Webster’s Dictionary defines the word simplicity as “a simple state or quality” or “freedom from complexity.” This is the word that jumped out at me from page one, until the very last page of this GN (Graphic Novel). Trust me when I say that this is not a bad thing, either. This book exemplifies standard fictional writing to the fullest extent. As mentioned on the web-page for Stargazer, the writing style does have some parallels with writers like C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz). Again, simple stories, but also stories with tremendous meaning and emotion attached to them.
The story begins with the main character, Marni, getting ready to attend the funeral of her most beloved family member, her grandmother. She and her grandmother were the best of friends and shared many an imaginary adventure outdoors together. It seems from the on-set though, that Marni and her mother are at odds with each other and Marni’s father must intervene. The next day, Marni’s father suggests that she have some friends over for some fun.
At this point, two of her best friends come over for a camp-out in the backyard. Each girl brings the typical sleepover items, but they each also bring something special. Of course, Marni brings an artifact that her grandmother gave her years ago. It’s an unusual object that to all appearances looks otherworldly. The girls eat pizza, tell jokes, and have a great time. As the girls are inspecting Marni’s grandmother’s artifact, it suddenly flashes a brilliant light that engulfs the entire tent. As Marni and her friends exit the tent, they realize they aren’t in suburbia anymore. The girls have been mystically transported to another world where action and intrigue await. While I won’t spoil the adventures that follow, I will say that this is part one of the story and does leave you with a cliffhanger!
This book is definitely something that should be on the radar of parents out there that are looking for something innocuous. The book isn’t just for kids, though. When read, it took me back to the days of my youth when everything including life itself was much more simplistic. Definitely give Von Allan’s Stargazer a look for yourself, or anyone needing a great gift for the holidays! Again, kudos to Von Allan and his smooth style of writing a simple story in a world where it seems everything is interweaving like a spiderweb and sometimes too hard to follow. Let’s face it, a story doesn’t need to span a lifetime or contain forty different characters to be good.
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