Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
Written and illustrated by: Tony Cliff
Publisher: First Second
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 172 pages, Full Color, $15.99
On the back cover of First Second's Delilah Dirk by Tony Cliff the young, rising, and notable Faith Erin Hicks is quoted as saying that this graphic novel is simply gorgeous. She is one hundred percent accurate. Tony Cliff is one talented guy and his newest graphic novel with First Second is more than worth your time. It's ABSOLUTELY gorgeous and its story is one I am pretty sure one you have not heard before . . .
Think Lara Croft for a second. But even better. Delilah Dirk is Lara Croft without any reason for adventuring around the world, except that it's just so much darn fun!
Paired up with an exact match that is actually her direct opposite, proving that opposites do indeed attract or at least make for perfect best friends, Delilah and her new friend Lieutenant Selim seem destined to romp around the world. That is, unless, Zakul can catch up to these two vagabonds and teach them not to be so carefree about stealing from him.
English Language Arts Elements of Story
Plots: Delilah Dirk and Lieutenant Erdemoglu Selim are an unlikely dynamic duo, but for some strange reason (perhaps because it's not supposed to be?) they are also the perfect duo. Not so sure how or why they work well together, the two pair up for some adventures.
Characters: Delilah Dirk, Lieutenant Erdemoglu Selim, Halukoglu Bahadir, Semir, Agha, Maranakis, Captain Zakul, Sofya
Settings: Constantinople (Istanbul) 1807, Siam; Delilah's flying boat; Antaki; Kardaki; Ipsala
Themes: Action and Adventure, Loyalty, Friendship, Travel, Passion, Confidence
Reading Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards For Young Adult Readers
Key Ideas and Details*
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
* The number referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org)
Lesson Idea for Young Adult Readers:
Directions: Because this story is so reliant on the reader's willingness to be an adventurer along with our two main characters – and trust me, you want to – a simple K-W-L Chart is a good fit. A K-W-L Chart asks students to think first about what they Know, second about what they Wonder, and third about what they Learn.
In order to generate comprehension and strengthen comprehension ask students to fill-out the following KWL chart for each chapter.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts ( in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.