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Laura Joh Rowland
I Am Optimus Prime - Jennifer Frantz, Guido Guidi My nephew loved I Am Optimus Prime. He was beside himself with delight over this book. That's great, and it makes me happy that he enjoyed this book so much, but his sister and I thought the story was awful!

The story was disjointed, the author introduced a character, The Fallen, got us all revved up for a battle between The Fallen and Optimus Prime, and then she dropped that story and began telling us all about the battles between other Autobots and Decepticons. The author then cut back to Optimus and The Fallen just in time for us to see Optimus defeat this foe, but we've not been privy to any show down between The Fallen and Optimus at all!

My niece exclaimed, "That was a rip off! There was nothing in this story about The Fallen! I mean, what happened?!" Even my nephew was confused by the disjointedness of the story. He loved it because it's Transformers, but the unevenness did jar him, and he was trying to figure out what role The Fallen was playing in this book. The best thing about this story is that it gave my niece and me an opportunity to discuss the importance of story development and continuity when writing. Too bad it was an example of what *not* to do.


Ok, time has passed since we first read this book, and nothing that I said above is inaccurate (in my opinion). But I have to totally change my rating of this book. Since my nephew received this book 17 days ago, he has barely had this out of his hands. Really, you should see this thing now. It looks like he's had it for a year. It's so well worn, corners are bent, it's sticky, the cover is beginning to separate, and my nephew takes this book to school every day where he and the little boys in his class pour over this thing. Yes, the story is poorly developed, and no, it's not fine art. But my nephew loves this book, and it makes him interested in reading. *And* he shares this book with other little boys, who will maybe become interested in reading as a result. And in the end, all of that more than makes up for a thin plot.