The Case of the Team Spirit

vol. 1. illus. by author. 136p. (Bad Machinery Series). glossary. Oni Press. 2013. pap. $19.99. ISBN 978-1-62010-084-4. LC 2012953355.
Gr 7–10—Originally published as a serialized webcomic, The Case of the Team Spirit introduces a group of British tweens involved in a mystery. A series of strange events leads some people to believe that the local Tackleford City Football Club is cursed. Meanwhile, plans for a new stadium are being blocked by tough old Mrs. Biscuits. Six students become unlikely detectives, unraveling the case while navigating life as first-year grammar school students. Each comic is built to stand alone while connecting to the larger story, sometimes stalling momentum. The quirky dialogue includes significant doses of snark. The vivid, full-color illustrations are lovely. The line work is smooth, well defined, and efficient, successfully conveying the emotions of the characters. The large trim size and simple panel layouts add to the visual appeal. Back matter includes a glossary of lesser-known UK terms and phrases used in the book, brief bios of each character, and a mock newspaper history of the Tackleford Football Club. Unique in both story and tone, this title is perfect for graphic-novel fans looking for something a bit different.—Travis Jonker, Wayland Union Schools, MI

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