Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth: Hilo, Book 1

Book review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth: Hilo, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Fun graphic novel about Earth adventures of boy from space.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Friendship is the greatest source of courage in the face of grave danger.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hilo is an eccentric and energetic bundle of joy who inspires bravery and an adventurous spirit in everyone around him. DJ is a great friend who will do anything for the brilliant and creative Gina.

Violence & Scariness

There are several scenes of cartoon violence, with Hilo battling giant robots that pummel him into the ground and zap him with laser beams.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, by cartoonist-author Judd Winick, is a thrilling and silly graphic novel about an alien robot who befriends a misfit young boy and takes him on adventures. Though there are some intense and prolonged fights with giant robots, the comic book style and hilarious dialogue make it a great pick for young readers. This is the first of a series; Saving the Whole Wide World: Hilo, Book 2, came out in May 2016.

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What's the story?

HILO: THE BOY WHO CRASHED TO EARTH Is the first installment in a graphic novel series by cartoonist and comic book author Judd Winick. It follows the exciting and whimsical adventures of a robot boy from outer space who crashes to Earth wearing only his underpants and stumbles into the life of DJ, an average kid who sees himself as boring and unexceptional. The two forge a friendship, and Hilo injects a bit of adventure and mayhem into DJ's life, as the two face a series of dangerous machine monsters sent after Hilo by the evil Razorwark, his nemesis from an alien universe.

Is it any good?

Relatable and multiethnic characters, vivid illustrations, and relentless action make this vibrant graphic novel "outstanding," as Hilo would say (that's his favorite adjective, for some reason). The friendships are genuine, the battles are gripping, and the chatter is snappy and entertaining, leaving readers wanting more -- which they can get in Book 2, Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World. Kids will love the humor, heart, and sci-fi elements that make this a great comic adventure. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to feel as if you don't fit in. Why does DJ think he isn't "good at anything"? What does it turn out he is good at? 

  • Comic books and graphic novels are becoming more and more popular, especially with the dozens of superhero movies released in the past several years. Why do you think we're so fascinated with heroes and villains?

  • Hilo takes on the characteristics of the people and knowledge he is exposed to on Earth, absorbing information at superhuman speeds. Do you think you could ever be friends with a robot, if it looked and talked like you?

Book details

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For kids who love cartoon adventures

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