A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Oracle Code offers good opportunities to discuss trauma, rehabilitation, and disability.
Disabled people don't need to be "fixed" by their loved ones. Disability takes many forms. People with disabilities shouldn't be pitied.
Positive Role Models
Babs Gordon starts the book bitter and resentful. But as she begins to take interest in the problems of other kids, she learns to be more accepting and empathetic.
Violence & Scariness
An adult brandishes a gun but is overpowered by kids with canes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Oracle Code is a graphic novel written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano that tells the origin story of future superhero/hacker Barbara Gordon, eventually to be known as Oracle. The novel focuses on her objections to rehabilitation and therapy after a crippling injury. When a frightened little girl disappears, Babs leads the effort to find her. The supporting characters are diverse in terms of race, gender, and disability. As for violent content, a villain brandishes a gun but is quickly subdued by kids with canes. No swearing, sexual content, or substance use.
Is It Any Good?
Modern heroes are more vulnerable than they have traditionally been, and this affecting origin story presents the first case of a disabled sleuth who needs to define a new way of life for herself. In The Oracle Code, author Marieke Nijkamp makes Barbara Gordon's emotional journey essential to the thriller plot, and supplies a diverse group of secondary characters to support her quest for the truth. Artist Manuel Preitano is adept at portraying a wide range of emotional states, especially as the mystery becomes more bizarre. The solution to the case may seem obvious to older readers, but there are enough plot twists to keep them and younger younger readers engaged and looking forward to further adventures.
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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