Astronaut Academy

Zero Gravity
Gr 3 Up—This charming graphic adventure follows the exploits of child space hero Hakata Soy. Enrolled in an intergalactic boarding school, he navigates his way through the over-the-top personalities of many of his melodramatic classmates. An element of danger is added when fellow hero Gadget creates a new best friend—a robotic duplicate of Hakata Soy that includes one of his "broken hearts." This robot is co-opted by villainous bird people that set him upon the academy to kill his flesh-and-blood doppelganger. While this title is obviously geared for and can be enjoyed by school-age children, there is also tongue-and-cheek humor that older readers are sure to enjoy. Each supporting character is highlighted in mini-chapters, which gives the book a kind of newspaper comic-strip feel. The black-and-white pencil illustrations invoke the artistic style of a manga, but many of Roman's unique theatrical elements, including boys concerned with "cool hair" and wheeled dinosaurs used for moon racing, create a universe unto its own.—Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library
In this anime-style graphic novel, Hakata Soy arrives at an outer-space school dedicated to training young astronauts. Soy's arch-nemesis sends a robot to the school to destroy him and generally wreak havoc. Laking a cohesive narrative, with lots of perspective shifts and many loose ends, the volume leaves plenty of room for future books to develop and explain Hakata's story.

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