The Invasion

Scholastic/Graphix. (Animorphs Graphic Novel). Oct. 2020. 240p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338226485; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338538090.
Gr 4-7–The Animorphs are back! Based on Applegate’s original hit series, this full-color graphic novel adaptation begins with Jake, Marco, Cassie, Tobias, and Rachel discovering that there are parasitic aliens, Yeerks, who are trying to take over the world. By pure chance, Jake and his friends are chosen to be the ones to fight back against the invaders and are entrusted with the power to morph into any animal that they touch. Crushed by the knowledge that their friends, family, and authorities could be hosts for the Yeerks, the friends struggle with the heavy responsibility of being the only ones who can save the world. Although the story is entertaining, it is the artwork that will have readers wanting more. Grine’s characters are expressive (even the aliens), and the depictions of the friends morphing into and out of animal form are grotesquely amusing. Refreshingly, the kids are often reluctant to take on the role of heroes—Jake in particular struggles with the leadership position the rest of the group places on him, and Marco is adamant about not putting himself in danger because of his father’s inability to recover from the death of his mother. Marco and Cassie are depicted with dark skin and hair, while Jake, Tobias, Rachel, and the majority of secondary and background characters are white.
VERDICT Sure to be a hit, this looks to be a strong start to a new graphic novel series for young readers.

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