I am halfway through volume two of The Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence and thinking I need to purchase book three to donate to the library after reading. Because if kids out there are like me, they are going to want to know what happens to Avani, Mable, Jen, Pam and the rest of the Star Scouts.
This graphic novel is great for aged 8-10 or a low 11-12-year-old. There is the typical trying to fit in story and cannot. There is then the finding where you can be you part of the story; even if that is in an inter-galactic group of Space Scouts. Scouts who look like flying lizard-bugs, parrots, some Muppet-Chewbacca person and the character from the movie, Home. Star Scouts who breath methane (but do not call them Toot Breathers). Star Scouts that actually like Chef’s Surprise. And Star Scouts that get most of your body parts back in the right place after teleporting you to get their teleportation badge.
There are a few fun details not normally seen in a story. Such as the main character is female and likes rodeo (which of course comes in handy). There are, of course, puns and bad jokes. There are robots called G.O.O.S.E and B.U.T.T. (and yes, someone yells to the maker of B.U.T.T., “Steve! Get your B.U.T.T in there!). There are the typical graphic novel colors bright, rich, bold and with medium to large amounts of details depending on what is needed. And both stories are heavily dependent on the artwork and minimal text. We see the “O-two’s vs. the Methane Breathers” mentality; we see the typical camp antics (best undies go up the flag pole) and we see how the characters have to work together (first by stopping a hideous alien creature from destroying the camp and second trying to survive their shuttles crashing into a supposedly deserted planet). There are also the themes of everyone has their own talent that adds to the group and theme of friendship and “best friends being stolen.”
In Book One, Star Scouts, the character of Avani is accidently teleported to space by Mable, where she learns about Space Scouts and the typical goofiness of being the worse scout troop in the universe. Avani and Mable become bests friends and Camp Andromeda sees a lot of craziness and a week nobody will soon forget. By Book Two, The League of Lasers, the rivalry of Pam (a Methane breather) and Avani must be put on hold so they can survive the crash of their starships. Having peeked ahead, I could see that the girls get along well and this might put our friend Mable’s nose out of whack. After all, it is already there because of Avani’s new earth friend, Jen, and the close friendship they now share.
There are some modern elements (a single parent (her father) family, they are a family of color, one of the aliens has two dads) but in the end the focus is just growing up, making friends and mistakes and learning from it all.