Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gunnerkrigg Court by Thomas Siddell

After the death of her mother, Antimony Carver arrives at Gunnerkrigg Court, a British Boarding school.  Gunnerkrigg Court is odd.  There are robots.  And saving the world lessons.  And dragons. And people changing into birds.  And mysterious dark forces.  Antimony is a bit odd herself though, but she does have a close friend name Kate, who's a science genius.  Together the girls explore the strangeness that is Gunnerkrigg Court, and begin to learn more about both their families.

Gunnerkrigg Court was originally done as a web comic, and you can still read them all online.  The book, therefore, is split into short chapters and each chapter is really a self-contained story.  Everything builds on itself, and toward the end of the first volume (which ends with chapter 14) the tension begins to grow as we learn more about Kate and Antimony's parents.  It turns out they all went to school together at Gunnerkrigg Court, and there are some secrets that I'm sure will soon be revealed!

I liked this a lot, so I'm glad that I can read the rest of it online because I'd like to continue with it right away.  It's a mix of fantasy and mystery, and the episodic style makes you want to keep reading just one more chapter.  And, even though (as you can see from the cover) the illustrations were not done in a realistic style, I loved it.  It fit perfectly with the story.  It's set up in more traditional panels, with some half-page pictures.

Another one that I think both middle grade and older students would enjoy, but probably would recommend mostly for middle grade.

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