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Doug TenNapel was raised in the town of Denair, California. In 1994, he created the popular Earthworm Jim. Doug's graphic novel GHOSTOPOLIS was a 2011 ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novel for Teens, and his follow-up, BAD ISLAND, is a 2012 ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens as well as one of School Library Journal's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2011. Doug lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
TenNapel's latest adventure comic for kids begins with the discovery of Benedict Arnold's whiny ghost hiding under a bed, and goes on to introduce readers to a host of other humorous and interesting characters, some historical, others very contemporary. Garth Hale is the protagonist, and he starts his story spunky but sick with a life-threatening illness. When, through a technological mishap, he's transported into the afterlife, death gives him a new lease on life. Garth is accompanied by a dinosaur skeleton he calls Skinny, and he soon meets up with his grandfather Cecil-who, in the afterlife, is Garth's age. The two join forces to fight the evil ruler of the ghost city, Ghostopolis, and to get Garth home. In spite of its many twists and turns, the story remains clear and engaging throughout, and Garth is a likable sort. There are plenty of action sequences, illustrated with energetic drawings, and a host of smart-talking characters make the story fun. Occasional wordless skits, like a scene of two squirrels wrapped in bandages fighting over an acorn, add charm and extra dashes of humor. TenNapel is an accomplished creator of graphic novels for kids, and this is sure to appeal to all those who love his most famous character, Earthworm Jim. Ages 12-up. (July) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 7 Up-When readers first meet Garth Hale, he is about to receive the fifth diagnosis that his disease is incurable. How fitting, then, that a boy who thinks about death more than other kids his age should be accidentally zapped into the afterlife. When washed-up ghost wrangler Frank Gallows realizes that he accidentally sent Garth through to the other side, he does everything in his power to rescue him. Meanwhile, Garth explores the spirit world with a skeleton horse, a variety of terrifying and fantastic creatures, and some family members whom he never expected to meet. TenNapel mixes emotional epiphanies with humor in a way that will appeal to a broad audience. Characters experience personal growth and learn lessons about themselves throughout the course of this book, but these lessons feel integral to the plot rather than forced down readers' throats. TenNapel's colorful illustrations are filled with energy and life, and they use shade and silhouettes to great advantage. The planned film adaptation made by Disney and starring Hugh Jackman means that this book is bound to have an extra surge in popularity, so it's probably a good idea to buy it now and get in on the ground floor.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.