Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon

Iron Circus Comics. Jul. 2020. 150p. pap. $15. ISBN 9781945820601.
Gr 4-6–A conscientious eight-year-old student ambassador named Joseph Bazan wins a photo op with the president. After impressing the president with his ability to solve grown-up problems with his straightforward morality, can-do attitude, and extensive book knowledge, the boy is sent to West Ruhar to change its young king’s mind about going to war with East Ruhar. Ornery, opinionated, and quick to dole out punishment, King Nang Nukatau III is a great foil to Joseph’s evenhanded diplomat. The friendship between the student ambassador and the child king allows each of the boys to grow: Nang discovers how to have fun, while Joseph learns more about the world. When Nang and Joseph stow away in a crate after a kidnapping attempt, they must work together to stop the impending war, solve the mystery of a missing dragon statue, and get themselves safely home. Eneas’s art anchors readers in each locale, and the big-headed, exaggerated characters and the settings are joyfully drawn, making the tale even more exciting—though some may find the plot slow at times and Joseph a bit verbose.
VERDICT A fun adventure tale with a lot of personality, this is a strong addition to middle grade graphic novel adventure collections.

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