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Explorer (The Mystery Boxes #1) Paperback – March 1, 2012
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About the Author
Kazu Kibuishi is the creator of Amulet, the award-winning middle school graphic novel series, and the editor and art director of eight volumes of Flight, the influential, Eisner-nominated graphic anthology. His earlier work Daisy Kutter was named a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. He lives in Alhambra, California.
Top Customer Reviews
There was a spin-off anthology, Flight Explorer, which was specifically targeted to younger (roughly tween) readers -- though with pretty much the same crew of creators, very similar or the same main characters, and not much difference from the main Flight volumes. That was published in 2008, and was billed as "Volume One," though a second volume hasn't yet appeared.
And now there's EXPLORER: THE MYSTERY BOXES, which smells a whole lot like a themed FLIGHT EXPLORER, VOLUME TWO: seven graphic stories, edited by Kibuishi, all about mysterious magical/scientific/marvelous boxes and the people that open them, also aimed at middle-grade readers. Now, my major problem with the big FLIGHT anthologies is that they were each three hundred pages of stories that were all mostly the same kind of thing: young or otherwise naifish protagonists wandering through big, visually exciting worlds, learning Important Lessons, being Nice, and probably saving something along the way. FLIGHT EXPLORER was better: it focused on adventure, not so much on lessons, though it also seemed to be trying to launch each of its main characters as the hero of a series of separate graphic novels. (And the moderate success of that might be why we haven't seen a second volume.Read more ›
My son's favorite thing about these stories was the endings. He told me he loved the way they kept the mystery alive, even at the end, and then insisted on reading three of the endings to me. Both kids loved the recurring theme of the mystery boxes in every story. I love the graphics.
If you like kid-friendly graphic novels, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this one.
There is a lot of good in The Mystery Boxes; each story is very different, but the quality, at least for me, doesn't even come close to comparing to Amulet. Here are my ratings of the individual stories:
"Under the Floorboards": Cute, and perfect for a child. ****1/4
"Spring Cleaning": A little too kidsy. ***
"The Keeper's Treasure": Stupid. *
"The Butter Thief": Imaginative. ***3/4
"The Soldier's Daughter": Deals with death, so it might not be suitable for very young readers. ***1/2
"Whatzit": Very, very funny, and almost worth the collection by itself. ****3/4
"The Escape Option": Done by Kibuishi himself. ****
That averages out to about ***1/3, but this collection is better than the sum of its parts. For kids 8 or 9 to 12, it's ideal. As an adult, I have to rank it ***3/4
The stories, in order, are:
- A girl finds a box with a wax doll inside. But while the doll initially helps her with her chores, it also begins to cause trouble... and refuses to leave.
- While cleaning his closet, Oliver finds a strange puzzle box -- and is immediately swamped by greedy wizards who want to buy it from him. However, Oliver has his own plans for the box.
- A young treasure-hunter ventures into a vast labyrinth, and finds a mysterious box with the help of a horned creature. What is inside? And can it match the horned creature's dreams?
- After her grandmother claims to have caught a butter-stealing spirit in a box, a curious girl digs it up and checks inside... and ends up being transformed into a teeny-tiny spirit herself. How can she get back?
- After her father is killed, Clara sets out for vengeance against the man who killed him. But when she meets a stranger with a glowing box, she learns the true price of war.
- Alien worker Deets is assigned to organize thousands of boxes... only to discover that something very destructive is inside one. Will it ever come in handy?
- While James is hiking, he is drawn up into a vast floating box. Inside, an alien tells him that the Earth is doomed, and that he has been chosen out of all humans to be taken to another world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i love it so much.such cool little comics. i recommend to any reader.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
It is a series of kid friendly graphical novel stories bound in one book.
These are aimed at the Middle Reader market. Read more
My son discovered Kazu Kibuishi through his Amulet series. This series is awesome too. He's in second grade and he can't put the books down. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kym Harkins
My son loves the Amulet series but wasn't so enthusiastic about the Explorer books. More like a cartoonish comic strip than graphic novel.Published 4 months ago by Kamily