Written by: Matt Gardner
Illustrated by: Rashad Doucet
Publisher: Oni Press
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 184 pages, Full Color, $12.99
Alabaster Shadows is perfect! Absolutely perfect, especially for the adults! There's only one problem: The children.
If only the children knew their place, and - of all things! - didn't keep snooping around. Why must they think they are uber-awesome private detectives in the making? Newcomer family "the Normandy's" young children, Carter and Polly, are particularly way-too curious for their own good. If you ask the Community Council they are way too curious. The intimidating Miss Crowe is incredulous at their overly prying eyes and ears. Mr. Randolph seems to at least want to be trustworthy, or at least that's what he says.
And their parents? They just want their kids to be happy in their new community. After all, everything looks picture perfect for them: Their adults.
Get ready for plot twists and turns that will surprise and keep you guessing from the first page to the last.
English Language Arts Elements of Story
Plot(s): There's a mysterious water portal that appears to be both underwater, in closets, and in some of the kids' of Alabaster Shadows dreams. What is it?
Major Characters: Carter Normandy, Mr. and Mrs. Normandy, Polly Normandy, Mr. Randolph, Miss Crowe (Priscilla), Ms. Frump, Miss Wayland (Harley), Warren Wayland, Dudley
Major Settings: Normandy Family Car, Alabaster Shadows Welcome Offices, Normandy home, Alabaster Shadows School, Alabaster Shadows neighborhoods, mysterious water locations, various Alabaster Shadows homes and streets
Major Themes: Secrecy, Right and Wrong, Rules, Shift and Change, Friendship, Loyalty, Kids and Adults, Action/Adventure, Community and Family
Reading / Literacy Recommendations For Young Adult Readers in Language Arts Grades 4 - 8
All standards dealing with "Craft and Structure" relate to teaching the following lesson plan with Alabaster Shadows.
Guided Reading Lesson Idea for Language Arts Readers in Grades 4 - 8
Directions: The craft and structure of this story is crucial to overall story comprehension. If readers, just like the main character kids in the story, are going to know what's really going on in Alabaster Shadows they are going to need to find some key clues. In the following graphic organizer readers can use print-text and image text to recraft (through their own eyes) three - six of the most important panels in the story, the three - six panels that it would take to paraphrase the key events that led up to the mystery being solved.
Be sure to ask students to note page number and panel place (from original graphic novel) that inspired their choices.
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 (2014); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). 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 three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.