My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Humor, Friendship
Avani is the new kid in town, and she’s not happy about it. Everyone in school thinks she’s weird, especially the girls in her Flower Scouts troop. Is it so weird to think scouting should be about fun and adventure, not about makeovers and boys, boys, boys? But everything changes when Avani is “accidentally” abducted by a spunky alien named Mabel. Mabel is a scout too—a Star Scout. Collecting alien specimens (like Avani) goes with the territory, along with teleportation and jetpack racing. Avani might be weird, but in the Star Scouts she fits right in. If she can just survive Camp Andromeda, and keep her dad from discovering that she’s left planet Earth, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime.
I decided to read this book because scouts are not popular characters in fiction. You barely hear about them in real life either. And yet, I’m really curious about them.
Also, when I was eleven, I went to three scout meetings but I never joined because I hadn’t been with them since the beginning of the year and I felt like I was crashing a party at times since I didn’t know anything and knew none of the songs and traditions.
But now I sort of regret not sticking with it and actually learning stuff that I would have found probably useful today. Luckily, I was able to experience becoming a scout vicariously through Avani who gets abducted by an alien by mistake.
Not just any alien—but a star scout. Except, instead of discussing boys and makeup and cheesy songs, these scouts earn exciting badges and go on lots of adventures. (Sidenote: I want to mention that not all scout girls are obsessed with boys and such. Actually, the ones I did hang out with cared more about each other than boys.)
I’m not going to lie. It’s ridiculous at times. Mabel, the alien who accidentally abducts Avani, is a bit nuts. She’s like a child in a candy shop about her badges, but she thinks only after she acts. She is then prone to getting into trouble more often than not.
But the world-building is detailed. Mike Lawrence’s imagination clearly knows no limits. Sometimes the visuals *can* be distracting to the dialog, but they’re too gorgeous and original not too acknowledge and admire.
I had fun reading this and meeting all these crazy characters. I know that whenever I am feeling regretful I never joined the scouts, I can turn to these books and feel better immediately.
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