Tuesday, June 29, 2010


By Kevin Hodgson
Staff Writer

ESCAPE FROM PYRAMID X is the second in a new series by Graphic Universe called Twisted Journeys that, as the book says, “… lets you control the story.” Like the Make Your Own Ending books that have made a comeback, this graphic novel allows the reader to make choices about the narrative, which is a mix of text and comics.

In ESCAPE FROM PYRAMID X, written by Dan Jolley, the reader is a young girl who is part of a group of explorers going deep into a mysterious pyramid with dangers all around. I was confronted with a choice early on and made my way, alone, into the center of the pyramid, where I confronted some looters, found a magical item and later, after declining an offer of a gift from the High Priestess of Bast, I am transformed into her slave for eternity. Oh well. Flipping through the book, I notice there are at least eight other possible endings that Jolley has created (if I read again, will I survive and escape?). I had fun moving through the story, and the mix of comics with a regular narrative was interesting to experience. It also helped that that the story was all about adventure, allowing the choices to have meaning for me as the reader.

Matt Wendt illustrateD this graphic novel and the colors are vibrant and expressive in tone. The reader is shown as a character in the comics, and the use of a yellow speech bubble is helpful to track that character. 

Page 6-7 shows the traditional narrative paired 
with a choose-your-own-adventure page.


 Page 14-15 demonstrates the juxtaposition between comic and traditional narrative.

Publisher’s Reading level: Ages 9-12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 111 pages
Publisher: Lerner Publishing
ISBN-10: 0822567792
ISBN-13: 978-0822567790

You can view a portion of the book at Google Books.

This series of Twisted Journeys offer an alternative to traditional texts and the resurgence of Make Your Own Ending books is a good opportunity to teach storyboarding, as readers can map out stories in books and writers can plan their own stories with multiple possibilities.

I recommend this book for elementary and middle school students as well as some high school readers, but I would probably have it available more for pleasure reading than for use in the teaching curriculum.

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