The Makers Club

Andrews McMeel. Aug. 2024. Tr. 224p. $22.99. ISBN 9781524889760.
Gr 4-6–Readers are introduced to a group of friends who find joy in creating new things. In the first of two stories, Nadia and Priya—new students at Pangolin Secondary School—team up to make a video game about climate change. In the second story, Aquilah and Yong Qiang take center stage as they help the school librarian form a makerspace. Pantoja’s cheery art fits the mold of many school-centered graphic novels, with the addition of vibrant facial expressions reminiscent of manga artwork. While the combination of relatable characters and the demand for realistic graphic novels will make this an easy book to recommend, the transition between the two stories is jarring, particularly with the second story chronologically taking place before the first. The setting is never made clear, though references to Malaysia and the Philippines in the glossary imply that this story takes place in Southeast Asia. The book features a diverse cast with varying skin tones, faith backgrounds, and abilities. Extensive back matter featuring video game design processes and an interview with a clothing designer will help draw connections between the story and real makerspace activities for young readers.
VERDICT This graphic novel will be popular in libraries with makerspaces as well as with kids who are passionate about STEM and friendship stories.

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