Friday, May 25, 2018

Read, You Can: The Last Jedi pt. II

While there are several new books out now to tie-in with Solo: A Star Wars Story (definitely more info on those coming soon!) let's not forget there's plenty of fun books for young fans of The Last Jedi out there!

In Part 1 of this, we looked at middle-grade books for older kids and confident young readers. Here are a few books for younglings still learning to read, or enjoying stories read to them.

Storybook by Elizabeth Schaefer
Packed with striking illustrations by Brian Rood, the 128-page hardcover The Last Jedi storybook by Elizabeth Schaefer (Rey's Story) is a full retelling of the movie. Like The Last Jedi: A Junior Novel, there are also a few moments that did not make it onto the screen. Great fun to expand and enhance your enjoyment of the film!

Longtime readers (and listeners of our podcast) know we love Star Wars Read-Along books, and we're happy to say The Last Jedi Read-Along Storybook & CD is now available. Also written by Elizabeth Schaefer, this retelling simplifies the story quite a bit. The accompanying CD features character voices, music and sound effects from the movie too! 

The Last Jedi: Rey's Journey (World of Reading Level 2) also by Ella Patrick is a leveled "reader" book, graded as a "Junior Reader: K-Grade 2" with a focus on, you guessed it, Rey's side of the story of The Last Jedi. The book tells about Rey and specifically her time with Luke Skywalker. Illustrations by Brian Rood.
The Last Jedi: Rose & Finn's Secret Mission by Ella Patrick is a 24 page picture book (once again illustrated by Brian Rood) focusing solely on Rose & Finn's part of the story from when they meet, to their escape from the jail cell on Canto Bight. Anyone wanting to read about their wild ride through the city should check out that story in Star Wars: 5-Minute Stories Strike Back.

The Last Jedi: Heroes of the Galaxy by Ruth Amos is a photo-filled look at who's who and what's what in the movie. Like most DK Readers, it comes with a glossary and a quiz at the end. It is a Level 2 "Beginning to Read" reader.

LEGO Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a fun overview of the characters and situations of the movie by Beth Davies, full of photos of LEGO Star Wars characters and building sets. It is also a Level 2 "Beginning to Read" DK reader.

With so many The Last Jedi books available for different interests and reading levels, there's plenty of reading material for fans of all ages. May the Force be with your reading!

Coming Summer 2018!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Read, You Must: Choose Your Destiny A Han & Chewie Adventure

Han Solo has never been known for making the wisest choices. From crossing Jabba the Hutt to lying to Kanjiklub, Han has a long history of doing things the hard way and hoping they'll work out.

In a fun new adventure novel from Disney/Lucasfilm Press, readers can make the choices FOR Han, and hopefully have better results!

Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure is the first of a new series of middle-grade chapter books in the Star Wars galaxy where young readers make the decisions that will drastically affect the outcome of the story!

Written by Cavan Scott (Adventures in Wild Space, Star Wars Adventures comics), A Han & Chewie Adventure is an exciting, page-turning experience. Scott truly understands the relationship between Han Solo and his wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca, and their back-and-forth banter.

Coming Fall 2018!
On the surface this is a relatively simple story, set sometime between Solo: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope, about a smuggling job gone wrong and an escape from a group of criminals. However, every few pages the reader is presented with a choice of what happens next with each decision creating a new path. Some of the paths are very short and end badly for the heroes, so the book frequently suggests readers go back and try again and help Han "make a better decision".

There are over 20 possible outcomes to the story, but only one of them is really a desirable ending for Han & Chewie in this 140 page book.

Marvel's Star Wars #8  (1978)
With occasional wildly-coloured illustrations by Elsa Charretier, A Han & Chewie Adventure sometimes has the look and feel of the earliest Marvel Star Wars comics from the 70's, where for a few issues it was all about Han & Chewbacca out on their own.

If you've never read this type of book before, the experience itself of flipping from one section to the next - all over the book - can feel like a wild goose chase itself. Reading a book structured this way is like more like playing a game than reading a novel. 

As readers progress, getting a little further each time, it becomes clear that the way to survive is to THINK like Han Solo! Make brash, dangerous decisions, some that even seem foolish but if they are kind-hearted you'll generally do well. Safe decisions will get you nowhere and selfish decisions may get you in serious danger!

Azmorigan from Star Wars Rebels
There are many connections to the larger Star Wars galaxy here, including the shady character Azmorigan, well known to fans of Star Wars Rebels. Glimpses of Solo: A Star Wars Story are also in here, as the character Enfys Nest is mentioned along with Han & Chewbacca "borrowing" a speeder bike that in Charretier's exciting illustration looks remarkably like Nest's from the film.

In The Last Jedi, Yoda refers to the (probably boring) ancient Jedi texts by saying "page turners, they are not". THIS book is the opposite of that. It's a page-turner in every sense!

Make a great choice and go get this entertaining book!

Highly Recommended

(Publisher's Recommendation: Ages 6 & up)

Also recommended...

Smuggler's Run by Greg Rucka
Adventures in Hyperspace by Ryder Windham

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