Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel by Rey Terciero

Having already reviewed the original (unabridged) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Marshmallow recently read a modern retelling of the story: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo. Below she shares her thoughts on this book.

Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo.
Marshmallow reviews Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel, written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women and enjoy graphic novels like Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are four siblings who live in Brooklyn, New York. Their father is away in the Middle East fighting in the army. Meg wants to marry rich, Jo wants to write and be left alone, Beth wants to be a songwriter, and finally Amy wants to be an artist. They all have problems in their lives. Amy is bullied in school, Beth has health issues, Jo has trouble dealing with her “secret”, and Meg doesn’t like being poor and wants to have nice things. They are also all very worried that their father will not come back from the war. 

Marshmallow’s Review: This modern retelling of the classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a great graphic novel. I think the author Rey Terciero and the illustrator Bre Indigo did a great job of remaking Little Women for today’s readers.

This book shows each of the original characters and their characteristics very well, The pictures are also all very well created. They depict the feelings of the characters very well. 

It is interesting how the author made this a modern retelling. Almost all of the events that happen in the original happen in the retelling except that they are modernized. As a result, this is not as old-fashioned as the original book. In the original, the sisters all get married (except for Beth, who dies). In this version nobody gets married because they are all too young (and nobody dies, either).

I think that this version of the story is a lot more relatable since the sisters are all realistic. All of the girls suffer from different problems, and on top of all that, they all worry for their father who is in the Middle East fighting in a war.

I also recently watched the movie remake of Little Women. Here is the official trailer, which made me really want to see the movie:

The official movie trailer of Little Women (2019).

The movie stuck very close to the original and so it was similar to the book but not precisely. But in the graphic novel, I liked how Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are all very different. If you read the original or watched the movie, you can tell that the characters in the graphic novel are the same characters, but they encounter many different problems and they are living in today’s world. They also all change a lot from how they were in the beginning, so the story is interesting.

This is a very good book for eight to seventeen year olds. It might be slightly confusing if you haven’t read the original, but you can read it and still get much out of it in any case.   

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo 100%.
Marshmallow rates Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Marshmallow enjoys reading graphic novels now and then, and she has reviewed some of them for the book bunnies blog. See, for example, her reviews of Lucy and Andy Neanderthal and Lucy and Andy Neanderthal: Stone Cold Age by Jeffrey Brown, and her review of They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. This week she reviews one of her recent favorites: Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow reviews Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like graphic novels or if you enjoyed Raina Telgemeier’s other books, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers):  Cat’s sister, Maya, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that makes it hard to breathe. Cat and her family move to a place called Bahiá de la Luna. Their parents think that Bahiá de la Luna will benefit Maya from the salty air, but unfortunately, Cat doesn’t like their new home. Still, since she wants her sister to get better, she tries to adapt.

One day their neighbor tells them that there are ghosts in the area. Cat doesn’t believe him but she soon learns that the neighbor was telling the truth. Maya is determined to meet a ghost and find out what dying is like.

“As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.”

Marshmallow is reading Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is an interesting book. The author, Raina Telgemeier, creates intriguing characters like Maya. Maya sometimes makes you think that she is not aware that she can die but then you realize that she realizes more than you think she does. Not only are the characters interesting, but the characters are also very relatable. Cat is someone you can relate to. Cat is infuriated when someone accidentally hurts Maya, and the drawings show her emotions very well. More generally the author does a great job drawing images that show the emotions of each character very clearly.

Cat is very protective of Maya. She is probably always very stressed because she keeps worrying that her sister Maya might die if she does something that she is not supposed to do.

My favorite character in Ghosts is Maya because she is so cheerful and she tries not to let her disease bring her down.

The setting, Bahiá de la Luna, is sort of creepy. As it says in the book, it has a “laid-back Halloween vibe”.  

This book displays a very different style of writing than Raina Telgemeier’s usual style. Her other books do not often deal with supernatural events.

This graphic novel is probably best for readers of ages eight to fifteen.

“Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives the courage to do what we never thought possible.”

This quote on the back of the book describes the book in a nutshell. In this book you learn about Mexican traditions like an ofrenda, an altar for the dead, or The Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). 

(Ghosts is dedicated to Sabrina Castello Collado, Raina’s cousin who died at age thirteen.)

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald

After Caramel reviewed Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, Marshmallow decided it was time for her to review a book about the one and only Judy Moody, the big sister of Stink. Below she shares her thoughts on one of her favorite Judy Moody books: Judy Moody Goes to College.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books that are about kids in elementary school, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Judy Moody’s substitute teacher sends her home with a note that saying that she needs help with her math. Judy’s parents decide that this means that she needs a tutor. Her annoying brother, Stink Moody, teases her about how the tutor is going to have her count jelly beans and play baby games. Little does she know that her tutor, Chloe, is in a college. When Judy finds out, her mood about tutoring is changed. She eventually enjoys tutoring and she learns a lot about math.

Judy brags about how she goes to college and so her friends, Rocky, Frank, and Jessica (a frenemy) start to stay away from her because they think that she is acting like she thinks that she is better than they are. Her tutor helps her in her school life and Judy and her tutor eventually become fast friends and towards the end Stink starts to ask if he can “go to college” like Judy. 

Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book because it is very lifelike. Judy, her tutor (Chloe), Stink, Rocky, Frank, Jessica, and other characters are all so realistic. Judy is like a real 3rd grader.

This a great example of a book where the character(s) have an opinion but eventually their opinion changes as the book continues. Judy does not want to be tutored first but Chloe eventually becomes her role model.

This is a really good read for those who enjoyed some of the other books that Megan McDonald wrote. Judy Moody Goes to College is part of a series that many have enjoyed reading. If you have read one of the books then I encourage you to read more since they are such realistic books that show how kids in elementary act in situations.

I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for anyone but it might be the best for 1rd up until 3rd grade. It is not very hard to read and it is not very long. The author does a very good job of explaining to the reader what type of personality Judy has. The author also does an excellent job of making Stink annoying in the Judy Moody books. If you read Caramel’s review of one of the Stink Moody books you know that in those books, Judy is very mean to her brother and often very sly. She tricks Stink to dye his hair orange for example. But in the Judy Moody books, he does annoying actions too, like taking her mood ring.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.
Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.

Caramel reviews Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald

Caramel loves picture books and big-format non-fiction books, but he is also reading some chapter books these days. This week he is talking about the first book in Megan McDonald’s Stink series: Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
Caramel reviews Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

Sprinkles: So Caramel what do you want to tell us about this book? What is this book about?

Caramel: This book is about a boy named Stink.

S: Is Stink his real name?

C: No. It’s a name his big sister gave him. She is mean.

S: Yes, naming your little brother “Stink” is not a very nice thing to do, is it?

C: No. And she killed his class pet, too.

S: Wait, how did that happen?

C: It went down the drain!

S: So Stink, wait, what is his real name?

C: No idea.

S: Let us see. I’m sure we can figure it out. Hmm, look, here is the letter he wrote to the governor.

C: Yes. He signed the letter James E. Moody. So that must be his name.

S: But then why is the book called Stink?

C: His big sister calls him Stink.

S: Oh yes, and who is his big sister?

C: Judy Moody.

S: Yes, so maybe some readers will have met this little boy in the Judy Moody books, right? And in those books, everything is told from Judy’s perspective, and Judy thinks her little brother is annoying.

C: But this book is about the brother, and we read Stink’s own ideas.

S: Yes we finally get to meet this little person for real and see things from his perspective a bit. Do you like that?

C: Yes. But I have not read any of the Judy Moody books. Marshmallow has read many, but she has not yet reviewed any for this blog.

S: Maybe she will one day. But let’s get back to Stink. So this is a chapter book, so there are many different things that happen to James E Moody, right?

C: There are seven chapters, so seven different stories. But they are all about Stink.

S: Which one is your favorite?

C: I don’t know. They are all a little different. But they are also all about Stink wanting to grow taller.

S: Yes, I guess that is why the book is titled the shrinking kid. Because Stink thinks at the beginning that he is shrinking. Do you think that is really happening?

C: He shrank a quarter of an inch!

S: How could that have happened?

C: No idea.

S: What would you do if you found out you were shrinking?

C: I would be scared. I’m already small. I’m a little bunny.

S: Yes, that is true… Hmm. Tell me more about the book. Tell me about the pictures.

C: Many of the pictures are supposed to be drawn by Stink. I like them. They are funny.

S: Yes, I saw the one where the sink that the class pet disappeared in became a monster, according to Stink’s drawing.

Caramel is reading the page in Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid (written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds) where Stink is introducing us to the Jaws Monster, which is basically the sink that ate up his class pet newt (or rather, his big sister Judy Moody dropped the newt and then it went down the drain).
Caramel is reading the page in Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid (written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds) where Stink is introducing us to the Jaws Monster, which is basically the sink that ate up his class pet newt (or rather, his big sister Judy Moody dropped the newt and then it went down the drain).

S: So do you think this is a fun book to read?

C: Yes. I might even read it again and again. But now, it’s time to wrap things up.

S: Yes. So you have something to say, right?

C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunnies adventures!

Caramel has enjoyed reading Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.
Caramel has enjoyed reading Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid, written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.