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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Graphic Novel for Girls

Torres, J.; Bone, J. (2010) Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures.  Toronto:  Tundra Books.

In all honesty, when I was a little kid I wasn't very discriminating about what comics I read.  In my cousin's cottage there was this huge drawer in a desk in the living room that was filled with Donald Duck comics (mostly from the Carl Barks years), some superheroes (Superman, Batman, and an early Avengers), Hot Rod Magazine, Mad Magazine, and lots of Archie comics.  As I grew older, I started to get sick of the Archie ones first.  I think that was partly because the Donald Duck stuff involved these crazy trips through time and to bizarre islands and other countries.  The superhero ones were exciting (though frustrating because I never knew what happened before or after the individual issues I had access to).  But the Archie ones had the same characters, the same jokes, and essentially the same stories.  Nothing ever changed.   

Alison Dare seems to be made up of equal parts Donald Duck (exotic locations) superheroes (exciting stories) and Archie (nothing really ever changes.)   Alison is the daughter of two archaeologists.  In the first story, while on a dig in the middle east, Alison finds a lamp, with a genie, and soon she and her two friends are  she and her friends are deep in trouble.  The second story, set back in the states involves an evil mastermind getting the better of the Blue Scarab, and Alison having to save the day. 

This graphic novel fills a void.  There are not a lot of good GNs for 3rd through 5th grade girls.  This book is fun and exciting -- but don't look here for character development or themes of abiding interest.  It is just a fun little ride.


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