A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that One Trick Pony is a science-fiction graphic novel by Nathan Hale. Set in a desolate future in the aftermath of an alien invasion, the story follows four teens as they and a special robot pony work to rescue their family and protect their technological legacy. The level of violence is very low, but it includes attacks by aliens and by feral humans who want to hang Pick and Inby for horse rustling.
What's the story?
In ONE TRICK PONY, Strata, her brother Auger, and their friend Inby make a momentous discovery while scavenging: a room full of high-tech wonders from Earth's brighter past. Strata also finds a marvelous robot pony, with which she instantly bonds. When they're attacked by aliens who suck up electrical devices and human limbs, the kids run for their lives, trying to get to their families before the alien Pipers reach them.
Is it any good?
Alien invasions are old hat these days, but this action-packed graphic novel has the right mix of clever design and original storytelling to set it apart from the pack. One Trick Pony allows author-illustrator Nathan Hale the chance to display his serious side without losing his sense of humor. The artwork has a muted pallet of yellows and grays, but the bursts of spot color add to the sense of urgency when needed. After so many close calls and escapes from danger, the climax may seem a little perfunctory to some readers, but most will be satisfied by how this engrossing graphic novel ends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how One Trick Pony depicts the future of humankind. Why do readers like stories with dystopian settings?
Strata insists that they not abandon the robot pony. Why are compassion and loyalty important parts of human nature?
What kinds of stories work well as graphic novels? What effects can comics achieve that are more difficult in prose stories?
- Author: Nathan Hale
- Illustrator: Nathan Hale
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great girl role models, Space and aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: March 14, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 128
- Available on: Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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