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Oyster War Hardcover – October 20, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Set in the late 1800s, this is the tale of a local war raged between a budding seaside city and a group of pirates. The cause is oysters. As in many towns on the Chesapeake Bay during that period, the oyster industry was booming and many wanted a piece of the profits. Towle makes this subject accessible for kids by throwing in secret islands, mythological sea creatures, and, of course, swashbuckling pirates. His exuberant illustrations and vibrant colors bring to life this fictional story, which has a twinge of camp mixed with a whole lot of adventure, humor, and fantasy. Stylistically, the illustrations and storytelling harken back to comics from the early 20th-century, such as Popeye and The Adventures of Tintin. Overall, this is a fun read that reveals a little-known slice of American history. What is especially helpful is a description of Towle's inspirations in the afterword. Here is where young readers learn what parts of the story are based on real events. VERDICT A strong secondary purchase for middle school graphic novel collections.—Jaclyn Anderson, Madison County Library System, MS