A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The emphasis is on laughs with this amusing space adventure, but the plot takes the girls' interest in science seriously.
Science is real. Girls are as good at it as boys. Sisters can support each other by addressing their individual needs.
Positive Role Models
Leen and Wiki are almost too good to be true, but they work together as sensitive siblings. Leen cherishes togetherness, while Wiki would like some space. When their family farm is in trouble, they want to help, even though they know they must respect their parents' boundaries.
The Epic Ellisons and the Legendary Alston Boys live in Virginia. They are all African American, as are their parents and grandmother. Most of the cast is not illustrated, and their race is not specified. Petey Thunkle is probably White, based on the history of high-tech billionaires. Author Lamar Giles is African American.
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Violence & Scariness
Strange, shape-shifting aliens are vaguely spooky. Bad robots want to kill the kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Only the faintest hint of a crush between two members of the cast.
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Products & Purchases
Lots of jokes about high-tech products and their eccentric inventors.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Epic Ellisons: Cosmos Camp is a stand-alone companion to the Legendary Alston Boys series. Author Lamar Giles continues his tale of genius tween girls as they investigate a disappearance at a world-famous space camp. Expect mildly spooky aliens and robot mayhem. And there's a hint of a crush between two characters.
Is It Any Good?
Funny fiction starring girls is always welcome, and this space camp adventure is hoot. Lamar Giles knows how to set up a joke and pay it off, and his cast of characters is bizarre but likable. Wiki and Leen are engaging protagonists -- funny, whip-smart, and never mean in their banter. Giles and illustrator Morgan Bissant have created a fictional universe brimming with wonder and wit.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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