Graphic Novels are fast reads and a great choice for reluctant readers, aka kids who don't like to read b/c of their speed but also b/c of their format. The loads of pictures also helps reluctant readers not shy away from them. Just a reminder, it doesn't matter what you read, as long as you are reading.
This graphic novel, Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez has a lot of really great things going for it. That's why it gets 3.5 out of 5 Stars in my book review.
I really love the end papers in this book. The detail of the map in the front (shown above- I'm such a map nerd), and then a fun comic portrayal in the back of the adventure the kids went on makes for some extra fun. I've been impressed with Toon Graphics for going the extra mile with their end pages. I remember We Dig Worms and The Real Poop on Pigeons, other books by the same publisher, as having awesome end pages too. I appreciate when books and publishers really think about all of the details; I think it enhances the reading experience.
Another thing I really love about this book are the pictures. I think the pictures are really fantastic; they are perfectly suited for 3rd-7th grade readers. For example, I love the angle on this Empire State building picture; it is just neat.
Another thing I think Spiegelman and Sanchez do throughout the story is provide/sneak in information about the subway and the Empire State building in a fun, and subtly way.
After Pablo and Alicia's adventures on the subway there is the most awesome section of the book; at least a nerd like me with a traffic engineering husband finds it to be fascinating. I learned some of the coolest information in the back of this graphic novel where there is a section about the history of the subway in NYC and how it all began.
That section alone was so cool; I learned so much from it. I learned why there are lettered and numbered trains... b/c at the beginning there were two separate companies. I learned why there isn't a O or a 0 train... b/c they look too alike. I learned that they thought having a P-train would bring about laughs and maybe some un-welcomed behavior. I learned they are still building tunnels and how deep, wide, and slow the building process is. I learned a lot, and I loved it all.
There were many parts of Lost in NYC that I really enjoyed. Though, the book did lose one and half stars b/c of I felt the story line was weak. I just didn't feel there was much there, in the actual story, that really kept me turning the pages. Since the story line is a major aspect of a book it has more weight in the scoring. Though, I still think it is a great read, and a worthy collection addition, for the many other reasons listed previously.
One aspect of the book that I felt was neither a positive or a negative. The text layout was unorthodox for a graphic novel or comic book; it didn't follow the right to left top to bottom format. Even though it didn't follow traditional formatting I was still easily able to recognize where I needed to read b/c the text followed visual lines of sort. I thought this was different and worth a mention to you.
Just so you get a tad bit of information about the story line I've included the book description that is found on Amazon.
"The sights . . . the sounds . . . the SMELLS! New York's crowded subway system is known for many things, but being easy on a lost kid isn't one of them. When Pablo gets separated from his new schoolmates during his first field trip in New York City, he doesn't know how he'll be able to find them again. Luckily, he has a little knowledge, a new friend, and the surprisingly approachable city itself to guide his way. This story features maps, archival photos, and fascinating facts to help readers explore the subway without ever having to get caught like Pablo in the mob of Times Square. It brings all the bustle and beauty of NYC to young readers around the world.
This story is also available in Spanish as Perdidos en NYC: una aventura en el metro"
I love the NYC subway. I love subways in general, even though I've only rode them in NYC, and London. Have you rode a subway? Where?
Happy NYC Subway graphic novel reading!
I received this book from Myrick Marketing in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts, obviously, are mine.