Bulldog Library

Into the Volcano

on March 2, 2013

JF Wood    •    AR Reading Level: 2.2    •    AR Points: 1.0    •    Quiz #127277

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Brothers, Sumo and Duffy, are shocked when their father unexpectedly pulls them out of school one day.  He tells them they are to go on a trip to a remote island to visit relatives they have never heard of.  Duffy, always the optimistic one, is happy to go on a tropical adventure.  Sumo, always the pessimist, thinks this is a bad idea and tries to refuse the trip for fear of shark attacks and hostile natives.  If the brothers only knew what dangers really awaited them, even Duffy would have refused to go, but who knew that a trip to a tropical island could turn into a nightmare?!  How could the brothers have guessed that these new relatives would strand them inside of an active volcano?

This is a story told in a graphic novel (comic book) format.  It is an adventure with a compelling and unexpected ending.  The illustrations are used very effectively to convey the mood of the scene, the movement of the waves, and the heat of the lava.

The characters in this book start as one-dimensional and a little dull.  Sumo is especially one-dimensional for the first half of the book.  Sumo is pessimistic and contrary.  He refuses to do anything anyone tells him to, he always expects the worst, and is afraid of everything.  However, through the course of this story, the characters do grow.  By the end of the book Sumo has developed into a much more confident person who has found his strength through the hardships that he faced on this journey.  This growth makes the characters much more interesting in the end than they are in the beginning.

Genre: Adventure  •  Interest Level: grades 3-5

ALA Core collection of graphic novels

Wood, D. (2008). Into the Volcano. New York, NY : Blue Sky Press.

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