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I Kill Giants Paperback – May 26, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
We know this because Barbara Thorson explains it just so. Barbara is waiting for the giants to come, at which time she will fend them off with her deadly hammer. It's tough work, preparing for an oncoming invasion and being the sole person tasked with killing them when they arrive.
Barbara is a unique fifth grader, even aside from training to kill giants. She wears giant bunny ears, avoids talking to most of her classmates, has regular conversations with fairies, calls her P.E. teacher a bull dyke, and even slaps the school psychologist. She's antisocial and proud of it, considering almost all the people she encounters to be stupid and annoying.
Only fellow student Sophia manages to crack Barbara's thick shell, acquiring a place of trust and friendship that no one else ever has--or even tried to attain. The sweetness of the friendship is genuine, as are most of the relationships in I Kill Giants. Whether Barbara is dealing with her principal, her psychologist, or her sister (who is raising Barbara and her rarely seen brother), and even when the dialogue feels ready-made to fit a movie starring a sassy protagonist, the words have the ring of truth to them. Even when writer Joe Kelly pushes the dialogue to the brink, he pulls back just in time to ensure believability. Better yet, he sends in surprises to usher the story along in unexpected paths (anchoring it as he goes with some fun allusions; my favorite being one of the best movie quotes ever: "No fighting in the war room!").Read more ›
I read this before I let her read it and it's a good thing I read it first because the subject matter and some of the language is a little over her age.
It is definitely a book that everyone else can get in to.
It's the story of eight year old Barbara Thorson. She hunt and kills Giants. Or does she?
Barbara lets everyone who will listen know that she kills Giants. She spends all of her time reading books about Giants and keeps her Giant killing Hammer named Coveleski with her at all times. The only problem is, nobody else can see these giants either.
The reader spends most of the story wondering if Barbara is just plain crazy, or if there really is something more going on than we can see. There is something going on underneath the surface.
This story is about one little girl's fears and dreams, it's about how she copes with events, and solves her problems.
Oh and it's about hunting and killing giants.
Or is it?
Barbara Thorson is an anti-social fifth grader who has more important things to worry about than school, detentions, or the opinions of others. Because she kills giants. Ones more frightening and real than anyone else understands...
I won't talk in detail about what I liked about the story of I Kill Giants in order to keep this review free of spoilers, but I absolutely loved it. Barbara's story is a captivating blend of fantasy and reality, as this overmatched but resolved child deals with giants of all kinds. It's a layered, emotionally packed achievement of the graphic novel medium.
The art is a blend of stark black and white work and a more grey-tone approach to black and white, often in the same panel. The underlying shapes of the character designs are exaggerated (giving some faces a particularly square look, others oval, etc.) and line quality varies from crisp to sketchy. All of this combines to make the art very unique and take some getting used to. You can tell that it's quality work, but many readers might be a little put off at first glance. The thing is all of these things are done deliberately and carefully. After a short while the unfamiliarity dissipates, leaving the reader to appreciate how this odd yet wonderfully executed style perfectly compliments Barbara's story. There are some particularly jaw droppingly gorgeous pages later in the book.
Because it is so outside the norm in art, subject matter and style, Barbara's adventure doesn't necessarily grab the reader from page one, but it doesn't take long to become engaged in this deeply resonant story. Overall a perfectly paced and told masterpiece, I Kill Giants is easily and instantly became an all time favorite of mine.
Highest possible recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic graphic novel. A great story about a young girl coping with being different, bullying and loss. Very well written and beautifully illustrated. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael E. Fleming
THIS BOOK IS EXTREMELY SPOIL-ABLE! (this review is not!)
My biggest advice is to STOP reading about the book and START reading it! Read more
I read this today. And it tore me apart.
Two years ago I lost my mother. Last year, I lost my father. Read more
Glad I read this. I picked this up on a whim, having read all the Saga there was to read and wanting to deviate from the cape and tights titles for a while. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jared Culpepper
This was a masterpiece, and one of a kind. It will stick with you, way after you have finished it.Published on March 18, 2014 by Justin
Really excellent. Fun and surprising read. Evocative art and a surprise twist (or two), this is a really great read.Published on December 3, 2013 by David
I admit, I wasn't entirely sure what I was supposed to expect going into this book, but It was recommended to me quite often. So, I gave it a shot. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Christopher
While I did find this comic rather unique, beautifully drawn and had a premise full of potential, I was ultimately left a little confused and let down. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Whowouldn't