Avatar: The Last Airbender (Book 2: Earth, Volume 2) Review
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Already knowledgeable in Air and Water bending, Aang the Avatar is traveling the Earth Kingdom in order to find a master to teach him about Earth bending. He’s the only one who can save the world from the Fire Kingdom, whose lord is intent on conquering the rest of the world.

Who is the Avatar? The Avatar is reincarnated from one of the four nations, and his purpose is to keep the peace. The combination of the four elements (air, water, earth, and fire) makes him powerful. Using one of the four elements to “bend” means using them as weapons. For instance, earth bending would utilize rocks and dirt as weapons; air bending would employ air and wind.

I asked my kids, ages 13 and 16, why the Avatar series is so popular for children and teens. They both told me that they enjoy the continuous story with subplots. Each episode strives towards a specific goal, while other animated shows tend to be more chaotic. Also, the antagonist may not be purely evil, whereas, in most children’s shows, the line of good and evil is clearly defined.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Book 2: Earth, Volume 2) includes five episodes from the Earth season. After a brief explanation from my kids, I was ready to watch this animated DVD. Some children may understand the story with the explanation that’s given before each episode, while others may catch on as they watch. It also helps that the DVD shows recaps of the previous related episodes.

I must admit that I was entranced by this DVD. Many valuable lessons for children of all ages are imbedded in the story—such as it is “important to draw wisdom from many different places.” It also teaches that if you try, you may fail—but if you never try, you’ll never “get” it. I also thought the jokes to be funny, though my 16-year-old thought they were corny.

I asked my kids why they thought that someone would want the DVD collection as opposed to just watching the series on television. They explained that there are some mysteries and unanswered questions throughout the series. Though not all episodes are worth viewing a second time, viewing some again may change your assumptions—though my kids couldn’t agree on which ones they were.

Though I think that younger children may also enjoy Avatar: The Last Air Bender, my son admitted that there is an Avatar club at his high school. And that says a lot.

Ed. Note: For more on Avatar, see Tony’s review of Book 2: Earth, Volume 2.

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