GRAPHIC NOVELS

Last Pick: Born To Run

First Second. (Last Pick: Bk. 2). Oct. 2019. 240p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781626728929; pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781626728936.
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Gr 5 Up–Walz continues his trilogy set in a postapocalyptic world ruled by alien overlords. Several years ago, extraterrestrials arrived, abducting those they decided were useful and leaving behind the very old and young, as well as those with disabilities. At the close of the first installment, Last Pick, 16-year-old twins Sam and Wyatt were split up. Sam was taken to another planet and forced to hunt aliens alongside other human prisoners, but she’s set on returning home. Wyatt, who appears to be on the autism spectrum, was deemed unworthy of capture and left on Earth, where he has joined forces with others determined to free the planet from alien rule. Compelling action may draw readers into the story, but those who haven’t yet read the first book may be lost. Relying on smooth, clear lines and a muted palette, Walz brings two worlds to life—the greens and blues of the alien world contrast well with the browns and yellows of Earth and make it easier to switch between story lines. References to TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer may confound younger readers. Some readers may object to the portrayal of disabled people as lesser, and the aliens’ descriptions of them (“broken,” “useless,” “crippled”) may be troubling to some.
VERDICT An additional purchase where the first installment is popular.

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