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Nola's Worlds 1: Changing Moon Paperback – August, 2010

4 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Nola's Worlds Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—This trilogy exudes shelf appeal. Unfortunately, the storytelling doesn't quite live up to the level of visual success. Living in picturesque Alta Donna, pink-haired Nola York-Stein is distracted in school and ignored by her divorced mother at home. Mystery surrounds the arrival of new students Inés and Damiano, who are being pursued by creatures tasked with taking them back to the fantastical Land of Stories. When Nola digs deeper, she finds that Alta Donna is not what it seems—the town is actually a buffer zone between the Land of Stories and the Real World and Inés and Damiano's escape is putting all three worlds in peril. Nola must find a way to restore balance while keeping her new friends from being taken away. Some readers may find the mystical aspects of story line frustratingly ambiguous. These are not stand-alone titles, but rather one large tale broken into three parts, so key plot elements and character motivations can be slow to develop. The anime-inspired art will grab attention. Alta Donna and its fashion-forward citizens are crisply rendered in pastel hues. Inventive panels and layouts may prove challenging for novice graphic-novel readers but add interest for those more experienced with the format. These titles are visual standouts but the narrative may leave readers wanting more.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

Nola lives in the pretty but boring town of Alta Doona. When she realizes that there’s something strange about the new kids in school, Damiano and his sister Inés, her investigation uncovers mysteries beyond the boundaries of Alta Doona—or the world itself. Mariolle’s story is engaging, with fun, likable characters. Nola’s struggles with divorced and absent parents, class work, and fitting in at school are the everyday foundation for her fantastic discoveries. Unfortunately, Mariolle undercuts the effectiveness of those discoveries by rushing important parts of the plot. This graphic-novel series was originally published in France in 2009, and MiniKim’s settings have a European flavor that is refreshing amid a sea of American and Japanese comics. Her characters are young but still look old enough for tween girls to identify with. A behind-the-scenes section offers an informative and funny glimpse into how the comic was created. These artistic elements and a solid translation help lift this comic, despite the pacing of the plot. Grades 4-7. --Snow Wildsmith --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Nola's Worlds (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Graphic Universe; 1 edition (August 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761365389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761365389
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Nola York-Stein was buried under her covers determined to be late for school again. Nothing new there. She lived an utterly boring life in a small harbor town, Alta Donna. According to her best friend, Pumpkin, she tended to cultivate "this weird little antisocial attitude" that made them an "easy target for jokes." Helena, her Mums, was always trying to be her best friend, but she was rarely around except when they shared a couple of pieces of toast every morning. She was simply a big businesswoman with the "maturity of a 14-year-old." And Mums was still nuts about her ex, Nola's father, even though they'd divorced years ago. Such was life, but soon something would happen that would make Nola much more enthused about it.

Her algebra teacher, who was nothing more than a "30-year-old neurotic," was trying to get the new boy, Damiano to answer a question (better you than me). A couple of hand signs later and he had the answer . . . from Nola. It wasn't long before she spotted his sister, Inés, who lived on the first floor of their complex, while he lived on the fifth. What on earth were they hiding? Next thing you know, the librarian was practically out cold on the floor muttering something like, "A giant mouse . . . the passage . . . three little cats." Nola was going to have to mount a "meticulous investigation" to figure out just why two weird things could happen in one day.

Naturally Damiano caught her spying as she crouched behind a few potted shrubs. After he asked, "Are you a bumbling PI, or are you hunting for aphids on that plant for lunch?" she decided `discreet' was in. She allowed him to walk her home and actually went shopping with his shopaholic sister.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bree Manahan on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nola is spacey. Her mom is always working, and so she has to take care of herself. She's always late for school. She forgets things. But she's an intelligent girl who notices something fishy going on in her little coastal town of Alta Donna. Strange conversations, odd things happening in the school. She only scratches the surface of what's going on in this volume, but it's more than she bargained for.
The art initially caught my eye at the Small Press Expo in Maryland. I picked it up and flipped through, and fell in love with it. I bought it because I thought my 7-year-old niece would like it, but once I started reading it I realized that I would be keeping it for my own collection. Fun, quirky and beautifully presented, Nola's Worlds is appropriate for anyone with a childlike heart, from 7 to 70 (my niece and my 9-year-old nephew both loved it, by the way). There are little tributes to people such as Miyazaki, Disney and Nick Park throughout the book. I can't wait to get the next volumes and find out what happens in Nola's Worlds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on November 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

Nola is a typical middle schooler, not popular, a daydreamer, who is consistently late for school. She's a latch key kid who lives with her mom, who is career driven and hardly ever at home with Nola; while her dad is busy with a new family and brings her gifts to make up for never seeing her. Nola's town, Alta Donna, is a slow boring place where nothing happens and Nola's life is mostly spent alone when not with her best friend, two years older than her and an outcast herself. But two new kids come to school and Nola picks up right away that something is not quite right about them. Then when she hears the brother and sister mysteriously arguing in the hall one day she determines to find out what it is that makes Damiano so agile and such a good baseball player and why Ines is able to charm anyone into getting anything she wants.

It's been a few days now since I've read this and it is lingering in my mind. My enjoyment of it is more the longer I think of it. This book is the first in a trilogy with it's purpose obviously a set up for the rest of the series whose plot barely gets off the ground here in Book 1. Instead the characters are all introduced and well portrayed; Nola is fully developed and a real, flawed character that the reader cares for. All the plot points are put in motion in this book, and near the end the science fiction theme is put into play, we get some reveals and the book ends with the certainty that things will never be boring for Nola again. Book 2 in the series is anxiously on my mind. All 3 books have been published.

The art is decidedly French and yet also interestingly, manga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nothing is ever as it seems. Even in Alta Donna where the weather is great, sunsets super, and the stars twinkle brightly...something is amiss. Nola is bored and spends much of her time daydreaming until she meets two new kids who are a mystery. Damiano and Ines are unique. Damiano plays baseball, while Ines is a charmer. There is more to them, and Nola is determined to find out what that is. Is she ready for the answer?

Nola's World is an interesting place. Her teen existence is challenged only by her workaholic mother (and father) who never seems to have time for her, and her search for friends. Add in potential aliens, and you have Matthie Mariolle, and minikims' attractively designed book franchise in the making. The art is cool, and the story is aimed at the tweenish age group. The book is packed with a search for identity, a search for something more, and a longing for to spend time with. The adventure is mild, and I am sure it can and may get wild at times, it thus far is safe.

This is no Nancy Drew. This is no Sabrina. This is a book series aimed at todays' anime/manga wise market with graphic novel sensibilities. Look for it to get more interesting.
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