Unplugged and Unpopular

Oni. Oct. 2019. 144p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781620106808; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781620106693.
Gr 4-7–In the not-so-distant future, technology is so ingrained in everyday life that nobody has noticed furry little aliens have slowly been kidnapping and brainwashing humans. Anyone who doesn’t engage in screen time will become aware of the creatures. Like Erin Song, who notices these beings after she is grounded and prohibited from using her devices for a month. To defeat these otherworldly creatures, Erin teams up with an unlikely group: quirky twin librarians Joe and Charlie, and her grandmother. The characters are stereotypical—the tween characters are overly attached to their phones and obsess over their popularity; older people are described as weird and boring. However, these over-the-top characterizations might appeal to younger readers and to parents, teachers, and other adults who wish their children spent less time on their devices. The art is equally exaggerated, with vibrant colors and tons of movement.
VERDICT With engaging illustrations, this is a great pick for fans of silly reads with a sci-fi twist.

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