by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre
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Others in the series: Giants Beware!
Content: There’s nothing that a capable third grader couldn’t handle, and I would have willingly read this aloud to a second- or first-grader. It’s in the Middle Grade Graphic Novel section of the bookstore.
There are a few graphic novels that my girls — especially K — will go to over and over and over again, thoroughly immersing themselves in the story each time. Giants Beware! is one of them, and so when I brought home the sequel every single one of my girls was super excited. (K wins, though. She practically grabbed the book out of my hands and ran off to read it.)
And none of us were disappointed with the story line. After “slaying” the giant, Claudette, Gaston, and Marie have basically gone back to their lives. However, things have changed: Claudette is still trying to prove herself to her father and is living it up as a hero in Mount Petit Pierre. Marie has been locked in a tower by her mother, her princess lessons intensified, with a camp of foppish princes at the base. And Gaston (who my heart went out to) decided to give up his love, cooking, and try to be more like his father and sister, determined to be a warrior and a blacksmith.
Then ?, the wizard, escapes from his prison, and heads toward Mount Petit Pierre, bent on revenge. Claudette and Gaston’s dad takes off for ? to get his sword back from the dragon ?. And, of course, Claudette, Gaston, and Marie follow him.
A quick aside: one of the running themes throughout the book is that it’s really quite impossible to do something on your own. EVERYONE (well, maybe except Gaston and Marie) in this book starts off thinking that they need to protect everyone else and just do things on their own. But, in the end, it’s only together that they succeed. I loved that.
Of course, there are adventures on the way. I don’t think you need to have read Giants Beware (though why haven’t you??) before you read this one, but it is better if you do know the story, if only to get the little illusions dropped throughout the book. I love how it’s paced, with epic battle scenes at the end, and everyone playing a different role. Which is something else I loved: Gaston finally stops trying to be what he thinks he “should” be and embraces his passion. Marie is awesome in her own way: she’s not a warrior, but without her, they wouldn’t have succeeded. And Claudette learns patience and a willingness to work with others. They’re all better off for their adventure.
It was an absolutely delightful read. Hopefully, there will be more!