Mega Awe­some Note­book

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Middle Grade - PETER DABBENE

Kevin Mi­nor, Schif­fer Pub­lish­ing (FE­BRU­ARY) Soft­cover $16.99 (112pp) 978-0-7643-5694-0

The draw­ings in a teenager’s note­book in­ter­act with him, caus­ing some prob­lems and help­ing to solve oth­ers in Kevin Mi­nor’s wild and won­der­ful Mega Awe­some Note­book.

The ad­ven­ture be­gins when the book’s young pro­tag­o­nist ac­ci­den­tally mi­crowaves his note­book and soon re­al­izes that his doo­dles and draw­ings have come alive within its pages and are act­ing in­de­pen­dent of his com­mands. The boy names his car­toon per­son “Dude” and Dude’s small mon­ster com­pan­ion “Lil’ Cre­ation,” be­fore chang­ing them, in a hu­mor­ous touch, to “Dud” and “Lil’ Cretin.” The cen­tral fig­ure in the story is not so much the boy artist, but rather the boy artist as re­vealed through the eyes of his al­ter ego, Dud.

Mi­nor’s art is a de­light, con­vinc­ingly kid-like and burst­ing with en­ergy. The book painstak­ingly repli­cates many de­tails of a typ­i­cal teen stu­dent’s note­book, from lined loose-leaf pages to stray eraser dust and “hand­writ­ten” word bal­loons. There are brief non-note­book scenes through­out. The boy’s prob­lems are fil­tered through his art, and when Dud dis­cov­ers a page that de­picts all of the things that are both­er­ing his cre­ator, they’re fi­nally able to team up and con­front them.

The world of Mega Awe­some Note­book will be sym­pa­thetic to teens—both the boy’s “real” prob­lems and the paths that his imag­i­na­tion takes dur­ing the story, in­flu­enced by school as­sign­ments, car­toon hu­mor, science fic­tion, and other fa­mil­iar el­e­ments.

Mega Awe­some Note­book looks and feels dif­fer­ent from other books and might have spe­cial ap­peal for re­luc­tant read­ers. But for any au­di­ence, its twists and turns make for a fun, re­fresh­ing, and sur­real ride.

Il­lus­tra­tion from Mega Awe­some Note­book, by Kevin Mi­nor. Used with per­mis­sion from Schif­fer Pub­lish­ing.

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