The review copies of Crogan's Vengeance and Crogan's March were both sent to me by the publisher; Crogan's Vengeance was a Cybils finalist in the YA graphic novels category.
When one of the boys faces a mild issue such as bullies at school or a fight with his brother, Dad quickly steps in with a helpful tale of how a past Crogan dealt with a similar issue, and those past Crogans form the meat of the story. Which is good--the frame story is amusing, but for me, the real action takes place in the stories of pirate "Catfoot" Crogan (in Crogan's Vengeance) or legionnaire Peter Crogan (in Crogan's March). The frame lends it some ongoing structure from volume to volume, but it mainly seemed to serve the purpose of making sure the reader is aware of the theme and the moral of each tale. That didn't bother me, though some might find it intrusive or unneeded.
In some ways I would have loved this to be in color, but maybe it's better for the style of the broad ink strokes that it's black and white--it helps focus attention on the slashing, expressive line quality, and adds to the atmosphere of action-packed fighting. A fun series with plenty of kid and adult appeal and a very classic, old-school kids-comics feel.
I will have to look into these. My students love graphic novels, and I'm always looking for ones that are amusing and somewhat educational.
I thought these were fantastic. I was really happy (and surprised) they made it to the final round. I'm especially fond of Catfoot. A good series.
Amusing and somewhat educational is a good description--I really enjoyed these. Catfoot was one of my favorites of all the Cybils finalists!
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