Sunday, June 9, 2013
Reivew: Gum Girl! (Chews Your Destiny #1)
Author: Rhode Montijo
Review Copy: Netgalley
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Summary: Gabby Gomez loves to chew bubble gum even though her mother has warned her against it. It's not like she will turn into gum...except, that's exactly what happens! With her new, stretch-tastic powers Gabby can help save the day, but she will have to keep her gummy alter-ego a secret from her mother or else she'll find herself in a really sticky situation. [cover image and summary via IndieBound]
Review: Gum Girl! is a light-hearted and fun middle grade comic. I am happy to find books like this that are simple enough for beginning chapter book readers, but are more interesting than a controlled vocabulary reading practice book. The format of the book is a combination of narrative paragraphs mixed with comics. It reminds me of the Frankie Pickle series in that way. The first page technically has three paragraphs, but then the next eight pages only have four sentences all together. For the student just venturing in to the chapter book section, it is a little less intimidating because it has 130 pages, but the comic type illustrations break up the text.
The premise of the story is interesting, but not developed very much. Gabby's super-powers are used, but the situations where they are required are all very short episodes. This book seems to be laying the groundwork for more in-depth capers in the future.
Some of the pictures are pretty hilarious like the scene in the barbershop where Gabby continues to blow her bubblegum in spite of the flurry of hair. These types of illustrations make the book a lot of fun. I also appreciated the inclusion of some Spanish. It is done in a very natural way and there are plenty of context clues so readers won't miss out on what is being said. The book was unique, but not overwhelmingly so. I think students will enjoy it, but the future stories will need to be more developed with specific "bad guys" or crimes to solve, or the series won't last.