Monday, July 9, 2012

Bill the Boy Wonder

From the end papers to the text type to everything in between the cover and the author's note, this falls nothing short of an exemplar model of juvenile literature. The potential for critical discourse around this book are endless. By the end of the author's note a tear of sadness at the unfairness of it all fell from my eye to the phrase "he just didn't live long enough". And then I started right back at the beginning again, admiring the cover, and reading it from top to bottom. The story has so many cool parallels in the illustrations to support comprehension and add appeal, like Secret Identity 1, the comic style panels, and the clothing and artifacts.

Most of all, Nobleman demonstrates that writers need to be curious, determined, and willing to chase what they don't know and want to find out. That you shouldn't just write about what you know, rather it is most important to have a really good question and go after the unknown. Discover something important or in this case, uncover a legacy that was so close to slipping away for ever. I can only imagine how much Milton would have loved this book. 5 star rating.

The next day I asked one of my 5th grade students who loves superheros and graphic novels, and is an inspiring illustrator, to read it. Almost 40 minutes later he came to me and replied, "Milton Finger deserves credit." His 4 words were powerful and insightful. Reading this book changed him a little bit, gave him something he didn't have before, the same way I felt.

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