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Karen's Young Adult Book Reviews
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A Thousand Ships/Pink and Say

A Thousand Ships

Volume 1 of The Age of Bronze


A Thousand Ships is a graphic novel telling the story of the time leading up to the Trojan War. Paris is a young man and decides he wishes to go to Troy to compete in the games. One of their prized bulls has been taken by the King to give away at the games. Paris decides he will win the games and bring back their bull which was supposed to be their sacrificial bull. His mother and father do not wish him to go, but his father accompanies him. He is considered a peasant competing against the sons of wealthy men. He eventually wins and the other young men are angered. They attempt to kill him. Paris’s father admits to the king that this is son that he took away to die and he has raised him from an infant. Although it was predicted that if Paris lived he would bring the destruction of Troy upon them, the king is delighted to find his son alive and welcomes him.


The king sends Paris on a mission where he meets Helen and convinces her to leave her husband while he is away and go with him. The men are angered when they return with him and gather up an army to go rescue Helen.


Meanwhile, Achilles’ mother takes him away from his teacher and sends him to live with a man who only has daughters. He has to dress as a girl in order to hide. He falls in love with one of the daughters and they have a baby together. Odysseus knows they will need his strength in the rescue of Helen and seeks to find Achilles. He eventually does and Achilles has to reveal himself. The books ends as the men assemble to begin the Trojan War.


Eric Shanower’s depiction of the beginning of the Trojan War through this graphic novel was excellent. The graphics are wonderfully drawn and keep the reader’s attention until the very end. This book is a great way to get a young adult to read about the Trojan War. Although some may agree that the book is too explicit in a few places, the book is tremendously appealing. Shanower’s depiction of the many characters involved in the story is extraordinary.


One reader comments, “Besides being beautifully drawn and intelligently, even intellectually, composed, it is archaeologically accurate--by those qualities it's better than any film I've ever seen on Bronze Age Greece (


Another reader comments, “"Shanower has taken the classic epics plus his extensive research into prehistoric Greece and Troy and synthesized a masterpiece out of them. Gone are the larger than life, impossibly distant heroes and heroines. Gone are the vague place settings. In the pages of the Age of Bronze trade, readers will find very human characters with motives we fully understand. (


A teen reader commented that the bookwas a nice way to help me understand who's who in those books (Iliad and Odyssey) and what exactly happened when Homer flashes back! All those Greek names can get a bit mixed up after a while and putting a picture in my mind really helped me. Did I mention that this is a neat book?” (


Shanower, Eric. 2001. Age of Bronze Volume 1: A Thousand Ships. California: Image Comics, Inc.




Age of Bronze Volume 1: A Thousand Ships. http://www.age-of-

   Accessed 13 July 2005. Book Reviews. Accessed 14 July, 2005.

Pink and Say


This is a true story about two men who become friends during the Civil War. Say, the white man, has been wounded. Pink, a black man, carries him home to his mother, Moe Moe Bay. She nurses Say back to health. Pink teaches Say how to read. Pink wants to rejoin his unit despite his mother's protest. Say was deserting when he became wounded  and is aware of the danger they place Pink’s mother in for their presence. Marauders kill her while they hide in the cellar. Say decides he must leave. On the way to the front lines, they are captured by soldiers and taken to Andersonville prison where Pink is hung shortly after their capture. As they are dragged apart, Pink wants to touch the hand of his friend who has shaken the hand of Abraham Lincoln. Say survives to become author's great-great grandfather and passes the story from generation to generation.


Pink and Say is a historical picture book. It is a wonderfully written book that captures the reader. This book is heart wrenching. The reader immediately is compassionate to both men. Their friendship is a delight to see after each of their hardships and heart breaking when they are torn apart and one is killed. Polacco has definitely captured the moment.


One reader writes, “I have to applaud Patricia Polacco for putting such reality to what we have already known. It’s a great story for one. A great story to tell a young child, of what it is to be of one race and then to be exposed to another race besides your own” (


Another reader writes, “ will have to read and "see" to appreciate it’s warmth and compassion. This book is based on a true story about Patricia Polacco’s great great grandfather. You will be moved with this book in many ways” (


No book reviews by teens were found on the Internet.



Polacco, Patricia. 1994. Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books.




Black History Review.  Accessed 13 July,



Embracing the Child.

            Accessed 14 July, 2005.

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Created by K. Braswell for LS5623 at Texas Woman's University.