A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fallout reimagines Superman's adult love interest as a teen sleuth similar to TV's Veronica Mars. Enrolled at a new high school, Lois embarks on a career as a student journalist, investigating a group of cyberbullies known as the Warheads. Lois is brave and resourceful, but she sometimes stretches the truth. Violence is limited to some video-game fantasy mayhem and a few scenes in which the villains use psychic powers to cause pain and confusion in their victims. Sexual content is limited to some light online flirting, the only strong language is "crap" (used once), and there's no substance use.
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What's the story?
As the new girl at Metropolis High, Army brat Lois Lane is eager to make friends and influence her classmates. When she's selected for a student journalism project at the Daily Planet, she's inspired to write about the Warheads, a creepy group of online games who seem to be bullying other students. But even as she investigates the mystery of their bizarre behavior, Lois finds herself in trouble at school, at home, and online. Luckily, she has a mildly flirtatious cyber-relationship with a Kansas teen known only as "SmallvilleGuy," someone who can watch her back when she needs support.
Is it any good?
Author Gwenda Bond has Lois' lingo and attitude down pat, and she makes the female reporter a viable heroine for the 21st century. Lois Lane is an iconic female character in popular culture, and it's great to see her front and center in a new high school adventure-mystery novel.
FALLOUT stumbles a bit, however, in its choice of villains. The hive-minded Warheads are definitely creepy, but their robotic behavior doesn't generate much suspense. The book might benefit from the appearance of a Lex Luthor rather than focusing on a group of cyberzombies. Nevertheless, the novel has much to recommend it, including a sharp wit and a fun sense of adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ethics of professional journalism. Discuss the reporter's responsibility to report verifiable facts.
Are there any negative effects of playing video games? What kinds of guidelines should families set about them?
Why is moving to a new school sometimes difficult? What can you do to make the transition easier?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love comics and strong female characters
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