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The Prisoner of Shiverstone

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A positively ingenious story about a mysterious island, long-lost secrets, and a young girl’s quest in the world of mad science! In Linette Moore’s debut, middle-grade graphic novel, The Prisoner of Shiverstone, eleven-year-old Helga Sharp is found unconscious in a drifting rowboat near the coast of Utley Island. Utley, as Helga finds out when she awakens in the hospital, i A positively ingenious story about a mysterious island, long-lost secrets, and a young girl’s quest in the world of mad science! In Linette Moore’s debut, middle-grade graphic novel, The Prisoner of Shiverstone, eleven-year-old Helga Sharp is found unconscious in a drifting rowboat near the coast of Utley Island. Utley, as Helga finds out when she awakens in the hospital, is forbidden territory: it’s a prison island to which the Mainland has exiled troublesome mad scientists for generations. Helga is questioned by the island’s guards and though they’re suspicious of her story, they agree to let her stay until they find her family. The truth is, it’s no accident that Helga landed here. She is a keen inventor, but the Mainland is suspicious of all scientists and inventors. While working on her projects in secret, Helga made radio contact with Erasmus Lope, a mad genius who everyone thought had died in a lab experiment gone spectacularly wrong. But Lope is alive, and Helga is on a mission to rescue him from the prison island. Now Helga must find a way to break Lope out, right under the noses of the family of famous heroes that run Utley Island. There’s only one big problem—Lope’s trapped inside a giant crystal in the mad scientists’ museum! Fans of Red’s Planet and Suee and the Shadow are sure to love The Prisoner of Shiverstone, a charismatically illustrated mad science adventure for readers of all ages.


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A positively ingenious story about a mysterious island, long-lost secrets, and a young girl’s quest in the world of mad science! In Linette Moore’s debut, middle-grade graphic novel, The Prisoner of Shiverstone, eleven-year-old Helga Sharp is found unconscious in a drifting rowboat near the coast of Utley Island. Utley, as Helga finds out when she awakens in the hospital, i A positively ingenious story about a mysterious island, long-lost secrets, and a young girl’s quest in the world of mad science! In Linette Moore’s debut, middle-grade graphic novel, The Prisoner of Shiverstone, eleven-year-old Helga Sharp is found unconscious in a drifting rowboat near the coast of Utley Island. Utley, as Helga finds out when she awakens in the hospital, is forbidden territory: it’s a prison island to which the Mainland has exiled troublesome mad scientists for generations. Helga is questioned by the island’s guards and though they’re suspicious of her story, they agree to let her stay until they find her family. The truth is, it’s no accident that Helga landed here. She is a keen inventor, but the Mainland is suspicious of all scientists and inventors. While working on her projects in secret, Helga made radio contact with Erasmus Lope, a mad genius who everyone thought had died in a lab experiment gone spectacularly wrong. But Lope is alive, and Helga is on a mission to rescue him from the prison island. Now Helga must find a way to break Lope out, right under the noses of the family of famous heroes that run Utley Island. There’s only one big problem—Lope’s trapped inside a giant crystal in the mad scientists’ museum! Fans of Red’s Planet and Suee and the Shadow are sure to love The Prisoner of Shiverstone, a charismatically illustrated mad science adventure for readers of all ages.

30 review for The Prisoner of Shiverstone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    A story of outcasts, of belonging, and found family. Full of quirky characters, odd robots, mystical inventions and morally-questionable scientists on a hidden island, and a girl who finds herself lost there... or is she? The main beats of the plot were enjoyable, but the details and humor were a bit rough - it didn't quite land for me in a lot of cases. There were literal plot... devices... that came out of nowhere to bring tension without any explanation of origin. The art style was cute but th A story of outcasts, of belonging, and found family. Full of quirky characters, odd robots, mystical inventions and morally-questionable scientists on a hidden island, and a girl who finds herself lost there... or is she? The main beats of the plot were enjoyable, but the details and humor were a bit rough - it didn't quite land for me in a lot of cases. There were literal plot... devices... that came out of nowhere to bring tension without any explanation of origin. The art style was cute but the lettering looked dot matrix, perhaps it was the ARC version? Overall it's something that I think a middle-grade audience will appreciate, but it didn't affect me beyond surface level.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Copy provided by the Publisher In this graphic novel, Helga Sharp wakes up in a hospital bed on and island, and is told she was found in a boat, her parents missing, even though she isn't shown previously in a boat. Utley, where many "mad scientists" have been sent from the Mainland, is where her grandfather, Erasmus Lope, who has been held captive in a large block of shiverstone. It's an odd community, built in a crater, and populated by people who have invented all manner of things that got the Copy provided by the Publisher In this graphic novel, Helga Sharp wakes up in a hospital bed on and island, and is told she was found in a boat, her parents missing, even though she isn't shown previously in a boat. Utley, where many "mad scientists" have been sent from the Mainland, is where her grandfather, Erasmus Lope, who has been held captive in a large block of shiverstone. It's an odd community, built in a crater, and populated by people who have invented all manner of things that got them in trouble on the Mainland. Helga is able to communicate with him via radio, and needs to figure out how she can split the shiverstone and release him. There are a number of adults who are taking care of her, from the Alethea, the head of security, and her significant other, Frank; the suspicious Captain Ostridge and his helpful sister Miss Lucinda; and Lucida's helpful robot butler, Headly, whom Helga is able to persuade to help her free her grandfather. Helga thinks that a crystal worn by a rival scientist, Dr. Helguni, might be the key to inventing something to split the crystal, and endures a painful party in an itchy dress in order to steal the crystal-- which Dr. Helguni gives to her when she asks! Time is of the essence, as people are still searching for Helga's parents, and when a supply ship comes in a few days with the General, Helga will be returning to the Mainland with him. She makes good progress, but just as she thinks she will manage to free her grandfather, robotic spiders attack and throw things into confusion. Will she be able to free her grandfather and somehow be spared from having to go back to the Mainland with it's anti-science bias? Strengths: It's good that in the absence of her parents, Helga has the company of her disembodied grandfather, and the support of the scientists on the island. Her scientific bent is encouraged, especially by Headley the robot, and she gets access to interesting library collections, and gets to work straightening up a lot of things for the scientists. Children in books should get more chances to organize things; I'm trying to think of other examples of this kind of activity that don't involve grandparents who are hoarders, but I'm coming up blank. There are lots of fun inventions in the illustrations, which are a bit mysterious since they aren't really explained. The drawings had a slight 1960s vibe to them, and a predominately red and teal blue color palette. The story had just enough detail for a graphic novel and wasn't too hard to follow. Weaknesses: The beginning was a bit confusing, and I never did quite understand how Helga had gotten to the island. Also, dresses are not necessarily itchy. Surely, an island of scientists could provide Helga with dresses that aren't itchy. I'm not entirely sure that the term "mad scientist" is one that is currently acceptable. What I really think: There aren't as many fantasy middle grade graphic novels as there are realistic ones, and even fewer ones with STEM connections. This felt somewhat similar to Gerrity's The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor, and should be popular with readers who enjoyed Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl, Brooks' Sanity and Tallulah, or Sedita's Pathfinders series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

    Extremely charming illustrations, and I think Hedley was my fave--the poor butler robot just needs to know how to have some fun!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed digital review copies of this book through NetGalley and Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a delightful story about a sharp girl who goes on a fun, high-stakes adventure to rescue a mad scientist from a prison island. Helga was a strong main character that I think many middle grade readers will admire. She’s witty, intelligent, curious, and tenacious. She went after her goals with determination and also consideration for those around her, not wanting her actions to harm others while still wanting to meet her objectives. I love seeing such dynamic characters in any book I read This was a delightful story about a sharp girl who goes on a fun, high-stakes adventure to rescue a mad scientist from a prison island. Helga was a strong main character that I think many middle grade readers will admire. She’s witty, intelligent, curious, and tenacious. She went after her goals with determination and also consideration for those around her, not wanting her actions to harm others while still wanting to meet her objectives. I love seeing such dynamic characters in any book I read but especially in children’s and middle grade books. The setting was really fun- an island full of mad scientists forced into this seclusion is amazing! I liked the differences between the Mainland and Utley Island. Besides making the island itself seem like a fun place to be, the author used the differences between these two setting and and their inhabitants to promote self-expression and creativity. The artwork was really fun! I enjoyed how well it depicted the characters’ emotions and their surroundings. One of the characters in this book is a robot who feels so many different emotions and all of them are so apparent in his body language and facial expressions, I just loved it. There were a couple points throughout the book where I thought I might have skipped a page because the transition was so sudden. It doesn’t appear that I missed any pages so it seems like it was either the book jumping around a little too much or I just wasn’t following like I should’ve. This wasn’t anything too major and ultimately didn’t take all that much of my enjoyment away while reading this book but it is something I think is worth mentioning. I would certainly recommend giving this book a read, regardless of your age. It’s a quick read but includes a fun adventure, wonderful artwork, a spunky main character, and some great messages about unabashedly being the best version of yourself. In my mind you just can’t get much better than that!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jami Ellis

    Not a graphic novel I would recommend, but the story was original.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not quite sure how I feel about the ending message. “It’s better to be in a prison where people understand you” does… not ring well to me?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Fun and twisty story about a mysterious island, mad scientists, and a prisoner who needs rescuing. Awesome artwork and page-turning adventure make this graphic novel a middle school winner.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Fun and twisty story about a mysterious island, mad scientists, and a prisoner who needs rescuing. Awesome artwork and page-turning adventure make this graphic novel a middle school winner.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    A wonderfully drawn, exciting adventure about nonconformity, espionage, and mad science. Set in a world where most scientists have been separated from the general population and sent to live on an island together. Great fun!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    I'm always on the look out for new Graphic novels to add to our library collection, especially ones that are truly written for Middle Schoolers. What I really loved about this book was that at first blush it's a simple, straightforward story about a girl lost at sea who ends up on an island where not everything is as it seems. From there the twists and turns take the story in directions I wasn't expecting. I think my Middle Schoolers will really enjoy this one and I can't wait to add it to our c I'm always on the look out for new Graphic novels to add to our library collection, especially ones that are truly written for Middle Schoolers. What I really loved about this book was that at first blush it's a simple, straightforward story about a girl lost at sea who ends up on an island where not everything is as it seems. From there the twists and turns take the story in directions I wasn't expecting. I think my Middle Schoolers will really enjoy this one and I can't wait to add it to our collection on our next order.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Balcárcel

    I loved the sass and ingenuity of this MC and the quirky setting! The drawings work well with the text, and the pace is quick. My heart always roots for a kid who has to sneak around to help someone, and this story puts that at the center. It's also great to see a girl who like to invent, tinker, and build things. An enjoyable read! I loved the sass and ingenuity of this MC and the quirky setting! The drawings work well with the text, and the pace is quick. My heart always roots for a kid who has to sneak around to help someone, and this story puts that at the center. It's also great to see a girl who like to invent, tinker, and build things. An enjoyable read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie Chase

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tally Klinefelter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sunday Taylor Nelson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa-Marie Brunnen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm Meg

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah West

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gurpreet

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kris Cram

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beka Murcray

  24. 5 out of 5

    China

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anette Garcia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elena Ware

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Khan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Laver

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