Miles Morales: Shock Waves

Graphix/Scholastic/. Jun. 2021. 128p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338648034.
Gr 6 Up–Miles Morales, a scholarship student at Brooklyn Visions Academy (and, oh yeah, Spider-Man) struggles to balance his schoolwork, family obligations, and superhero activities. When a pair of criminals with surprising superpowers of their own elude him, he is left with a mysterious glowing blue rock, which his new classmate Kyle recognizes because her dad, an employee of Serval Industries, has one as well. But now her dad is missing, and Kyle will stop at nothing to find him—and Miles realizes that the glowing blue rock has something to do with the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico. Miles is pulled in many directions but has a supportive community, including his parents, his roommate Ganke, Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and the other Spider-Man, Peter Parker. Panels use the full color spectrum and often take interesting perspectives, especially as Spider-Man crouches atop buildings and swings through the city; Leon renders cell phone and computer screens realistically and accurately captures facial expressions and body language. Miles is Black and Puerto Rican, Kyle is Black, and Ganke is Korean American.
VERDICT Reynolds delivers a well-balanced story with action, relationships, and humor. Those who enjoyed Jerry Craft’s New Kid or Jason Reynolds’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man will devour this graphic novel addition to the Spiderverse in one sitting; it also works as a stand-alone.

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