Friday, February 10, 2012

VIKRAM And The Enchanted Seals

Vikram, an apathetic kid from California, doesn’t want to be in India. But a death in the family leaves him no other choice. So he finds himself in a rural village, at his ancestral home where he meets his imposing grandfather. A special bond forms between them, and the old man gives Vikram an enchanted seal – a mystical relic from India's earliest civilization. It turns out that the seal is one of only a handful that combine to form the Dharma Cube, the most powerful weapon against evil the world has ever seen. Before Vikram can fully grasp the seal's profound significance, Grandpa is taken by Rakshasas – evil giants from the epic Ramayana – who are intent on destroying the Cube once and for all. Vikram enlists the help of younger brother Jai, and Manu, the family’s loyal servant, to search for Grandpa. Their journey takes them through the various landscapes of India: historical, mythological, artistic, philosophical, and natural. Tension mounts when Vikram realizes that he alone must unlock the secrets of his seal and the Dharma Cube, not just to rescue Grandpa, but to save all of humanity.

This very cool book is by Sanjiv Behear. Sanjiv was born in October, 1969, to Indian immigrant parents in Manitoba, Canada. He and his family moved to Southern California when he was four. Some of his fondest memories involve spending summer vacations lounging on the sands of Redondo Beach.

His family moved often, to various spots in California, both southern and northern. He spent his college years at UCLA, where he studied economics and anthropology.

Sanjiv has a strong affinity for eastern mythology, comics, basketball, and pizza. Currently, Sanjiv resides in Arizona with his wife and four children.

Click here to learn more.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman

The story behind Superman is sure to capture the imagination of reluctant readers. Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster, two misfit teens in Depression-era Cleveland, were more like Clark Kent—meek, mild, and myopic—than his secret identity, Superman. Both boys escaped into the worlds of science fiction and pulp magazine adventure tales. Jerry wrote stories, and Joe illustrated them. In 1934, they created a superhero who was everything they were not. It was four more years before they convinced a publisher to take a chance on their Man of Steel in a new format—the comic book. The author includes a provocative afterword about Jerry and Joe’s long struggle with DC Comics when they realized they had made a mistake in selling all rights to Superman for a mere $130!

I love Superman and loved this book. Marc Tyler Nobleman’s text captures the excitement of Jerry and Joe’s triumph, and the energetic illustrations by Ross MacDonald, the author-artist of Another Perfect Day, are a perfect complement to the time, the place, and the two young visionaries. Marc is the author of more than 70 books including "Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman," which received multiple starred reviews and made the front page of "USA Today".

Click here for Marc's blog. Click here to buy Boys of Steel.