March 24, 2018

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North | SLJ Review

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redstarNorth, Ryan. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power. illus. by Erica Henderson. 128p. ebook available. Marvel. 2015. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9780785197027.squirrelgirl

Gr 5-8 –Supervillains and criminals meet their match with Tony Stark’s friend Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, a college freshman with the appearance, speed, and agility of a squirrel. Fitting in proves to be challenging, as normal girls do not talk to or have a squirrel sidekick, nor do they have super strength. Then there is Squirrel Girl’s roommate, who has a tough exterior and is obsessed with knitting and her cat. Luckily, Squirrel Girl has a knack for winning people over. When Galactus threatens Earth, the heroine must rely on more than strength to defeat the Devourer of Worlds. She may have extraordinary strength, an army of squirrels at her disposal, a collection of Deadpool villain trading cards, and nut-inspired catchphrases, but it is her ability to form connections with people that proves to be her most powerful asset. North and Henderson have created a fun, fast-paced graphic novel that will appeal to Marvel fans as well as readers who are unfamiliar with—or do not enjoy—traditional superhero comics. Bright, bold color choices fit well with the humorous tone. Squirrel Girl is likable, confident, and endearing—the first scene shows her beating up muggers while enthusiastically singing her self-written theme song. The updated character design, snappy dialogue, and quirky characteristics make her a relatable heroine whom readers of all ages will root for. Also included is the 1991 classic Marvel Super-Heroes #8 comic, in which Squirrel Girl first appears. VERDICT A first-purchase for all graphic novel collections.–Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2015 issue.