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Remus San Diego , Marivi Soliven Blanco

A Jenny and Jay Mystery (Series, Book 4): The Subway Cyclops

YEAR: 1995

COUNTRY: Philippines

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Title of the work

A Jenny and Jay Mystery (Series, Book 4): The Subway Cyclops

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Philippines; United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1995

First Edition Details

Marivi Soliven Blanco, The Subway Cyclops (A Jenny and Jay Mystery #4), Makati City: Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 1995, 80 pp.

ISBN

9789716300536

Official Website

Marivi Soliven Blanco webpage (accessed: September 24, 2018)

Genre

Detective and mystery fiction

Target Audience

Children (ages 10 and up)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Miriam Riverlea, University of New England, mriverlea@gmail.com  

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Male portrait

Remus San Diego (Illustrator)

Remus San Diego studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Santo Thomas, Philippines.He illustrated The Subway Cyclops and other picture books, and works in Melbourne as a Visual Effects Compositor. He has worked as a graphic designer, animator and digital compositor in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Marivi Soliven Blanco (Author)

Marivi Soliven Blanco is a Filipino-American author whose works explore the situations of the Filipino community in the United States, including books for young readers, and for grown ups. Her most recent works include The Mango Bride and Suddenly Stateside.  She has worked as an interpreter, and as a teacher of creative writing at the University of the Philippines, and the University of San Diego.  She emigrated to the United States in 1995. 


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Summary

This is the fourth of a series of educational readers about the experience of Filipino immigrants in the United States. In it, Jenny and Jay, whose parents are doctors, have recently moved from the Philippines to the United States, and are living in Boston. They find its weather cold and daunting. One day, on the subway, they believe they see a shadowy shape in the dark, one with a "single glow-in-the-dark eye" (p. 11). They describe what they have seen to their housekeeper, Cordelia, who "always seemed to know a lot about mythical beings," and suggests it might be a Cyclops (p. 13). The children make plans to investigate, and as they do, discover some of the histories of the building of the Boston subway, including an explosion in the Boylston tunnel in 1978 which killed a number of track workers. They also make friends with teenage buskers and learn some of the life of the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority). Eventually, Jenny meets the Cyclops, who turns out to be Charlie, a track worker who lost an eye in the Boylston explosion, and has been living in an unused tunnel, ever since. The Cyclops eye that Jenny saw is a glass eye. Charlie helps Jenny, who has sprained her ankle and vanishes into the shadows. Afterwards, the children leave their sandwiches for him on their way home from school.

Analysis

This chapter-book aimed at readers aged 10 and up is written with the express task of telling stories about Filipina children in the United States, with a goal of offering Filipino readers stories to identify with, and also to familiarise them with aspects of life in the U.S. It uses a simple adventure-story format to show a pair of child detectives (Pinoy Private Eyes, reads the logo on the book’s cover) using public transport and finding out its history and its culture. The classical element of the Cyclops is secondary, in that there is a) no real Cyclops, and b) it plays no substantive mythological role other than to be a mysterious figure requiring ingenuity to find, and bravery to encounter. Noteworthy maybe the housekeeper’s folk knowledge, which suggests the idea of the Cyclops, as well as the children’s dedication to research at the library in order to solve the mystery. The sympathy for the homeless man is ambiguous: there is no implication that Charlie should receive assistance or compensation from the subway.


Further Reading

Meet the author: Marivi Soliven Blanco, Asia Society 29/7/2013, asiasociety.org (accessed: September 24, 2018)

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

A Jenny and Jay Mystery (Series, Book 4): The Subway Cyclops

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Philippines; United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1995

First Edition Details

Marivi Soliven Blanco, The Subway Cyclops (A Jenny and Jay Mystery #4), Makati City: Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 1995, 80 pp.

ISBN

9789716300536

Official Website

Marivi Soliven Blanco webpage (accessed: September 24, 2018)

Genre

Detective and mystery fiction

Target Audience

Children (ages 10 and up)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Miriam Riverlea, University of New England, mriverlea@gmail.com  

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Male portrait

Remus San Diego (Illustrator)

Remus San Diego studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Santo Thomas, Philippines.He illustrated The Subway Cyclops and other picture books, and works in Melbourne as a Visual Effects Compositor. He has worked as a graphic designer, animator and digital compositor in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Marivi Soliven Blanco (Author)

Marivi Soliven Blanco is a Filipino-American author whose works explore the situations of the Filipino community in the United States, including books for young readers, and for grown ups. Her most recent works include The Mango Bride and Suddenly Stateside.  She has worked as an interpreter, and as a teacher of creative writing at the University of the Philippines, and the University of San Diego.  She emigrated to the United States in 1995. 


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Summary

This is the fourth of a series of educational readers about the experience of Filipino immigrants in the United States. In it, Jenny and Jay, whose parents are doctors, have recently moved from the Philippines to the United States, and are living in Boston. They find its weather cold and daunting. One day, on the subway, they believe they see a shadowy shape in the dark, one with a "single glow-in-the-dark eye" (p. 11). They describe what they have seen to their housekeeper, Cordelia, who "always seemed to know a lot about mythical beings," and suggests it might be a Cyclops (p. 13). The children make plans to investigate, and as they do, discover some of the histories of the building of the Boston subway, including an explosion in the Boylston tunnel in 1978 which killed a number of track workers. They also make friends with teenage buskers and learn some of the life of the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority). Eventually, Jenny meets the Cyclops, who turns out to be Charlie, a track worker who lost an eye in the Boylston explosion, and has been living in an unused tunnel, ever since. The Cyclops eye that Jenny saw is a glass eye. Charlie helps Jenny, who has sprained her ankle and vanishes into the shadows. Afterwards, the children leave their sandwiches for him on their way home from school.

Analysis

This chapter-book aimed at readers aged 10 and up is written with the express task of telling stories about Filipina children in the United States, with a goal of offering Filipino readers stories to identify with, and also to familiarise them with aspects of life in the U.S. It uses a simple adventure-story format to show a pair of child detectives (Pinoy Private Eyes, reads the logo on the book’s cover) using public transport and finding out its history and its culture. The classical element of the Cyclops is secondary, in that there is a) no real Cyclops, and b) it plays no substantive mythological role other than to be a mysterious figure requiring ingenuity to find, and bravery to encounter. Noteworthy maybe the housekeeper’s folk knowledge, which suggests the idea of the Cyclops, as well as the children’s dedication to research at the library in order to solve the mystery. The sympathy for the homeless man is ambiguous: there is no implication that Charlie should receive assistance or compensation from the subway.


Further Reading

Meet the author: Marivi Soliven Blanco, Asia Society 29/7/2013, asiasociety.org (accessed: September 24, 2018)

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