Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The demon-king Ravana

The demon-king Ravana, born of a union between the holiest of mortals and a demon princess, has risen from an obscure beginning at a hermitage to conquer not just hell but heaven too. No less than a god to his own people, he is the sheer embodiment of evil to his enemies. This arrogant demon brooks no hindrance to snatching his heart’s desire, and his terror seems unstoppable to gods and humans alike. But he makes a mistake when he abducts the wife of Lord Rama, the exiled divine ruler of Ayodhya.

Ravana is a story of a demon, who dared to challenge the gods, and almost got away with it. Ravana’s tale is one that will incite awe and fear simultaneously. Whose side was this enigma on, good or evil? The obvious answer seems to be but one: his own. Or was he really? This graphic novel seeks to explore that question, and others.

Graphic novels are a great way to move reluctant readers who are stuck in a rut. Campfire out of India is producing a prolific volume of high-interest subject matter that will appeal to boys. The graphics are stunning and capture the imagination of all readers. I'm currently reading Jack London's Call To The Wild and White Fang with my eleven-year-old daughter. We're using Campfire's graphic novel as a supplement to our reading.

To learn more about Campfire, click here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jimi & Isaac 3a: The Mars Mission

Jimi and Isaac may be the best soccer players that ever started middle school. Isaac's dad coached their rec league team while they were growing up, so they've learned pretty much all there is to know about the beautiful game. Except middle school soccer is different, their middle school soccer coach is completely different, and even middle school music is different. Nothing makes sense anymore. But Jimi and Isaac never quit. They don't know how.

Phil Rink is the author of Jimi & Isaac 3a: The Mars Mission. The book came together for Phil during a cross-country drive from Florida to Washington State. Completing the book took the next eight years. Phil learned to apply mythic structure to modern settings, and to place the story within a technical or business framework without drowning the story in dry details or trite conventions.

Over time, Phil has become more convinced of the need for relevant, updated stories to help boys find their place in the world. Classic myth and modern fantasy are useful to discuss values, but they don't clearly relate to the practical issues of growing up in a quickly changing world where boys may not follow their father's career, play their father's sport, or readily apply their father's life lessons (if they even have a father or father figure). His books help boys understand and accommodate accelerating change, but also give them a stable place to stand while they write the stories of their own lives.

Click here to learn more.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Scary School

You think your school's scary?

Get a load of these teachers:

Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess
Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex!


Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch


Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!

The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost!

Derek the Ghost is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School writing down all the spine-tingling, often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn't work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on Earth.

Click here to visit the very cool Scary School website.