"A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." -- Jeff Smith, author of Bone "A magical river of strangers and their stories!" -- Craig Thompson, author of Blankets "Magnificent." -- David Small, Caldecott Medalist In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life - he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.
New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2007!
"Graphic novel" is a term used by librarians, educators, and booksellers to indicate a publishing format--books written and illustrated in the style of a comic book, consisting of "sequential art"--a series of illustrations which, when viewed in order, tell a story. Although today's graphic novels are a recent phenomenon, this basic way of storytelling has been used in various forms for centuries--early cave drawings, hieroglyphics, and medieval tapestries like the famous Bayeux Tapestry can be thought of as stories told in pictures. The term graphic novel is now generally used to describe any book in a comic format that resembles a novel in length and narrative development.
School librarians and educators have reported outstanding success getting kids to read with graphic novels, citing particularly their popularity with reluctant readers, especially boys--a group traditionally difficult to reach. At the same time, graphic novels with rich, complex plots and narrative structures can also be satisfying to advanced readers.
Want to learn more about graphic novels? Check out our discussion guide here .
Common Core Alignment:
RL.5.7. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
RL.6.9. Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
NCTE Notable Chilcren's Books in English Language Arts
ALSC Notable Childrn'es Books
NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
YALSO Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens