Bound To Stay Bound

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 Stonekeeper
 Author: Kibuishi, Kazu


 Publisher:  Scholastic
 Pub Year: 2008

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 185 p., col. ill., 24 cm.

 BTSB No: 517060 ISBN: 9780439846806
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Subjects:
 Graphic novels
 Adventure fiction
 Magic
 Robots -- Cartoons and comics

Price: $17.01

Summary:
Book 1--A world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot--and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission. In graphic novel format.

Series:
Amulet, Bk. 1


Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 2.00
   Points: 1.0   Quiz: 121996
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.20
   Points: 3.0   Quiz: 49873

Reviews:
   Kirkus Reviews (11/15/07)
   School Library Journal (00/01/08)
   Booklist (12/01/07)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/08)

Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2008 Emily, her younger brother, and her mother are trying to start over in a different house after a family tragedy. Their new home, which has been in the family for generations, holds many mysteries, the most pressing of which is an amulet that Emily finds that seems the only aid in saving her mother after Mom is swallowed by a giant, many-tentacled creature in the basement. The amulet leads Emily and her brother to Alledia (a parallel but quite different version of Earth), where she meets her great-grandfather and learns of her potential as a leader of this world just before he dies. Left with vague clues, a team of robot helpers, and a perhaps digested mother, Emily is overwhelmed but determined to save the day. In this first volume of a graphic-novel series, Kibuishi ably balances gripping, sparsely worded adventure scenes with an emotionally taut storyline (the first chapter, when Emily’s father dies, is not only heartbreakingly rendered but adds further depth to Emily’s determination to save her other parent). The full-color illustrations are presented with varying degrees of detail: while the faces of the characters are relatively simple and show little expression change, the simultaneously lush and harsh creatures and objects in Alledia are intricately drawn. Although hardcore GN fans may find the omnipresent sound effects a bit distracting (szraaks, hweees, and fwooms abound), comic-book fans will recognize this as a familiar method of conveying action and drama. The ending is far from conclusive, but the absurdly cool final spreads of a house transforming into a robotic form of transportation for Emily as she continues her quest will certainly be enough to make readers forgive the cliffhanger and anticipate the sequel. AS - Copyright 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 01/01/2008 Gr 4 Up-Hurrying to pick up her brother, Emily and her parents have a tragic accident, and her father dies. After this dark beginning, the story skips forward two years to when the remaining family members are forced to move to an ancestral house in a small town. Rumored to be haunted, it is unkempt and forbidding. The first night there, Emily's mother goes down to the basement to investigate a noise and doesn't return. The kids search for her and discover a doorway into another world, where their mother has been swallowed by a monster and is being taken away. An amulet that Emily found in the house tells her that together they can save her, but her brother isn't so sure that this voice can be trusted. Still, what other choice do they have in this strange place? Gorgeous illustrations with great color bring light to this gloomy tale. Filled with excitement, monsters, robots, and mysteries, this fantasy adventure will appeal to many readers, but it does have some truly nightmarish elements.-Dawn Rutherford, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 12/01/2007 Kibuishi, the creator of the action-packed Daisy Kutter series, sets his sights on a slightly younger crowd here. This first volume in the new Amulet graphic novel series introduces Emily, who has relocated to a strange house in the woods, where she finds a magical amulet left behind by her great grandfather. Soon after, she and her brother engage in a wild adventure to learn the secrets of the amulet and save their mother. Emily is as high-spirited a heroine as you are likely to find, and, propelled by uncluttered visuals, her action-packed adventure sequences move at an exciting clip. However, there are also dark elements in the tale—the gut-wrenching opening in which Emily loses her father in a car accident. the autumnal tones of the animation-like art, and the ambiguous agenda of the amulet itself. Part fantasy (anthropomorphized animals, elves) and part manga (transforming robots, tentacled monsters), this volume has much to appeal to readers, though they may be in for a more emotionally complex read than expected. - Copyright 2007 Booklist.

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