By: Craig Thompson
This is the first graphic novel written and illustrated by Craig Thompson for young readers. Thompson is known for his adult graphic novels that grapple with specific life themes. However, there is much evidence in this graphic novel of Thompson’s background in comics with the intricate artwork.
In this graphic novel intergalactic adventure, we meet Violet Marlocke, her family, and friends. Turns out that energy is hard to find in space and Violet’s father holds down a job as a “lumberjack”. Lumberjacks in space, however, do not cut down wood, but rather hunt down whale poop to use as a source of energy. Since, naturally, whales float around in space. Violet’s mother works as a day laborer, creating clothes for the space elite. When a whale rampage tears apart the trailer park where Violet and her family live, Violet spends the days with her mom while she is at work. Violet meets Elliot, a philosophical chicken with an absent scientific father. When Violet’s father takes on a risky contract and suddenly goes missing, Violet and her friends take on the adventure to find him.
This is a story that slides between themes about family, friendship, and economic disparities. It is sometimes difficult to discern the audience that would enjoy this story the most. However, fans of Diary of Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants would find the plot line humorous. Otherwise, the intricate artwork would hold the attention of older elementary and middle grade readers.
Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)