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Review: The Sewer Rat Stink (Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel #1) by Tom Angleberger

The Sewer Rat Stink (Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel #1)
By Geronimo Stilton & Elisabetta Dami
Adapted & illustrated by Tom Angleberger

Graphix (Scholastic)

ISBN: 9781338587319
Grades 2-5
Out May 5, 2020

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

Reimagining a well known character is not for the faint of heart. If you fail, you risk sullying the name of a beloved institution. If you succeed, well, you lived up to the greatness of the already great character – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? The worst of them leave you feeling disappointed and gross. But there is a third outcome. It’s the rarest one. It happens when a reboot takes the character in an entirely new direction, and the results are feel less like a reworking, and more like a wonderful rebirth. Such is the case with The Sewer Rat Stink, Tom Angleberger’s graphic novel take on natty mouse Geronimo Stilton. It’s weird. And it’s good.

There’s a stink invading New Mouse City. It’s making everyone leave town. Geronimo Stilton is determined to get to the bottom of things, so he descends into the sewers with P.I. Hercule. They discover a villain with a plot to take over the city, but will they be able to stop her?

While the original Geronimo Stilton books have their fair share of adventure and humor, Sewer Rat Stink adds healthy doses of wackiness and absurdity into the mix. Stilton has never been this off-the-wall and I dig it.

Anglebergers sharpie artwork plays right into the sense of chaos. Everything is loose and squiggly, releasing Stilton from the more buttoned up capers of the original series. The artwork has a delightfully childlike quality that will immediately appeal to readers.

A refreshing take on a character that we all know. Sewer Rat Stink is the first book in what I hope will be a long run.

Review copy from the publisher.

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.