Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Curses! Foiled Again


**Warning: Spoilers for Foiled #1!**
Title: Curses! Foiled Again
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Mike Cavallaro
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Goodreads Summary: Aliera Carstairs is back. This time she's got her cousin—and best friend—Caroline in tow, and the stakes are higher than ever. The realm of Seelie, the fairy kingdom of which Aliera is the hereditary defender, is under attack, and only Aliera and Caroline can set things right. Caroline, fragile and wheelchair-bound, may seem like more of a liability than an asset, but Aliera knows there's more to her quiet cousin than meets the eye. Curses! Foiled Again is Jane Yolen at her best, reunited with her partner in crime, the fabulously talented illustrator Mike Cavallaro.
What I Think: Surprisingly, I liked the 2nd book of the series more than the first. It must have been that the first was just the exposition where this one you are really getting into the meat of the story. And there is definitely meat in this book. We delve deeper into Aliera's job as the defender of Fairy Land as well as her love/hate relationship with Avery the troll. The first brings the adventure to the story and the latter brings the humor. Foiled is a great mixture of both which keeps you completely entertained throughout. The only down fall is that there are pages where there is so much going on it is hard to narrow it down, but these few pages do not degrade the quality of the graphic novel. 
     What I particularly loved about this Curses! is that we got to really get into the mythology of the fairy land. Yolen has taken a mix of fairy creatures (ala Shrek) and thrown them into her story making her own fairy tale with a human as the hero. 
     Jane Yolen is amazing. I have read picture books, graphic novels and novels by her and they are all so well crafted and unique. I would love to just step inside of her brain just for a minute to see all of the ideas she has stored up there. 
Read Together: Grades 6 to 12
Read Alone: Grades 6 to 12
Read With: Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi, Hereville series by Barry Deutsch, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
Snatch of Text: "Baba Yaga, the great Russian witch. Iron teeth and an iron nose. Ate bad boys and helped feisty girls, sort of adopted them... Did she happen to mention that Baba Yaga lives in a house that walks on chicken feet? Or that she rides around in a mortar and pestle?" (p. 33)
Mentor Text for: Vocabulary, Allusions, Simile, Humor, Colorization, Puns
Writing Prompts: In the Foiled series, the illustrator uses coloring to show the magic that Aliera sees - how do you think this decision impacts the graphic novel? Do you like the choice? 
Topics Covered: Fairy creatures, Mythology, Traditional Literature
I *heart* It:

 

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