Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Flight (Volume 1) by Kazu Kibuishi

Title: Flight (Volume One)
Author: Kazu Kibuishi
Publisher: Villard
Date: April 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0345496362

Plot Summary: Flight (Volume One) is the first in a series of six graphic novel anthologies of short stories compiled by Kazu Kibuishi, featuring talented young artists and writers.  Although it was not a requirement for inclusion, many of the stories feature the theme of flying, such as “Air and Water” by Enrico Casarosa, which was inspired by the writings of aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  Some contain more fanciful elements, like “Hugo Earhart” by Jake Parker, which is about a young boy accompanied by a miniature green flying pig and a flying purple whale.  Many of the artists appear to do their work using computer programs, but some have other techniques, such as in the story “Paper and String” by Jen Wang, which creates images using mixed media, including decorative paper and even photographs.  It is truly a diverse collection, and the stories range from the comedic to the tragic.

Critical Evaluation: Aside from being an impressive collection in its own right, the first volume of the Flight series would serve as a great introduction to the graphic novel genre.  Rather than sticking to a narrow vision or visual style (for instance, only featuring art that resembles the anime style), Flight truly incorporates a wide variety of young talent within the graphic arts community – ranging from the cartoonish to the traditionally artistic.  It was incredible how much story could be packed into each short contribution – the visual element really expanded on the included text and made the stories deeper and understood in different ways.  In this instance, a picture really is worth a thousand words.  With the wide range of artistic vision, it would have been nice to have a bit more of a coherent theme, to thread through the stories and make the entire volume more cohesive. In any case, Flight is a phenomenal book and deserves a spot on the shelf.

Reader’s Annotation: This graphic novel is a collection of short stories from several talented young artists and writers.

Author Information: Kazu Kibuishi is the founder and editor of the Flight Anthologies, a critically acclaimed comics series, as well as the creator of Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, a winner of the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults Award.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kazu moved to the U.S. with his mother and brother when he was a child. He graduated from Film Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He currently works as a full-time comic book artist.  Kazu lives with his wife in Alhambra, California.  (Source)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Alternate Formats, Short Stories

Curriculum Ties: Art, Graphic Art

Booktalking Ideas:
1) Do you think the graphic novel illustrations translate well into short stories?
2) What was your favorite story from the collection?  Why?
3) Did you find that the visuals or text was more important for understanding the stories?

Interest Age: 12 and older.

Challenge Issues: None.

Challenge Defense Ideas: This book has no apparent challenge issues, but if a challenge comes up:

• Become familiar with the book and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on Amazon.com.

• Try to get reviews of the book from teens who have read it.

Selection: I was looking for more graphic novels to add to my collection, and Flight caught my attention because Library Journal said of the volume: “Regardless of where it’s shelved, this book belongs in every library.”

Extras:

Official Flight website.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Graphic Novels | , | Leave a comment

Seventeen

Title: Seventeen
Editor-in-Chief: Ann Shoket
Company: Hearst Corporation

Summary: Celebrity gossip, fashion advice, makeup and relationship tips – Seventeen magazine has it all!  The magazine is divided into themed sections, with color coded borders that make it easy to flip to the articles you want, whether fashion, beauty, health, love life, or your life – which features interviews with real Seventeen readers!  The issue I reviewed, May 2010 (pictured), had themed articles within each section.  For instance, the fashion portion seemed to be primarily devoted to pages of shoes, and the beauty section was all about using self tanners and protecting your skin with sunscreen – a great lead in for summer.  Since it’s graduation season, there was advice on dating after high school, and tips on how to thrive at college.  It was also a “freebie” issue – chock full of giveaways, from gift cards and shoes to cameras, a bike, and even a computer!  The cover article was an interview of actress Shailene Woodley, from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and there were lots of other celebrity tidbits.

Critical Evaluation: I have to say it: Ads.  Lots of ads.  Of course, this is not surprising, but the ads and articles are so similarly formatted that it was sometimes hard to tell the difference (other times it was obvious they were intentionally juxtaposed – after Seventeen recommended a Clinique sunscreen in the self-tanner promoting article, the next page opened to a two-page spread advertising the exact same product).  I don’t have a big problem with marketing, I just hope that the teen readers are perceptive enough to view them with a critical eye.  There were some things I was pleased to see – I didn’t expect to find a health section, including a work out and some healthy eating tips.  They also had an article about teen pregnancy, which I thought was fairly balanced – they portrayed keeping the baby, putting it up for adoption, and abortion as equivalent options without placing judgment, and mentioned abstinence as a choice but promoted safe sex as an alternative.

Reader’s Annotation: Check out Seventeen magazine for fashion and makeup advice, relationship tips and even celebrity gossip!

Editor-in-Chief Information: Prior to her position at Seventeen, Ann Shoket was the Executive Editor of CosmoGIRL! magazine, where she developed the friends, love and celebrities sections.  She also worked as the Web Editorial Director of cosmogirl.com and redefined the magazine’s online presence.

“Shoket has a B.A., cum laude, from New York University and a certificate in Media Management from The New School. She currently lives in New York City.” (Source)

Genre: Alternate Formats, Non-Fiction, Relationships, Fashion

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) How does seeing so many advertisements make you feel?  Does it bother you?
2) How well do the headlines on the cover actually portray the content of the article?
3) Do you have a favorite section of the magazine?  Do you think they provide good advice?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: sexual content

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the magazine and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Try to get reviews of the magazine from teens who read it.

Selection: I wanted to include a magazine that was targeted to a teen audience.  I knew that Seventeen would be a good choice – I used to read it as a teen!

Extras:

Official website

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Magazine | , , , | 3 Comments