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Ages 13+ | Norroway Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway (Image Comics)

Norroway Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway
Published by: Image Comics
Written by: Cat Seaton
Illustrated by: Kit Seaton
ISBN: 9781534308558
Ages: 13+

Review

Teamed up for a contemporary retelling of one of the most famous traditional Scottish myths, Cat and Kit Seaton put an exclamation point on what it means to creatively retell traditional stories for modern readers.

Sibylla craves adventure.  Even when a witch tells her of a future betrothal to a rather bullish partner, Sibylla isn’t quite able to understand just how literal the witch’s curse may be. 

When a literal magical bull shows up asking for her hand in marriage, however, Sibylla is in for more of an adventure than she originally dreamt possible.  In fact, is this the type of adventure Sibylla even wanted to come true? 

Thrown into an adventure that she never dreamt possible, but must indeed face, Sibylla must work together with her cursed companion to figure out if he is really a bull-like monster, or a real man trapped within a cursed bull’s body.

The first graphic novel in a new series, readers will want to follow Sibylla and her bull-like companion as they figure out if they can break the curse or simply want to walk away from it and each other.

Elements of Story

Plot: Based on the classic Scottish tale by the same title, this is the story about Sibylla who learns from the forest witch that she is destined to marry the Black Bull of Norroway. When the time comes, will she continue on an adventure with the Black Bull in order to break the curse of Norroway or will she choose to leave the curse unchanged?

Major Characters: Sibylla, Petra (Sibylla’s magpie), Sibylla’s sisters, Forest Witch, Brom (the Black Bull), Esben Haugen, George, Mathilde, Captain Harper Dhow, Dagny (the Maid of Norroway), Maire (the Old One)

Major Settings: Goose Valley, Forest Witch’s Home, Forest, Norroway, Esben Haugen’s Castle, Glass Mountain, Ocean, Dagny’s Palace, Glass Mountain

Themes: Mythology, Adventure, Destiny, Expectations, Identity, Parnterships

Lesson Plan Recommendation Using the Common Core Standards (CCS) for Young Adults

Common Core Standard(s)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.9
Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.

Directions for Lesson Plan

For this lesson plan, educators will need to first identify and assign an original version (or a focused piece of the original version) of the Scottish myth The Black Bull of Norroway

To begin, educators can handout the original story to students and ask them to read and take plot point notes on a timeline.  Students need to document at least 6 major plot points from the original Scottish myth

      1             2             3             4             5             6

 

After recording at least 6 major plot point notes on the original Black Bull of Norroway myth (or a focused piece of the original version), ask students to read Kit and Cat Seaton’s Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway

When they are done reading Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway, students can fill out a compare and / or contrast Venn Diagram.  The Venn Diagram will help students comprehend the similarities and the differences between the original myth and the new graphic novel.

In the far left of the left circle, students can record the unique aspects of the original Black Bull of Norroway story. 

In the far right of the right circle, students can record the unique aspects of the Seatons’ new graphic novel Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway.

Where the circles overlap, students can list the similarities between the two stories.