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Review: Knife’s Edge

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After reading volume 1 of the Four Points series, I was left hanging. So were my students. One student, Albert* (Name changed), asked me when volume 2 was coming out. I told him the wait was a while, and he asked me to let the author and artist know that he was willing to help illustrate if it would make it come faster. I knew we had a winner on our hands! Good news Albert: The book came in after the school year ended, but come September you’re in for an adventure. (I don’t think Albert reads this blog…)

Knife’s Edge
By Hope Larson. Rebecca Mock
Farrar Straus Giroux. June 2017. ISBN 9780374300449
HC, $19.99. 224pp.
Grades 5 and up

Knife's EdgeWhen the first volume, Compass South, left off, Alex and Cleo were reunited with their father, who had been presumed dead. They realized that they each held an heirloom that would unlock a greater treasure. In Knife’s Edge they crack the code and barter a deal with Tarboro so he will take them to uncover their treasure. But on the way, they are chased and uncover a greater secret that will once again leave readers hanging and begging for more. (So how long does it take to write and illustrate a graphic novel?)

The storytelling is right on point, allowing readers to easily pick up from volume 1, even if much time has lapsed between readings. There are twists and turns and lots of actions. A little bit of romance is thrown in too. Unlike the first adventure, with its detailed historical setting, this volume focuses more on the maritime adventure and captures the grandeur and splendor of the ocean and the Caribbean islands. The artwork is exciting and detailed. The color palette shifts, setting the mood of the story.

Read Knife’s Edge, and you will literally hold the edge of your seat. Don’t be too disappointed that you’ll have to wait to read more.

Read interviews with Rebecca Mock and Hope Larson with J. Caleb Mozzocco on GC4K to learn more about the Four Points series and its creation.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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