Tuesday, 7 December 2010

GRAPHIC NOVEL - The Speckled Band and The Blue Carbuncle

Sherlock Holmes
Alisdair's Language Arts curriculum (Further Up and Futher In) suggests having students read other books by British authors that C. S. Lewis would have been familiar with. 

Having just had "the Comic Book Guys" at the local school advocating the use of "Graphic Novels" in learning - we decided to order two Sherlock Holmes mysteries published in one volume in this format.  We both enjoyed the tales of "The Speckled Band" and "The Blue Carbuncle."

Grandpa Dennis had tried to verbally recount the tale of "The Speckled Band" but Alisdair and I only got confused by his version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work.  At least we now know to stay well away from rare Indian snakes!

In the second half of the comic book, we learned what a "carbuncle" is.  It is a Middle English word, taken from Old French and from the Latin "carbunculus" - a "small glowing ember."  The website http://www.yourdictionary.com/ gives two definitions for the word:
  1. a. A deep-red garnet, unfaceted and convex.
    b. Obsolete A red precious stone.
I am not sure why the "carbuncle" in the story is blue when they are supposed to be red, but it made for an interesting read, none-the-less.

At the back of the graphic novel, the publisher was advertising a similar format for the "Hound of the Baskervilles."  So, just for fun, we have ordered that title from Inter-Library Loans, too!  The actual novels may have been a bit heavy for Alisdair at this stage, so the Graphic Novels were a good way to introduce the material to him.  There is so much quality literature out there and not enough time to read -- so a little "comic relief" doesn't hurt now and again!

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