This review of The Big Break has a few almost spoilers.
This graphic novel of Mark Tatulli’s is about two best friends who have a falling out. They have been best friends forever, and when one starts to branch out and has a new friend, things are no so great for the old friendship or their trying to get together to create their movie for the big contest.
Therefore, you have read this tale before. You know the idea, “It is okay to have new friends, new interests and sometimes friends “grow up” at a different pace.” However, the characters are slightly different that the usual “friendship issue story” as the main characters are two middle school aged boys. That slight twist makes this book a bit unique. That is despite some of the obviousness that occurs (they have their fight “over a girl” and the two are amateur film makers. Film making seem to be an “boys” theme in my experience. Not to say I have not seen it with females, it just is a cliché that seems to be aimed at males more than females). They have a “friendship bonding moment” and there is a “in the woods” situation where you know something is going to allow for that bonding moment to happen.
It is the inclusion of the Jersey Devil (who has a couple of adorable cameos) and an action figure that perfectly represent the “Angel and Devil” on the shoulder motif that kept me reading. Of course, they are just voicing the fears and thoughts of our main character, but they were the perfect voice of reason and perfect voice of childhood hanging on.
While aimed at ages 10 to 13, younger could read (as at times the voice of the characters is younger) and older readers can enjoy as well (as they might have their own friendship issue like the events of the book). The story is predictable but perfect book for the adult to just enjoy and will be a great book for children who are both reluctant readers and strong readers alike.