Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Bill The Boy Wonder

Author: Marc Tyler Nobleman
Illustrated:  Ty Templeton
Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2012)
Source: A copy for review
Independent Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Read Aloud: Ages 8 to 11
Nonfiction * Biographical

Description from Charlesbridge:
This is the true story of how Batman began.

Every Batman story is marked with the words "Batman created by Bob Kane." But that isn't the whole truth. A struggling writer named Bill Finger was involved from the beginning. Bill helped invent Batman, from concept to costume to character. He dreamed up Batman's haunting origins and his colorful nemeses. Despite his brilliance, Bill worked in obscurity. It was only after his death that fans went to bat for Bill, calling for acknowledgment that he was co-creator of Batman. Based on original research, Bill the Boy Wonder is the first-ever book about the unsung man behind the Dark Knight.

My thoughts on the book:
I honestly have to admit that as a child I never realized that there was such a powerful comic book connection for Batman.  Seriously, all I knew were the Batman TV show reruns. When the first Batman movies came out and then the Dark Knight movies, it was so different from what I expected.  It was then that I discovered the extensive comic book past.  Yet, even with that knowledge, I had never explored much of who or what was behind Batman.   Of course I figured that someone had to have created Batman and all of the characters connected with the story but I truly didn't give it much thought.

However, Marc Tyler Nobleman's  BILL THE BOY WONDER has provided me with much of the creative history behind the character of Batman and the mystery that shrouds who actually created it. Nobleman's story about Bill Finger, the "Secret Co-Creator of Batman", does a thorough job in helping young readers learn about Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and others who had a hand in creating Batman.   The endnotes/author notes are filled with tons of details and is a must read for both teachers and persistent readers. Nobleman has to work to fill in some of the details about Bill Finger and his life and career.  Yet, he does this by drawing heavily on his research and willingness to be tenacious in finding out about the life of Bill Finger.   

This book will appeal to a wide audience - the children and adults who are fascinated with Batman will be one group who is attracted to this picture book for older children.  Those who like biographies with a bit of mystery will enjoy it as well.  Ty Templeton's illustrations strongly support the text and make the story pop.  I would highly recommend the book to all readers ages 9 and up regardless of background knowledge about Batman.  This book would be great for a classroom or school library. 

Official Book Trailer:


Video from TED:

For More Information about Marc Tyler Nobleman:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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