Review: The Silver Six by AJ Lieberman
The Silver Six
By AJ Lieberman
Illustrated by Darren Rawlings
Go ahead and take a look at your graphic novel collection. What do you see? Fantasy, definitely. Superheroes galore. Some adventure too. Question: Do you see any science fiction? Because, if your collection is like mine, there isn’t a whole lot in the sci-fi department. Meanwhile, Missile Mouse, and Zita the Spacegirl kinda fall into this category, but other than that it’s slim pickings. Allow The Silver Six to help fill this gap, and fill it quite nicely.
In a distant future the earth is an urban wasteland, with barely a tree to be found. The unscrupulous Craven Industries controls the energy source, Hydro-2, and therefore holds all the power. That power is in jeopardy when orphan Phoebe Hemingway, unbeknownst to her, obtains information that could bring down Craven. Captured and sent to an orphanage, Phoebe teams up with five new friends all looking to escape. The crew (self-dubbed The Silver Six) all have something in common – they were all given the coordinates of the same remote moon by their late parents. They make a break for it, but Craven Industries is in hot pursuit. Along the way The Silver Six discover a connection between their parents that could change earth forever.
The brisk plot and straightforward dialog keep the pages turning. Action sequences, full of narrow escapes, are well integrated and often thrilling. While the reader shouldn’t expect a ton of characterization in this sort of sci-fi action/adventure, Lieberman clearly makes an effort to distinguish the personalities of the characters.
The story isn’t always served up on a platter – some readers will have to work to make all the plot connections. Key elements (like the moon registry all the members of the Silver Six have in common) are not fully explained. Heck, I found myself turning back in the book to make sure I had the story straight. While an issue, it actually has a relatively small impact on the overall success of the book. The loose ends are eventually tied in a sunny conclusion.
The bright cartoon illustrations hold plenty of appeal. They also have the effect of making the book appear to be for a slightly younger audience than it is. The Silver Six is more sophisticated than it might appear.
Chances are, your graphic novel section could use a bit more sci-fi. Add it to your collection and I fully expect young readers to willingly jump aboard.
Review copy from the publisher.
Watch The Silver Six book trailer:
Filed under: Reviews
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.
SLJ Blog Network