Chad, John Volcanoes: Fire and Life (Science Comics) 115 pgs. First Second, 2016. $12.99 Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G Violence: G
This graphic novel combines fiction with non-fiction. Aurora and her family live in a time where earth has changed and the climate has become an endless frozen winter. They spend their days searching for fuel to burn. Before they burn a library of books, they scan them into their computer. But Aurora discovers a book about volcanoes. The more she reads the more she is convinced that they may be solution to her tribe’s problems. She educates her family and friends about volcanoes in an effort to make her case.
I normally love informational books that use a story to make learning more palatable but this one is just a tad off base for a number of reasons. The story is very intriguing, sort of dystopian survival, but when the information component about volcanoes comes into play its serious information vomit. Tons and tons of technical information which is off putting as it instantly reveals that the whole book is a sugar coated trick. Now tons of technical information isn’t a barrier to true interest, but the only students in my school who are super excited about volcanoes are Kindergartner's and first graders, though it is 5th grade curriculum. This might work for middle school ESL or lower level readers who could use the visuals to give textual clues when being asked to learn about science topics. I had my eye on purchasing this entire series, but I think (with some small exceptions) the factual information has a cut and paste from a complex textbook feel.
EL, MS – OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.