Aru Shah and the End of Time: The Graphic Novel

Rick Riordan Presents. Apr. 2022. 128p. adapted by adapted by Joe Caramanga. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781368074360; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781368075053.
Gr 6-8–Those looking for a briskly-paced, colorful, engaging fantasy adventure starring diverse characters and featuring imaginative creatures inspired by folklore and myth need look no further than this book. Starting out with a dare—as most adventures do—the narrative follows Aru, an Indian American girl, who awakens an ancient deity meant to bring about the world’s end. She must defeat this otherworldly foe before all is lost. Joined by a talking bird she nicknames Boo, who informs her that she is this generation’s Pandava (hero), Aru soon meets her counterpart, Mini, and they embark on their quest to save the world. While this book is heavy on dialogue, which may scare off reluctant readers, there are plenty of bright and colorful images, grand locations, and fantastical elements to draw in and retain any young reader’s interest. With deep lore rivaling other fantasy works, Aru Shah and the End of Time is an excellent alternative to the adventure stories that are almost always occupied by the same generic heroes we’ve grown accustomed to rooting for.
VERDICT A perfect pick for readers desiring a fantasy adventure that breaks the mold when it comes to lore and characters.

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