The first book is a high-action title with a simple plot. Steve's first hot-air balloon trip with his cousins turns into a dangerous outing. When the get kids into the basket, Uncle Harry has a heart attack and drops the mooring rope, the balloon gets free, and Steve must figure out what to do as the balloon goes out over the sea. The art is uninspiring, but easy to interpret and follow, so it serves the purpose. In the second book, Andy is plagued by nightmares of being attacked by ravens just before going to kayaking camp. When he arrives at Greystone Grange, he finds that it is near the ruins of an old mansion, with many ravens flying about. He makes a few friends, but finds an enemy in a trainee instructor who tells him menacing stories about the house and the birds. He begins to wonder if Jack is simply a sleepwalking bully, or if he is somehow supernaturally tied to the house and the birds. The content and creepiness are suitable for middle school readers, but the character development and plotting leave much to be desired. The artwork is course and dark, suiting the tone of the story, but not highly appealing. Both books have a few sentences of text. These titles will work as additional purchases for school libraries working with reluctant readers, but they're not for standard graphic-novel collections. Public libraries can pass on them.
Dawn RutherfordCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Raven's Revengeby Anthony Masters, Peter Dennis
Andy goes kayaking and hopes to forget about the nightmares he's been having, but discovers that real life can be a lot scarier than bad dreams. Written in graphic-novel format.
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