Saturday, April 5, 2008

Beowulf: Monster Slayer

Storrie, Paul D. 2007. Beowulf: Monster Slayer. Ill. by Ron Randall. Minneapolis: Lerner.

Beowulf: Monster Slayer is a graphic novel in Graphic Universe's Myths and Legends series. Paul Storrie has written several of the Myths and Legends series titles; and both he and Ron Randall are accomplished comic book artists. The artwork is perfect for the genre, a sort of Prince Valiant meets Marvel Superheroes look. The dialogue, as well, fits the story admirably. The flavor of antiquity is retained, yet it is accessible to younger readers. The names of the story's characters are difficult, however, a helpful pronunciation key is included.

If the graphic novel is the modern answer to the assured continuation of our literary cultural heritage, then the genre is certainly a welcome addition. I do worry, however, that the readers of graphic novels, accustomed to dialogue-oriented stories, will be at a disadvantage when required to craft the complex sentences required for school papers, etc.

Young boys should love this book. Beowulf is a Children's Book Week Children's Choice nominee in the 5th and 6th grade category.

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