Merry Christmas everyone! It is snowing outside and I am full of coffee and books as I sit on my futon and read. My Christmas break started about a week ago and I only have read two books but I also got a TV in my room and Netflix has a way of convincing me that I need to rewatch Friends.
So far this break I read Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg and Very, very, very, Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin. Both books were extremely interesting and fun to read.
This is not your typical fairy tale and the ending certainly was not what I was expecting. This a graphic novel and the form made the story so much more interesting because a lot of the time the pictures told the story not so much the words. I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels lately but this particular one reminded me more of a comic book style then the other graphic novels I have been reading.
I really liked the take on the Pied Piper this story took. The story focuses on Maggie, a deaf girl, who lives in the village of Hameln, where she isn’t treated with any respect really, and must to learn to survive. Her parents died when she was young so she and her brother live with the local priest and his sister. Maggie thinks she will be alone forever until the Piper comes to town promising that he can take care of their rat problem. After several days however the villagers aren’t convinced he is doing anything and threaten to turn against him. The Piper agrees to leave if only Maggie will come with him but Maggie doesn’t know what to do. This is a twisted fairy tale because you aren’t sure what is going to happen and the illustrations are beautiful. It is a short very well written graphic novel that looks at a common children’s tale very differently.
This book hasn’t officially come out yet, Jan 2018, so soon. I got an ARC copy at NCTE in November and it was one of the most interesting reads I have read this semester. I knew a little about the Influenza of 1918 because my great-great-aunt was a nurse and my great-great-uncle contracted the flu and couldn’t go to war because of it. Other than that I didn’t know anything about it and how deadly it was. The Spanish Influenza (as it was commonly known) killed more people than WWI did and WWI was the bloodiest war the world has ever seen.
If you are looking for an informational book on the Influenza of 1918 then this is your book. Not only does Marrin talk about the Flu but he also talks about the war, life during the war, the causes of Flu, the Holocaust, how the flu spread. Marrin left no stone unturned and I learned so much from reading this book. For those students who like nonfiction this is a great example and they got their history lesson for the day as well.