Archive for the ‘biographies’ Category

WP_20150911_16_40_33_Pro 1Michael Morphurgo doesn’t fool around. His stories aim for the heart and hit every time. In Half a Man Michael recounts his slow-growing relationship with his grandfather who was terribly disfigured and scarred while in the merchant navy during World War II. When Michael was little, his mother invited her father to family dinners and for holidays, after many years of being separated from him after her mother left.  She told Michael to never look at grandfather’s face! But he did. As Michael grew older he spent summers on the Isles of Scilly off Cornwall with his grandfather. As their easy relationship grew from reading in silence to fishing, his grandfather finally shared the attack on his ship, the hospitalization, the healing, and the separation of the family. Michael said that he was closer to his grandfather than anyone in his life. After his death, Michael read a note left by his grandfather, “Thanks for looking at me like you did.” If Michael had not, his grandfather’s story would have died with him. No one else was told. Ever. Makes you want to buy a ticket to go talk with your grandparents, doesn’t it? Buy it. Give it. Cry over it.

Michael’s WebsiteWar Horse by Michael Murpurgo

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I had this book sitting on my desk for about a month. Then I hear that it was nominated for a teen “National Book Award” and to the top of the pile it exploded. This book read like a novel, specifically a Dan Brown thriller, with short chapters that hop around the world with stunning tension-filled stories, that are true. I loved the espionage missions of the Norwegian resistance fighters. Perhaps one of the few concerns was that there was no follow-up to the rest of their lives as there was for the American spy, Hall, and the brilliant physicist, Oppenheimer. The epilogue was the only section of the book sprinkled with the author’s viewpoints, but I think this cautionary tale deserves his take on nuclear weapons.

What a nail-biter!

And if you are brave enough to look at the bibliographies, you will be amazed at the attributions! I like how
Sheinkin attributes the direct quotes, not MLA formatted, but in a very reader-friendly.

Steve’s Website



I wanted to share two more graphic novels in the “Female Force’ series.

Princess Diana includes a good narration with dialog bubbles for stand-out speeches and Diana/Charles interchanges. The cartoonist narrator comments on her life and the speech by Tony Blair was wonderfully captured. Diana’s style was evident, and I have to admit, I am in awe of illustrators who can draw great knees.

Hillary Clinton’s graphic novel has her in a fun Superwoman pose in front of Old Glory. Again, loved the quotes, especially her concession speech after losing the nomination for the Democratic nominee for president. There will be lots of discussion of her demonic pictures and the gang attack of Hillary. So why those unsettling images are used?

ENDERS’ Rating: Biographies gone graphic!

Bluewater Comics Website


Luckily I tuned in the AM Northwest out of Portland, Oregon to see Darren G. Davis of Bluewater Comics talk about his “Female Force” comic series of notable women in politics, writing and whatever comes next….entertainment? science? sports? The possibilities are endless!

How could I pass up a bio on Stephenie Meyer, our fave author of the Twilight Saga? This graphic novel is narrated by a grateful vampire who tells her story from a macabre chamber that has an old tome of her life, and chubby spiders for reading snacks. I loved the vampire’s book morphing into the comic frames of her life, and the vampire narrator chortling, “Years of going hungry and now they love us!”. The history of Forks, after the bio, was drawn in sepia hues and told in a “historic comic” style. Great cover art. Stephenie has to be pleased. The only page I didn’t like was the wolf/Forks page dividing the bio from the history. But that was a small blip in a fun Female Force comic.

ENDERS’ Rating: Already sold out…what more can I say?

Bluewater Comics Website