Over the Wall

Common Sense Media says

Girl searches for brother in exciting fantasy graphic novel.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Over the Wall  is set in a fantasy world with a made-up mythology, so there's not much to take away that's applicable to our world, except for positive messages about persevering and the value of family.

Positive messages

Stay loyal to what's important: family and friends. Don't give up, even when things get tough or scary. If you stay focused on your goals in spite of your fears, you can achieve anything.

Positive role models

Heroine Anya's age isn't given, but she seems to be around 12. She's brave, clever, resourceful, loyal, and conscientious. The only other human character is her 16-year-old brother, who's lost his memory and is mostly led by Anya throughout the story. Toris, the helpful demon she befriends, models doing the right thing even when he's labeled a traitor for it.

Violence

The only violent incident happens when Anya pokes bad-guy demon Mogis in the eye with a stick. The stick in the eye is shown in a stylized image, without gore, and with what looks like smoke or steam coming from the injured eye. Anya's then depicted holding the stick with something on the end of it that's not detailed. Earlier she encounters a human skeleton, and the close-up of the skull could frighten younger readers.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's not much to worry about in the graphic novel OVER THE WALL, a fantasy adventure without much text. There's a close-up of a scary skeleton, and a bad-guy demon's eye gets poked out with a stick. There's no strong language, drug or alcohol use, or sexual content. Heroine Anya is a great model of courage, loyalty, intelligence, and perseverance.

What's the story?

Anya's brother fails to return from his coming-of-age quest on the other side of an enormous wall built around an ancient city. She determines to leave home on her own, cross the wall, and find the brother whose name she can't remember anymore. On the other side of the wall, the ancient city is now populated only by demons. There she meets the helpful guide Toris, and has to face down her fears in the form of the giant Mogis to bring her brother home.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

OVER THE WALL, a graphic novel debut by Peter Wartman, is an exciting fantasy adventure kids will really enjoy. The pen-and-ink illustrations create an eerie, moody atmosphere that contrasts nicely with the engaging heroine Anya's pluck. Wartman is particularly skilled at conveying emotion without words in Anya's expressive face, which makes her easy for kids to relate to, and at economically conveying a rich, fully realized fantasy world.

There's not much text here, so kids who love lingering over the illustrations will get the most out of it. But Anya and Toris, the helpful demon, share some funny dialogue, too. The end is rather abrupt, and the reader's left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Even though the plot's resolved, a lot of questions are left to the imagination. A sequel is in the works.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why fantasies are so popular. Why do we enjoy them so much?

  • Do you like the illustrations? Do they tell the story clearly? What about the words? Do they help the story along, or get in the way of telling the story?

  • Has a friend or loved one close to you died or moved away? What things are easiest to remember about them? What things about them are harder to remember?

Book details

Author:Peter Wartman
Illustrator:Peter Wartman
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Great girl role models, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Uncivilized Books
Publication date:August 13, 2013
Number of pages:100
Available on:Paperback

This review of Over the Wall was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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