Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth (Volume 1) by Judd Winick

26209632This Review was Written by: B and C
Received: Publisher
Publication Date of Book: September 2015
Pages: 193
Stars: 5/5

Official Summary:
Introducing HILO -- a funny, action-packed, full-color new middle-grade graphic novel series that Bone creator Jeff Smith calls "delightful."

D. J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids.  But that was before a mysterious boy came crashing down from the sky!  Hilo doesn't know where he came from, or what he's doing on Earth.  (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea!) . . . But what if Hilo wasn't the only thing to fall to our planet?  Can the trio unlock the secrets of his past?  Can Hilo survive a day at school?  And are D. J. and Gina ready to save the world?

HILO is Calvin and Hobbes meets Big Nate and is just right for fans of Bone and comic books as well as laugh-out-loud school adventures like Jedi Academy and Wimpy Kid!

Our Thoughts:
HILO is hands down the most enjoyable middle grade graphic novel that we have ever read!  It's laugh out loud material dripping with adventure, friendship, and originality.  The entire time while reading it, we were chuckling and smiling to ourselves like there was no tomorrow, and this book is nothing short of "OUTSTANDING!"  The fast-paced tale will fly by, even though you'll desperately want it to last longer.  No one should pass up the chance to read this gem.

HILO is an extremely quirky character but in the best possible way, which includes silver underpants, robotic powers, and all.  There's something about him that's simply and undeniably lovable.  Perhaps it's his uncanny ability to love everything he encounters, even if it's just rice and milk.  Maybe it's his personality that so strongly takes charge, especially when his friends are in danger.  His uniqueness is obvious due to his creation and abilities.  D. J. on the other hand is a different kind of character.  He doesn't think he's special, even though everyone else in his family is.  They each dabble in something different, like ballet, tennis, and chemistry.  D. J. isn't like them, he thinks that he is utterly useless.  He isn't strong in any one area.  He considers himself "average," but what he doesn't understand is that no one can be defined as average.

Judd Winick does a fantastic job of showing his audience that people don't have to be able to fly, be a super genius, or human extraordinaire to be special.  Talents are great, and they define you, but everyone has their own talent, even if no one else sees it.  Everyday bravery, being a good friend, or caring about someone else can make you special.  If you look hard enough, even the ordinary can be extraordinary.  It's all about perspective, and no one is ever average.      

What's truly great about this series is that there are so many diverse characters who come from different ethnic backgrounds.  We love to see that there is a book like this out there in the world with a great message and a fabulous group of characters.  On top of that, we strongly believe that HILO has something for everyone.  There's no doubt in our minds that middle graders will eat this book up, and read it again and again, but at the same time, teens and adults can easily join in the fun.  Both C and I have read countless book forms, such as novels, graphic novels, manga, and comics.  We've also read for countless ages, like children, juvenile, MG, YA, and adult.  In all honesty, HILO has been one of our favorite books of the year.  (Hopefully that doesn't have to do with our maturity! . . . Um, that was a joke.)  We can easily imagine the whole family gathering around and reading the book together and enjoying it.  

So, if you're looking for a family book or just a darn good read with a mix of humor, adventure, camaraderie, and excellent, hilarious illustrations, look no further!  HILO is here, a series that is sure to be a hit!  The full-colored pages capture the eye and the imagination.  You just have to turn to the front page and start reading.

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