Illustrated by Tri Vuong
It's starts as just another day for Grandpa of going to the store to get more tomatoes for Grandma's best Spaghetti, but when a machine boy falls to Earth, Grandpa must summon his karate skills of his youth to save everyone. He ends up awaking the heart of the metal boy, who goes on to train with Grandma in the karate arts. Machine Boy loves helping others, even if it's mostly rescuing cats from trees, and listening to his favorite crime-fighting superhero band. A little piece of Machine Boy breaks off and becomes fairly sentient, and Machine Boy keeps him as a pet, but the piece quickly outgrows the hiding place and then turns into a ravenous machine-eating robot who begins to devour parts of the city. Machine Boy, an unlikely friend from school, and the super band team up to get the robot under control and save the city.
This is a super fast-paced book, sometimes to its detriment. The beginning is beautiful and pauses in its moments of heartbreak to let the reader feel the gravity of the moment. After that, there is a ramp-up in the pacing leading to a hugely hurried ending that sets up nicely for a volume two, but may leave readers out of breath. Some of the time jumps are expertly achieved through Vuong's illustrations - including a calendar page to show the passing of time, or a glass with ice in it and again in the next panel with the ice all melted. There are definitely some elements that will remind readers of Disney films or even The Iron Giant if they've seen that classic. There are some wonderful moments in this story that will resonate with readers, but the ending is a little muddied considering how clean the rest of the story is.
Vuong’s illustrations are a highlight, even in the black and white of this review copy, but probably much more in full color.
There is some violence and some death on the page, but no blood, and the moments outside of battle are fairly wholesome.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-10
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher.
Publisher: Skybound Comet (Image)
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
ISBN: 9781534321304 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Action Adventure, Friendship, Family, Science Fiction, Image Comics
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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