Blood’s Haven, Maryland, post-Civil War. The oyster trade makes for booming business, and watermen all across Chesapeake Bay are keen on cashing in on this lucrative business. Regulations have been drawn with regards to oyster harvests, but oyster pirates, a small but vicious group led by the nefarious Treacher Fink, have not only been harvesting oysters without a license; they’ve also been using destructive oyster dredges that would render the bay barren within a few years.
To curtail the pirates’ activity, the governor and town mayor establish an Oyster Army (with Commander Davidson Bulloch and his motley crew aboard the Layla) to deal with the pirates once and for all.
From the time the Cybils finalists were announced, I was immediately drawn to Ben Towles’ “Oyster War” because of its cover art – it seemed to promise a great maritime adventure, and I must say it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel.
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Now that the Cybils results are out, I can finally post reviews of my Cybils reads! As you may have read earlier, my bookish year started off with round 2 judging of the Cybils (the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards), where I was in the panel for Graphic Novels.
It’s not easy finding the finalist titles here in Manila (I think only three are available in local bookstores, this being one of them) but luckily some publishers have transmitted evaluation copies electronically and there were some books dispatched in the mail so that made it easier for me.
Anyway, as I’m writing a whole bunch of reviews, let me start off with Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang (recently named by the US Library of Congress as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature) and Mike Holmes.
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I like giving books as gifts, especially when I’m familiar enough with the person to know what kind of books they like, but I’m way behind on this year’s Christmas shopping so I’ll have to shop double time in the next two weeks.
If like me, you have some books to check off the Christmas list, here are some places worth checking out:
As you well know, I’ve introduced a steady supply of graphic novels in my reading diet for the past few months and I’ve been enjoying the regular break from straight text. But because I still haven’t acquired the taste for graphic novels involving multiple volumes (except for Fables, which I’m planning on collecting via the annual deluxe editions), spandex-clad characters or ka-pow effects, I’ve been seeking out one-volume graphic novels to add to my growing collection.
I came across Re-gifters on BookMooch, looked it up and saw that it’s gotten good reviews, and had to have it shipped to my mom in California (because the moocher only sends to the US) and then waited for her to come home before I could get my hands on it. It turned out to be worth all the trouble!
Continue reading “Re-gifters”