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The Swiss Family Robinson
The Swiss Family Robinson
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader
Graphic Revolve

The Swiss Family Robinson

A family from Switzerland is shipwrecked on a deserted island.  They discover that the island is filled with plants and animals they've never seen before. Unfortunately, not all of the creatures are friendly.

GenreClassic Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Interest LevelGrades 5-9
Lexile LevelGN540L
ATOS Level2.6
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #123859
PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandGraphic Revolve
Page Count72
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



The Graphic Classroom Blog

"REVIEW -- I always take it as a good sign that as soon as a book comes out of the box, my eight- and ten-year-old sons grab them out of my hands and disappear for a long stretch of time. Such was the case with the delivery of the graphic novel interpretations of classic stories by Stone Arch Books. The box came in and the books were gone. I later had to search around to gather the graphic novels back up and as I was doing so, one of my sons said that he just loved THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (adapted by Martin Powell from the original novel by Johann D. Wyss). Then he asked me to read it to him, and so, the two of us went through the tale of the shipwrecked family of missionaries who find a new kind of peace, along with many adventures, on an island somewhere in the world. The story flows along at a brisk pace in this graphic novel version and the illustrations by Gerardo Sandoval really give a better sense of the creatures the family discover while trying to survive. For instance, the 40-foot boa constrictor that has been stealing their food and instilling terror in their hearts leaps right off the page when the family finally confronts the massive, vicious green monster. While my son was fully engaged with the story, though, I wondered about all of the narrative pieces that must have been left out when reconstructing a long novel into a short graphic novel. The plot moved along quickly, and for me, it was a bit too brisk. I wanted to know more (although, as someone who has read the novel, I already knew the answers to my questions). For example, the oldest son, Fritz, finds a girl castaway on the island, but we never really come to understand her character or why the two of them are attracted to each other. And the mother character is given little play throughout the book, even though she is a central character to the story itself. Something is gained by these graphic interpretations (i.e., kids are reading the classic stories that they might otherwise pass by), but something gets lost, too. I suppose the hope is that these introductions to the stories will later guide young readers to the novels, and the framework of the tale will allow for deeper reading of the original books. I do like how all of the graphic novels in this series begin with an introduction of the characters, since the narrative often jumps past basic character development (and my son could not figure out who the narrator was until we sorted out who might be the one speaking). ART REVIEW -- The artwork for THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON maintains a Manga-like quality, particularly to the eyes of the characters. Sandoval is very effective in using the illustrations to fill in some of the narrative gaps of the story. And the sense of wonder and terror is expressed nicely on the faces of the characters throughout the story. A combination of dark and light gives the story a mysterious feel. The palette of colors used most effectively when the family is adrift on the ocean, with sharks closing in. The blue of the sea gives the reader a sense of the depth of isolation. IN THE CLASSROOM -- Stone Arch Books is wise to include some related expository information at the back of these books that could be helpful to teachers in the classroom. In THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, for example, there is a whole expository section on uninhabited islands and it gives advice to the reader on what to do if they are ever a castaway (main advice: find some coconuts for both nourishment and for making rope and insect repellent). There are a handful of discussion questions that talk about cooperating with others in the face of tragedy, identifying with specific family members and wondering why the mother and father would remain on the island even after the family is rescued. Also, for older readers, it might be nice to read the actual book and then compare the graphic novel with the original, and consider what choices went into what needed to be brought to the forefront of the grap" - The Graphic Classroom Blog

November 5, 2008

ReadPlus blog - Jo Schenkel

"En route from Switzerland to Australia, the Robinson family is ship wrecked on a deserted island. They must discover what their new home has to offer in order to ensure their survival. As they learn about the island, they come across many unfamiliar plants and animals, some of which threaten their existence. Over time, the family grow accustomed to their new home and existence and even welcome a stranger to their midst. Although I find this story to be quite familiar, thanks to having seen a film of the same name in my childhood, I cannot be certain as to how true it is to the original story. I found most of the text to be grammatically correct, apart from the following statement, 'It's a wild fig tree, which have probably grown here since Biblical times!' This glitch was possibly over-looked due to the limited word count and vocabulary used in this series. Certainly, the graphic novel format makes this tale accessible to even children for whom reading does not come easily. The illustrations brought forth similar feelings to those I had as a child. I would happily go and live in such a tree house as is portrayed in this book!" - ReadPlus blog

June 1, 2011

School Library Journal - Peter Gutiérrez

"Many of Stone Arch's adaptations of classics, with their heavy themes and low vocabulary levels, are perfect for struggling older readers. Fortunately, this one is just as appropriate for second and third graders—and no less exciting. The simplified version of Johann D. Wyss's adventure tale retains the original kid-friendly story's plucky spirit, and with its slick production values, it's bound to appeal to fans of superhero comics. The supplementary discussion questions, writing prompts, and glossary are welcome bonuses for any library collection." - School Library Journal

September 1, 2009


Book Links - Christine Boardman Moen

"This 26-title set features dynamic comic-style art and abridged retellings of both myths and literature classics. Titles include The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, and Alice in Wonderland (all 2010), among others." - Book Links

March 1, 2010