Pokemon Adventures, Vol. 8 (Pokémon Adventures)

Gr 4—6—Action-packed and fast-paced, this book contains all of the video-game thrills Pokémon fans would expect. Professor Oak has created a Pokédex, a device that provides strength and attack statistics on every one of the Pokémon, a useful tool in a world in which battles are waged with the help of these small creatures. When the Pokédex is stolen by the mysterious Silver, Oak enlists the brash, wise-cracking Gold to retrieve it. Along with his Pokémon sidekick, Aibo, Gold must avoid plenty of peril in his pursuit. The cliffhanger ending might compel many young readers to pick up the next installment in the series, but it fails to satisfy. The dialogue is quick moving to the point of being hard to follow—readers may have to double back to catch everything. The black-and-white manga artwork mirrors the breakneck speed of the dialogue. The small scale of the panels, paired with the abrupt jumps in perspective, occasionally leads to confusion. This book reads right to left, back to front, to maintain the order of the artwork. Experienced manga readers will have no trouble with this, but newcomers will need time to adjust. This is not an ideal starting point, but a high-energy addition to a series with an enthusiastic following.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI

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