I must confess, this was the first book in this series that I’ve read. That being said, it didn’t take me too long to understand the premise or understand the motivations of the character. This book has the heft necessary to make the young reader feel proud of their choice. It has enough humor and randomness to hold the attention of kids who struggle.
As a kid, I didn’t enjoy comic books. The small writing gave me headaches and I think I had a hard time following the storyline. As an adult, it has been work for me to enjoy graphic novels. That being said, I am a huge believer in reading for reading’s sake. I have read dozens of articles that help me understand their value and power. I’ve also read that readers need to be ‘taught’ some of the structures of graphic novels to help them make the most of them. I’m not sure that is entirely true.
The graphic images, for this reader, tell most of the story. Sure the words are there and add depth and layers of context, but for this reader, the images either make or break it for me.
This series is very popular with young readers in my library. There are TONS of silly, funny, ridiculous sidebars in this book that make the 8-year-old in me and the second graders in my library giggle. It’s the lack of color in those illustrations though that make this a three-star book for me. I need that element to help me look even more deeply into the images and absorb that extra layer of context.
I’m excited to put this book on the shelves of my library so my students can climb on up to this next level of the treehouse!