Friday, November 27, 2009

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

What would you do if your father was killed in front of your eyes and you found out the student who killed him had escaped from his juvenile detention center?

That is exactly what happens in Joe Hill's "Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft". The story begins in Mendocino Valley where we are introduced to two students, Sam Lesser and Al Grubb. They are coming to visit their old social worker Mr. Locke. The events that unfold take the reader on a wild journey through tragedy, strength, terror, and heartbreak...all surrounding the death of Mr. Locke and the twisted boy who killed him, Sam Lesser. "Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft" is a thrilling graphic novel that deals with issues much deeper than its simplistic form would lead you to believe. Not only does the Locke family suffer the loss of their father, they are also forced to move in with their uncle in a strange place called Lovecraft. While grieving the death of their father/husband, the Locke's are also forced to deal with adjusting to living in a new place. The children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode have an especially difficult time expressing their emotions and fitting in. This book also takes on a supernatural quality when the family moves to Lovecraft, when Bode discovers the keys that lead to the different rooms in the house. He is most impressed with the door that can turn him into a ghost and the echo that speaks to him near the well. Little does he know the evil that resides in the bottom of that well, the evil that changes their lives in Lovecraft completely. The events that follow create a thrilling, dangerous, and powerful story that had me captivated from beginning to end. The incredible illustrations only add to the uniqueness of this book and its effect on the reader. For more information check out the wikipedia link about "Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft" here:

I think that this was an extremely interesting book that would be great for high school readers. Not only does the graphic novel format lend to easy reading, it also provides visual stimulation while the students are engaged in the story. I liked being able to see the characters and also the interactions between those characters. Graphic novels are a great way for students to enjoy reading without having to get through the "boring" format of a regular novel. This article provides some insight on the benefits of graphic novels in the classroom and I completely agree! This book deals with heavy issues like losing a parent and I think could really provide some great lessons for students. It is interesting to see how each child copes with the death of their father and even the ways in which Mrs. Locke deals with it. They all have extremely different ways of dealing with their emotions and that could lead to interesting classroom discussion.

This book is also great because it can appeal to all kinds of audiences. In this youtube clip, we see an interview with the author and illustrator of the book at Comicon, and hear how the Locke & Key series came to be, the author's original plans, and what other books are to come!

For a review of the text check out this article:

Also, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez have released the second installment of Locke & Key, entitled "Head Games". For a sneak peek check this out!


Donna N said...

Your review has really attracted my attention. The book sounds very interesting and mysterious as well. I like a book that can capture your attention right away and maintain it throughout the book.


Anne said...

Great review! I wish my GN left me feeling the way yours has. I definately will put this on my "to read" list. Hopefully it will redeem GN for me!!

Heather Hoffman said...

Wow - this book sounds great! Like Anne, I also wish my graphic novel had left me feeling the way that you seem to. After reading your review, I think that a part of how I originally felt about graphic novels has changed -- I used to feel that they would have a hard time addressing a full-blown plot with multiple characters because how would an author draw SO much and explain SO much with so little text (without it being 500 pages long)? Now that I know there is a GN out there like the one you read, I think my thoughts have changed. This book seems like it's jam-packed with layers of events and characters and ideas -- and it doesn't seem like it was confusing to you at all! I think I'll have to pick this one up at some point! Thanks for the awesome review!

Stu1980 said...

I saw this in borders one day and it looked interesting. Your links were excellent also.