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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My students love it
I'm a third grade teacher, and on a whim I picked up this book for my classroom library. I'm so glad I did! Not only did I love the book, my students have gone wild over it. Every student who has picked it up has been drawn into the story almost instantly. There have been actual fights over who gets to read it next, and they are always disappointed to hear that there's no...
Published on March 5, 2008 by K. Parmenter

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky artwork but bland and vaguely defined story
Working in a library, I try to keep tabs on what's popular with readers, especially younger readers. I noticed a particular graphic novel series, "Amulet," was getting a lot of attention, and kids were clamoring for the next book in the series and snapping copies of it up as fast as they could be shelved. Though I normally prefer books over graphic novels, I've been...
Published 17 months ago by Kenya Starflight


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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My students love it, March 5, 2008
I'm a third grade teacher, and on a whim I picked up this book for my classroom library. I'm so glad I did! Not only did I love the book, my students have gone wild over it. Every student who has picked it up has been drawn into the story almost instantly. There have been actual fights over who gets to read it next, and they are always disappointed to hear that there's no second book as of yet. I haven't had a book go over this well in a long time!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Full Color Illustrated Fast-Paced, High Adventure Fantasy Story, March 23, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
I am a homeschooling mother with an interest in graphic books, both fiction and nonfiction, for adult or child readers. I just finished reading this book. However my first encounter with it was when it was released three years ago (2008) and my then-ten year old son saw it in the library and borrowed it. He loved the book. Since then two others in the series have been released. In the last month my older son, now 13, re-read or read all three (to find out what happened since he last read the first book) as did my younger son who is ten years old. The Amulet series is a hit with my sons. I also enjoyed the story.

Emily is a human girl on a hero's journey aided by her younger brother, to save their mother's life. This is a fantasy story involving magic powers. It starts on Earth but has a gate to another world, a mysterious land which looks wild and medieval in its natural state and filled with walking and talking animals and weird monsters, living "stuffed animals" and robots, but which has modern technology such as flying ships and a house that looks like a Transformer robot that walks and has a defense weaponry.

One of the first things noticed about the book is its high quality full color illustrations which makes it more visually appealing than some other graphic books for children on the market. The pages are high quality glossy paper.

This is a high action story that involves brushes with death, escapes and fighting. It's well written in that it is a solid hero's journey story which being done well, draws the reader in immediately, and makes us root for the hero from the start. We want to find out what happens next and we want the good guys to win.

The book ends with a cliff-hanger so this is not a complete story in one volume; the series must be read to find out what happens next.

Highly recommended for a tween or young teen who enjoys graphic novels, or for reluctant readers about fantasy, adventure and the battle of good against evil.

One word of caution for parents, there is an emotional scene at the beginning that some sensitive young readers (possibly drawn to the book since it's an easy to read graphic format book) may find disturbing but it's no different than the typical "child's parent dies by violent sudden death" that is in so many Disney animated children's movies. I've got no problem with it, I'm just mentioning it just in case it's an issue for some young readers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series by a creative artist, April 6, 2011
By 
Andy Shuping (White River Junction, VT USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
Amulet, a graphic novel by Kazu Kibuishi (Flight, Volume One, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train), is geared towards the 9-12 age group. However, the novel will captivate anyone that begins to read it as they are swept along a moving story with beautiful illustrations.

Our young heroine Emily witnesses the death of her father in the opening pages of this novel. Emily, her mother, and her brother Nevin move into the home of their missing great grandfather. There are secrets lurking within the house, one that soon ensnares Emily's mom. She's dragged from the basement by a tentacle through an open door and Emily and Nevin must go on a rescue mission to another world.

This story captivates the reader from the beginning. The reader is compelled to feel for the characters of the story, from Emily witnessing the death of her father to watching her mom being dragged away by some unknown creature. Although this is only the first part of the series the reader gets a true sense of the characters, their feelings, and their emotions and is left hanging at the end of this book and wanting more.

What really sells the story are the illustrations as they capture and convey the moods of the characters and their surroundings. The drawings have a light airy quality to them, with a simple, but moody, color palette to show off the extensive use of shadows to convey emotions of the character in graphic detail. The reader is never left wanting or wondering what the characters are thinking, the colors clearly display what they feel--the age of the great-grandfather is written into the lines on his face, the fear and courage of Emily as she seeks to save her what's left of her family. As the story progresses a darker palette is used and we are left wanting the lighter colors to return. Something unique about the drawings is that when the story first begins the characters almost look undefined. While we can read their emotions they are merely shapes on a page. However, as the story progresses they gain more depth and emotion.

This novel is a must read. A strong young heroine, with monsters and robots as well, enough to keep any crowd entertained. The moving illustrations and compelling story make this a great read and the book is highly recommended for all ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy graphic novel for both kids and adults, December 2, 2010
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
I picked this up at the library as I was perusing through graphic novels appropriate for kids. This one looked neat, had great artwork, and didn't seem too complicated for a young child. We ended up not reading it together because it got a bit too scary for my son, but I read it on my own and really enjoyed it!

Emily and Navin are moving into their mother's old childhood house; after the death of their father in a car accident their mother can't afford their old house and they are being forced to move. In this house Emily finds a mysterious Amulet. There are also dark things in this house and Emily, Navin, and their mom accidentally find themselves thrust into a paralell world. When their mother is captured by a monster it is up to Emily and Navin to save her; the Amulet proves itself to be a great tool...but it also seems to have motives of its own.

I tried reading this graphic novel with my four year old son and he was enchanted by the drawings and the story; unfortunately with parents getting hurt/killed and monsters creeping through dark house it just got too scary for him. He is very into some of the Leap Frog Tag books that are graphic novels and so I thought this would be a neat book for him; but I would recommend this to kids in the 7 or older age range. It's just a bit too scary for younger kids and some of the concepts underlying the story flew right over my son's head.

The art in this graphic novel is well done; the characters are a bit sketchier than I am used to seeing but the color is done really well and the environments are beautiful. The story is definitely of the dark fantasy variety. You have creepy houses, mysterious monsters, and kids fighting to survive.

I enjoyed the fantasy and adventure elements; kids journeying to another world and questing to save their mother. I also enjoyed the added complexity of the Amulet and how it seemed to have a personality of its own. Emily and Nevin are great characters; they each have their own strengths and bring good things to the story. Emily has a lot of adolescent issues she is working through; she feels displaced and abandoned because of the move and her father dying. The story gets increasingly complex and has enough subtle undertones to keep me interested as an adult. The pace was wonderful, there were no slow parts here.

This book ties up the main story but starts up another story that will continue on in the next book. I thought the drawing of the characters could have been a bit better but was very impressed by the backgrounds. There are some creative ideas here and some we have seen before.

Overall I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I will definitely be reading the next one. I think this would be appropriate for ages 7 and up; it is a bit too scary for younger kids. Reading this book has made me take a look at other of Kibuishi's works; I would like to read his Flight, Volume One series at some point too. Fans of adventure and fantasy will find a lot here to love. This book had a dark fairy tale quality to it that keeps the reader engaged and wondering.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done but seems familiar, March 13, 2008
By 
Derek Litton "The Collector" (Tewksbury, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First off, I really liked the book and highly recommend it. As I read it however, I kept thinking that Hayao Miyazaki was a major influence is this work. The Amulet from Laputa, the walking house from Howls Moving Castle, the creatures that trapped their mother from Nausicaa to name a few. While this is not necessarily a bad thing as it is a very enjoyable read and beautiful to look it I am surprised no one has noticed any similarities to Miyazaki's works. I am looking forward to the next volume.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Entry to New Fantasy World, December 13, 2009
By 
Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet Book One The Stonekeeper is a great new book for juveniles and adults interested in anime/manga style storytelling with Japanese fantasy flavor. I was blown away by the pacing and the art as the tale delivers a wonderfully delicious magical experience.

The overall plot is familiar. Emily and her brother Navin lose their father in a tragic accident, which the reader gets to see and has to endure the heartbreaking turn of events panel by panel. When their mother can no longer financially meet the needs of the family, she moves them to an old house that's been in the family for centuries.

I wasn't really excited by the plot. The events pretty much spin themselves out in the fashion that a confirmed fan of juvenile literature would imagine. Emily and Navin help their mom clean the house, then mom gets grabbed by a tentacled monster and taken away to an underground world no one ever knew was there before.

The thing that Kibuishi excels at is the pacing. He knows when to move the story along at a blistering pace, and when to slow things down to build in a major creep factor and dynamic suspense. The panels of seeing the spirit following everyone around was great because I kept expecting it to pounce at any time.

I really enjoyed Miskit and his giant armored suit. You have to be a kid at heart to suspend belief for this, but these kinds of stories always bring out my A game for believing in the fantastic. I also liked the technology that floats throughout the story because it's realistic to a degree, yet very whimsical.

After Emily receives the Amulet, readers can predict that it will serve as a weapon to help her out of danger. However, it doesn't always work and that confounds me a little, making me want the sequel a little sooner because I love mysteries. But she goes off on the next leg of her adventure, digging even deeper into the strange world she and her little brother have suddenly found themselves in while trying save their mom.

The art is the primary point of enjoyment in this book. A lesser artist, or one striving for a more complicated finish, would have rendered a more compressed story, but that would have taken away so much of the narrative tension Kibuishi builds into the story. This is a great book for imaginative kids or adults who refuse to completely put away their childhood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engrossing Saga of Good vs. Evil, November 23, 2009
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
Kazu Kibuishi (wildly inventive creator of Flight) starts a new series in Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper. Kibuishi builds on some very common themes in the establishment of the plot of The Stonekeeper, but if the ground covered isn't exactly the most original to begin with, it manages to introduce some twists and turns that promise to make this series an engrossing saga of good vs. evil, one whose heroine may end up battling her own dark side more than the shadowy figures lining up to battle her now.

The story begins in a car, as young Emily rides with her mother and father as they race along snowy roads to pick up her brother, Navin. A horrifying accident results in the death of Emily's father--as Emily and her mother watch helplessly--and leaves Emily emotionally stunned.

Two years later, the family moves to an ancestral home in the small town of Norlen, population 28,000, in an undisclosed state. The cavernous creepy house has all the stock chills, like creaky staircases and cobwebby hallways, plus a few unexpected ones. And when the three decide to investigate an odd noise coming from the basement in the middle of the night (during a power outage, natch), the idea of screaming "Don't go down there!" is possibly the last thing on the reader's mind. How else, after all, to advance the story and get to the good stuff?

From these rather staid beginnings, The Stonekeeper barrels forward with its magical storyline and whisks the family away, through a portal in the basement, to a dark world with some incredibly fantastical creatures. Emily, having found a glowing amulet back at the house, is surprised to learn it has some impressive powers, and that others are after it as well. With her mother captured, Emily and her brother must navigate the strange land to attempt to rescue her, all while Emily tries to understand what the amulet does and just what it really wants from her.

The Stonekeeper features mild violence and some scary themes, as well as two rather emotionally wrenching deaths. Still, Kibuishi keeps the tone of the book at a level that children over 9 or so should be comfortable with. What young readers probably won't be comfortable with is the long space between installments of the book--even if they've gotten used to such long waits through other magically themed kids series.

-- John Hogan
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, mysterious, creative, and gripping, April 6, 2011
By 
J. Maxon (Minnesota, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
I came across this book on Amazon and thought, wow, a cool looking Graphic Novel that isn't a manga produced by Japan. After doing a little more research on it, I had to laugh. Where it is true that it was written as an American graphic novel, the author was born in Tokyo.

Note: There also looks to be a Warner Brothers movie adaptation coming in 2012.

Story overview:
---------------
Two years after having witnessed the death of her father, Emily, along with her mother and brother (Navin), move to a small town and into a broken-down house (once owned by her great-grandfather). Still dealing with emotions from her father's death, Emily finds that her mother is also doing all she can to hold herself together.

When rummaging in her great-grandfather's old room, Emily comes across a mystical-looking amulet. Shortly after putting it around her neck, an otherworldly intruder enters their home and captures her mother. When Emily and Navin chase after the creature, they find themselves transported to a different world.

Now Emily is faced with the burden of losing another parent. Only this time there's something she can do to stop it. Having met some unlikely friends in this new world, Emily and Navin are given the resources necessary for chasing down their mother's captor. Having activated the amulet's power, Emily wonders if the cost of such help might end up costing her more in the end.

My thoughts:
-------------
At first, I wasn't sure about the style of drawing. It was, different. But the longer I looked at it, the more it grew on me and I started to appreciate the artistic brilliance, particularly within the scenery-Kibuishi's use of lighting is clearly his greatest strength. As far as the story goes, it hooked me right away. Heartfelt, mysterious, creative, and gripping are just a few of the words that come to mind. I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting; couldn't put it down.

Things to consider:
------------------
It's marked for grades 4-7 (which is basically children aged nine to thirteen). I can see that; there are a few elements that may be considered too scary for younger children. But, I think 13 is too soon to cut it off; teenagers of all ages and many adults would appreciate this as well (I'm in my 30s, and I loved it). No hit of sexual references. No gore or even blood for that matter. There is action violence, some disturbing scenes involving a spider-like bug creature, and a few deaths (including Emil's father, which practically had me in tears-thinking as a father myself). This should appeal to both boys and girls alike.

James D. Maxon
Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, my child cannot stop reading it. Neither can I., August 26, 2011
By 
Daddy Shawn "Writer & daddy." (La Verne, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) (Paperback)
I love graphic novels and bring home a lot from the library for myself and my child. I picked this us, even though I thought it was too old for a five-year old. I read the book and loved it but it definitely seemed too mature. But I forgot to remove it and before I had a chance my child was reading the book. The mature themes didn't bother them at all. In face, it's become so popular that we've asked Santa for the whole series. Let's hope he comes through. Great series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful journey into another world, February 8, 2008
The imagination of the author is a powerful vehicle that will take you for a breathtaking flight you'll remember for years. I'd recommend the comic for all ex-children :) and all children 12 and up (8-11 if they are emotionally strong and supervised). But parents should read it first and accompany the younger children as some events shown in the comic raise very strong emotions.
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The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1)
The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) by Kazu Kibuishi (Paperback - January 1, 2008)
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