Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
By Judd Winick
Random House Children’s Books, 2015. Graphic Novel, 193 p.

Unlike his siblings, there is nothing special about Daniel Jackson (DJ) Lim. He is just average at everything. He lives a mundane day to day life, especially since his best friend, Gina, moved away. That all changes when DJ witnesses a boy fall from space and crash into the earth. Clad in silver underwear, the boy is extremely intelligent and energetic but lacks bits of everyday knowledge as well as an understanding of social norms. He also has no memory of who he is or where he came from, though he eventually remembers that his name is Hilo (High-Low). DJ takes him in and begins helping him assimilate. During Hilo’s first day of school DJ is surprised to find that Gina has recently moved back and is in their class. Memories begin to periodically come back to Hilo and he slowly realizes some of the dangers that have come with him. DJ, Gina and Hilo must now learn about Hilo’s past in order to save Earth’s future.

The three main characters are extremely likeable and the colorful illustrations help tell an exuberant, face-paced story full of diverse characters, hilarious exchanges and exciting moments. The scenes with DJ’s family alone are worth a reading. The theme of friendship is ever-present as DJ discovers what is truly special about him. This is a great choice for children in grades 3-6.

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