Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper

This is an older review that I had never posted. It is funny to read, because my daughter and nephew are now a high school sophomore and senior. As they have grown, we’ve had so much fun passing time making up stories and playing in libraries and bookstores. All childhoods should include time in both. At this point, I’ve read through book 5, and believe book 8 is, or will soon be, published.

Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi, is a graphic novel found in most children’s graphic novel collections. I really would not have read it if I hadn’t been sitting in the children’s area of a library as my daughter and nephew were playing. They were doing well without my immediate attention, so I pulled a book off the shelf, flipped through a couple pages, then turned to the beginning. The short prologue was tense and heartrending, and had me hooked.

What follows is a great adventure story, no matter your age. I admit that I am occasionally underwhelmed by a child or teen protagonist; they can seem whiny to me. There are exceptions, this book included. The book unfolds with great mystery and imagination. There is an alternate world, a magic amulet, a missing, eccentric grandfather (it’s a goal of mine, btw, being an eccentric grandpa), a kidnapped mother, and more. And besides a great heroine and her brother, there are fantastic machines. I must say, without spoiling the book too much, that the moving house at the end has me totally hooked and I have already requested the next book just to say what part it will play.

This review wouldn’t be doing the book justice if I didn’t bring up the artwork. What was really cool about the artwork is that it propels the story with as much, or more, momentum than the text. This art isn’t background; it works through the story, often being the sole vehicle for telling the story. You have to read the “pictures” as much as the text to follow this tale. Overall, this was absolutely charming, and a lot of fun. Now that I have finished it, I guess I’d better check it out for my daughter. 

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