Friday, August 3, 2012

Power Play

Title: Power Play: A Graphic Guide Adventure
Author: Liam O'Donnell
Illustrator: Mike Deas
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: April, 2011
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction-Mystery/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: Devin and Nadia team up with Bounce, Pema and Marcus as they all travel to Northern Ontario to watch their parents present to the Summit of World Leaders. A swarm of politicians, lobbyists, corporate bosses and protestors have all converged on the summit to get their messages heard. A tragic accident just hours before their parents' presentation plunges the kids into their biggest mystery yet and sets them on the trail of a murderer bent on stopping their parents' controversial message from being heard. 
     It's a fight against the planet's power players as the kids dive into the world of politics, uncovering how government works, the history of democracy, the influence of lobbyists and corporations on politicians and the potential of civil society to change it all. 
What I Think: Power Play takes place during the Summit of World Leaders where the biggest issue is about clean water for all. The main characters are a group of kids which are smack dab in the middle of the controversy- big companies vs. the little guys who want clean water- and the conflict is turning up. Soon someone is dead and only the kids are interested in finding out the truth behind what is going on.
     Through the narrative, the story not only entertains but teaches as well. It discusses and introduces many different aspects of politics including how the government works, summits, democracy, protests & civil disobedience, lobbyists, and the different levels of government. And the book does such a good job at weaving the information into the story. It would be such a wonderful asset in a social studies or civics classroom. 
     What I loved most about the book is how seamlessly the authors switched intbetween teaching and entertaining. Very rarely did the informational parts of the story not seem to fit within the actual narrative. Though the informational aspects are shown almost as diagrams, less like a comic, the inclusion of the info doesn't seem forced. This book, I believe, could really assist social studies teachers as they work to incorporate more literacy into their classrooms as Common Core rolls out. 
     Though I haven't read the other books in the Graphic Guide Adventure series yet, I did notice that this particular book includes the information aspect of the graphic novels differently than the others. In Power Play, the information is more of a sidebar or graphic aid added into the story while in the other books, if a certain piece of information is needed for that panel, a information box is put at the top of the panel explaining what you need to know. I look forward to reading the others in the series. 
Read Together: Grades 5 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 5 to 8
Read With: The rest of the Graphic Guide Adventure series, Nonfiction books about government and water quality
Mentor Text for: Predicting, Asking questions, This text is less a mentor text than a graphic novel that can be used across curricula to connect literacy and civics
Writing Prompts: Approximately 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. What can you do to help these people or help the crisis that affects this many world citizens? 
Topics Covered: Government, Politics, World Summits, Water, Controversy, Democracy, Protests, Civil Disobedience, Lobbyists
I *heart* It:

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