Poptrpica: Mystery of the Map
Author: Jack Chabert
Illustrator: Kory Merritt
Idea: Jeff Kinney
Published March 1st, 2016 by Amulet Books
Goodreads Summary: Based on a concept by Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney comes Poptropica, a brand-new graphic novel adventure series by Jack Chabert and Kory Merritt. In “Mystery of the Map,” Oliver, Mya, and Jorge take a ride in a hot-air balloon, only to crash-land on an unknown island filled with extinct animals and a horde of angry Vikings. Welcome to Poptropica, an uncharted group of islands whose existence is hidden from the rest of the world. As the three friends embark on a perilous search for a way home, they quickly discover the shocking reason they were brought there something that threatens the very existence of Poptropica and their ability to ever make it off the island!
My Review: I love learning about new graphic novels because they are so popular in my classroom, and I think this one will be another one that will be loved by students. Although the Poptropica idea was made by Jeff Kinney, I see it more as a ladder rung for late elementary school/early middle school before students jump to Amulet or Doug TenNapel books. I also know that there are millions of Poptropica users who will love to explore Poptropica through Oliver, Mya, and Jorge’s journey.
Although, I hadn’t played Poptropica when I first heard about the book, as soon as I knew I was getting it, I went onto the website to play, and I loved it! I can see why so many kids/teens like it–it is a role-playing game with adventure, puzzles, and a great story. However, I will say that when I read the book, it would not have mattered if I’d played the game or not. I think that is the beauty of it. It can be an extension of the game, an intro to the game, or an adventure-filled graphic novel separate from the game.
The graphic novel itself is very well done. The graphics are fun and easy to read, the story is a page turner filled with adventure and humor, and it has fun history facts. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation, Discussion Questions, and Flagged Passages:
The teaching guide below that I wrote for Abrams Books includes vocabulary, cross-curricular activities, and cross-curricular discussion questions as well as example passages.
You can also access the teaching guide here.
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