The pages are a nice thick quality paper and the book virtually looks like a moleskin journal. It even has an elastic band to hold it together. Beautiful book to behold!

The story is centred on the true life WW II experiences of the author's grandfather Lew Chantler and his best friend Jack. Little did…

11. Who Was Amelia Earhart?

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Who Was Amelia Earhart? by Kate Boehm Jerome. Illustrated by David Cain. (Canada) - (US)
Who was ...? series

Pages: 106
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jan. 12, 2011
First Published: 2002
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Genre: children, biography
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

Amelia Earhart was a pioneer.

Acquired: Bookmooched.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to ds as part of our history curriculum.

This is a basic biography of Amelia Earhart focusing on her accomplishments though it does tell her life story from her childhood onwards. The brief opening chapter explains how Amelia's name is nowadays associated with her disappearance and death, but that this book is not about her end but about her life. It gives a good look at Earhart's progress to becoming a pilot and her motivation to setting records, as well as exploring her impact on women of the time. An interesting aspect that I enjoyed was that within each chapter there is a time-out page which will give a brief explanation of a topic that has co…

Jimmy Neutron: Jimmy on Ice (Easy Reader)

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Jimmy on Ice by Adam Beechen. Illustrated by Mark Marderosian (Canada) - (US)
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius
Ready-to-Read
, Level 2

Pages: 32
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jan. 11, 2011
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon
Genre: easy reader, science fiction
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

Jimmy Neutron and his friends Carl and Sheen played in Jimmy's backyard under the hot summer sun.
Acquired: Bought used at a thrift store or book/garage sale.

Reason for Reading: son read aloud to me as his reader.

Both ds and I love the Jimmy Neutron cartoons so there is always going to be a fair amount of enjoyment from a storybook about Jimmy and his science inventions. This time it so hot out that even Sheen's Ultra Lord action figures are melting. Jimmy has a great idea using Carl's sunblock. He'll just magnify it's power and using a laser beam coat the sun with sunblock to cool things down a bit. And it works! Only it works too well and Jimmy may have just started th…

Two Easy Reader Graphic Novels from Stone Arch Books

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Publisher: Stone Arch Books

Acquired: Received review copies from Capstone Publishers.

Reason for Reading: I am a huge fan of Stone Arch books which publishes "worry-free" content, easy reader graphic novels and chapter books with graded reading levels. My reading challenged son has used their books to improve his reading skills and has enjoyed almost all the books, even when I don't.

End Zone Thunder (Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels) by Scott Ciencin, illustrated by Gerardo Sandoval. Aug. 1, 2010, 56 pgs. - The book has been professionally drawn and styled and it shows. Done in a style typical of comics and superhero cartoons with angular faces and jawlines and manga-type hairstyles. This is definitely a high-low reader, with a reading level of 1.7 and interest level up to 14 yo. The two receivers on the team are competitive with each other to such a degree that the other players are beginning to find it detrimental to the team, even though both are the…

10. Jack of Fables: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack

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The New Adventures of Jack and Jack by Bill Willingham, Mark Sturges & Chris Roberson. Art by Tony Akins & Ross Braun. (Canada) - (US)
Jack of Fables, Vol. 7


Pages: 126
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jan. 11, 2011
First Published: Jun. 29, 2010
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, fairy tales
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Anchorage, Alaska.
"It is cold, Jack."
Acquired: Purchased a new copy via an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

I've never liked Jack of Fables as much as the original Fables series but it has been more than interesting enough to keep me reading. A lot of fans were somewhat disappointed with a "Great Crossover", however I was not one of them. I was very excited to read this new volume of Jack, knowing that a whole new story arc would be starting from the remnants that remained from the "Great Crossover". The new Jack, Jack Frost, is a lovable character, so unlike the original Jack Horner that I was greatly expecta…

Monday: Books in the Mail

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A full and busy mailbox last week brought me plenty of review books:

From Harper Collins Canada:

Incorruptible, Vol. 3 by Mark Waid - Reformed supervillain Max Damage, and his sidekick Jailbait, travel to the ruins of Sky City. A vicious gang of Plutonian-worshipping white supremacists are wreaking havoc on the survivors and ruling with no mercy. But there's one thing they didn't count on...Max Damage. The key to victory may lie in the hands of Alana Patel, Plutonian's ex-girlfriend. But how will Max ally himself with Alana when she hasn't come close to forgetting about Max kidnapping and torturing her in his days as a villain?






Irredeemable, Vol. 5 by Mark Waid. The secret history of Hornet, who died at the hands of Plutonian, is finally revealed. The fallen Paradigm member had a plan--a fail safe--that puts all of Earth and the Plutonian in danger. And when Modeus' plans reach critical mass, the few remaining heroes of Earth are the only thing standing between civil…

09. A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina

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A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina. Art by Antonio Fuso (Canada) - (US)
Vertigo Crime series

Pages: 180
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jan. 10, 2011
First Published: Oct. 19, 2010
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: graphic novel, mystery
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

So she's finally dead?

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I love that the pure mystery/thriller/crime genre is so much more easily found in the graphic novel format now. I'll always take a look when I see one and the plot had me on this book.

They could be your typical family: Ted and Biddy Usher, Biddy's mom Martha, and the three grown children, with the youngest in his last year of his school, William, Amy and Sam. But they are not, typical that is. It is Christmas and in the basement flat they rent out a horrendous murder takes place. Ted quickly makes plans to incorporate that portion back into the house as he'd been wanting to for years. Then family members start to die. One by on…

Graphic Novels Challenge 2011 - Finished

Well, I have officially completed to Graphic Novel Challenge which at the Expert Level was to read 10+ books: Here are the books I read for the challenge. However I do intend to still play along and continue to add books to the list and linkies throughout the year. These are my official books read:


Graphic Novel Challenge 2011 (Expert 10+) (Jan-Dec. 2011) FINISHED
1. The Night Owls by Peter & Bobby Timony
2. Thunder from the Sea: Adventure on Board the HMS Defender by Jeff Weigel
3. Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 2: Research by Thomas Siddell
4. Incorruptible, Vol. 2 by Mark Waid
5. Agatha Christie's Peril at End House by Didier Quella-Guyot
6. The Zabime Sisters by Aristophane
7. New Monster in School by Sean O'Reilly
8. The Incredible Rockhead vs. Papercut! by Scott Nickel
9. Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer
10. Luna Park by Kevin Baker
11. Lola, A Ghost Story by J. Torres

Books added after:
12. A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina
13. Jack of Fables: The New Adventures o…

08. Lola, A Ghost Story by J. Torres

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Lola, A Ghost Story by J. Torres. Illustrated by Elbert Or (Canada) - (US)


Pages: 102
Ages: 12+
Finished: Jan. 9 , 2011
First Published: Jan. 13, 2010
Publisher: Oni Press
Genre: YA, graphic novel, ghost story
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

The Tagalog word for grandmother is "Lola".

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: This was a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels was required reading for me. The panelists did not receive a review copy from the publisher and like most other panelists, I, unfortunately, was unable to find a copy before our nominations were due. My copy from Interlibrary Loan request had just now come in.

This is a great ghost story told in the classic tradition and very worthy to be read by all ghost story aficionados. Jesse sees dead people, goblins, demons, monsters, etc. but he's learned to stop telling anyone since his parents' and teachers' reactions have been less than accepting. Now he and h…

Sunday Salon

I'm not a member of this group who posts on Sundays but thought I'd nab the title and post my own "Sunday Salon" for today. This is especially for those readers who are wondering what is up with all the graphic novel reviews and will they ever end! Yes, they will end, not permanently by any means, I am an addict, but I will be posting a wider range of types and genres in the near future. But for the time being my posts are going to remain mostly graphic novels/manga with some easy readers and the occasional children's book thrown in while I am working on The Stand by Stephen King.

To read The Stand was my first goal of 2011 and if you didn't read why before you can find out here. How's it going you ask? Well this is the first chunkster of this scope I have read in ages and it feels weird to keep on reading the same book. First I started off with a bonus though, as I had thought the book had 1500 pgs but it really only had 1100 (must be another chunks…

07. Luna Park by Kevin Baker

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Luna Park by Kevin Baker. Art by Danijel Zezelj (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 157
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jan 8, 2011
First Published: Nov. 30, 2010
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: magical realism, crime, historical fiction
Rating: 4/5





First sentence:


Every day, he tries to escape the nightmare.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: The Russian historical aspects and the publisher's summary had me intrigued.

This is a very difficult book to give a summary as nothing is as it seems but let me tell you what appears to be happening as the book starts. Alik Strelnikov is a Russian immigrant who made a deal back in Russia which got him his freedom in America. This 'freedom' lead him to working for a second fiddle Russian mob group in Coney Island as an enforcer. Here he lives an existence with his girlfriend in an apartment drinking, listening to old Russian records and shooting heroin to forget what he has become. But he is plagued with dreams, nightmares actually,…

06. Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer

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Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer (Canada) - (US)
The Crogan Adventures, Vol. 2

Pages: 208
Ages: 13+
Finished: Jan. 7, 2011
First Published: Feb. 3, 2010
Publisher: Oni Press
Genre: YA, historical fiction, graphic novel
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:

Mom! Mom!
Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series. This was a Cybils '10 nominee and as a panelist for Graphic Novels was required reading for me. The panelists did not receive a review copy from the publisher and like most other panelists, I, unfortunately, was unable to find a copy before our nominations were due. My copy from Interlibrary Loan request had just now come in.

Set within the framework of the modern day Crogan family, the father tells the patriarchal story of a fellow Crogan ancestor from the past. This book is about Peter Crogan, Legionnaire, circa 1912. An action packed story of a man within the French Foreign Legion and the fellow soldiers he meets and bonds with in various …