Book Review: X-Men Power Pack
When I was a youngster, the idea of comic books in the library was pretty much unimaginable to me. Not that I wasn’t hoping they would appear. Right around 4th grade I got into comics in a big way, making my weekly trips to my local Northern Michigan store. The place switched locations at least once a year and was run by a near facsimile of the comic book guy on The Simpsons, but I couldn’t complain. I knew that having a comic shop in a small town was not a very common thing, and I should be thankful. Well, if I were a kid today I might be able to visit my local public or school library for my Batman, Spiderman, or even X-men. This is, in my opinion, a good turn of events. “Power Pack” is most definitely a comic. Mine happened to show up with a hard cover, which always tends to lend a bit more cred, but there’s no denying that it’s a comic book through and through. Geared toward younger kids, these will be a solid addition if you’re looking for superhero fare.
The aforementioned “Pack” is a group of four siblings (Alex, Julie, Jack, and Katie Power) who, through a suitably superhero-esque convoluted way, each possess super powers. As is the curse of the superhuman, they seem to find themselves in the path of danger on a regular basis. In “Leader of the Pack” the Powers kids, in an effort to lend a helping hand to the X-Men, end up allowing the villains to get away. The ‘Men are not pleased, and the “you’re to young” chastisement starts flowing like water. But when Cyclops soon finds himself in danger, his only hope is from that same crew he snubbed.
“Mind Over Matter” may be one of the only comics ever to be set at a science convention. The Beast (or Dr. Henry McCoy) introduces a new gadget to the world that boasts the ability to sense superpowers. After a close call where the Power Pack is almost discovered, the device goes missing. The kids jump into action, determined to help find The Beast’s lost invention.
Young readers who are into the genre will like these. The illustrations are modern-looking with a touch of anime, the dialog keeps the action moving with comic book style humor sprinkled throughout. Comics are intended to entertain, and “Power Pack” will gladly fill that niche.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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