The Sand Warrior: 5 Worlds, Book 1

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Sand Warrior: 5 Worlds, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Galaxy-spanning graphic novel adventure off to grand start.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Combines science and spirituality in three characters' quest for galactic harmony. It presents a diverse cast of characters working together on a quest.

Positive Messages

No one is ever truly alone. Kids from different backgrounds can work together to achieve meaningful change.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Oona, An, and Jax have very different personalities and talents, but they stick together when times are tough. Although initially clumsy as a Sand Dancer, Oona eventually masters the art through perseverance.

Violence & Scariness

Buildings are destroyed and people are hurt when a spaceship crashes. Sand Shadows attack the Sand Dancer Academy. A character has his arm cut off.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sand Warrior is the first installment in the 5 Worlds sci-fi graphic novel series by brothers Mark and Alexis Siegel. The stunningly illustrated story follows three talented children as they go on a quest to light five ancient beacons and save various planets from overheating. Violent scenes include the crash of a spaceship and an attack by evil Sand Shadows, in which one character loses an arm.

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What's the story?

Only by relighting the Five Beacons can the Five Worlds be saved in THE SAND WARRIOR: 5 WORLDS, BOOK 1. Oona Lee, the clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, believes that her missing sister is the only person who can fulfill the prophesy. She teams up with orphan An Tzu and star athlete Jax Amboy, banding together to restore the power of the Beacons before the worlds they protect fatally overheat. Along the way, they meet new allies, confront dangerous enemies, and come to realize their own hidden powers.

Is it any good?

The artwork is gorgeous in this exciting sci-fi saga, even if the plotting sometimes seems a little murky. In The Sand Warrior, brothers Mark and Alexis Siegel and their collaborators present a unique vision of the future, full of robots, plant people, and other space-based wonders. Unfortunately, it's not always clear what's happening and why. Readers who wish to immerse themselves in the illustrations may be more satisfied than those who want a tightly detailed story. In any case, this first volume gets off to a rousing start.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Sand Warrior uses the conventions of comics to tell its story. What kinds of stories are best suited for the graphic novel format?

  • How does the book address the notion of a "chosen one"? Why does the concept of a "chosen one" appear in so many myths and legends?

  • How is violence used in The Sand Warrior? Is it shown as a useful strategy?

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