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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Battling Boy is the action-packed start of a new superhero adventure created for a young audience. With a light, inventive touch, this graphic novel explores familiar themes from mythology and other comics but imbues them with a fresh sense of wonder. The level of violence is high, but it's generally bloodless and directed against monsters and supervillains, with little collateral damage to civilians. The plot ends in a cliffhanger, and mostly readers will anxiously await the next installment.
What's the story?
BATTLING BOY begins with the attempted abduction of a boy from the streets of Arcopolis and the heroic battle between the monstrous kidnappers and the vigilante genius Haggard West. In its aftermath, a 12-year-old demigod known as Battling Boy is sent to the city as part of his \"ramble,\" a rite of passage that will prepare him for adulthood. Eager to prove himself and equipped with a set of T-shirts that convey magical animal powers, Battling Boy confronts the rampaging monsters head-on. But does he truly have what it takes to be the champion of an entire city?
Is it any good?
In a marketplace saturated with sleek superhero narratives, this stands out due to its cheeky invention, unusual look, and clever appropriation and subversion of mythology and comic-book clichés. Author-illustrator Paul Pope injects his boy-hero saga with live-wire energy, keeping the action cranked but also hitting the important character beats. Readers might recognize echoes of Batman or Thor, but Battling Boy has its own unique, teen-friendly vibe.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why do so many cultures around the globe feature a rite of passage that happens when a child reaches the age of 12 or 13? How do these rituals differ among societies?
What is it that defines heroism? Is it possible to be scared and brave at the same time?
Do governments or political parties ever exploit heroes for their own purposes?
- Author: Paul Pope
- Illustrator: Paul Pope
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: First Second
- Publication date: October 8, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 17
- Number of pages: 208
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.