Sunday, January 20, 2013
Book talk: The war is over, but Aang still has a lot of work ahead of him to maintain the delicate peace he and his friends fought so hard to win. The Earth Nation is pocked with Fire Nation colonies that must be removed. Everything goes well at first, but when a colony decides to fight back the two nations gear up for another war.
Rocks my socks: The premise is a rare one for juvenile fiction: the politics of peace-keeping after a war. Yang handles it with skill and makes it interesting and accessible. Removing a long-standing colony is a complicated and messy affair. The Fire Nation colonists have been there long enough to settle down and have children, sometimes even with members of the Earth Nation. Yang thoughtfully develops one of these biracial children and her feelings on the issue. The issue of imitating another's culture is handled deftly as well with Aang exploring his feelings about his fan club members dressing up like Air Benders. Despite these weighty subjects the overall tone remains light and plenty of humor is peppered throughout, making it easy for children (and older readers) to digest.
Rocks in my socks: nothing
Every book its reader: Fans of the show will enjoy reading about Aang's continued adventures. I haven't watched the original series myself, but I can tell you that Gene Yang is a big fan of the series so I'm sure it was safe in his hands. For those who haven't seen the show, Yang gives a brief recap to bring readers up to speed at the beginning. I'd enthusiastically recommend this to anyone looking for a humorous fantasy comic third grade and up.
Gene Luen Yang has his own website with a blog, bio, and more
You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the comic with this video
There are plenty of resources about Avatar online including the Avatar Wiki and Avatar the Last Airbender Online
Source: School Library
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise parts 1-3 by Gene Luen Yang, Bryan Gurihiru, and Michael Heisler: buy it or check it out today!