Review Detail

Kids Fiction 199
Gooo-ing it on their own!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
It's hard work being a super hero, but it's even harder work when you are the side kick to an unpleasant mentor! Junior Justice is tired of the vain Captain Perfect, who just has JJ do his laundry and other scut work. Flygirl is tired of the unpredictability of Rampaging Rita, and Dinomite is sick of being taken for granted by Blast Radius. Sure, he can change into the form of any dinosaur, but why isn't he appreciated for his degree in quantum physics and the fact that he speaks 47 languages. The three decide to set up their own group, but are joined by Goo, who is the sidekick of the very evil Dr. Enok. They are afraid of the galatinous mass at first, but he pleads his case that he is actually good and tired of being with his creator, who keeps him locked in a jar. The newly formed squad must deal with adversity before they can even create their super hero lair; their hero overlords want them back, and Dr. Enok is on the prowl to retrieve Goo. When the dust from the confrontations settles, will the Super Side Kicks be ready to battle the forces of evil on their own?
Good Points
With bright colors and sounds effects (ZZZAAAACK!) worthy of the 1960s television Batman program, No Adults Allowed is an impressive first book in a graphic novel series for middle grade and elementary readers. The words are well spaced on the page, often in white speech bubbles, and the illustrations are clear and lined in black. This sounds like a silly thing to say, but graphic novels are often beloved by struggling readers who have difficulties navigating the elements on the page, and Mr. Than did a great job at making each spread clear and accessible.

The storyline is also well delineated and easy to follow. The children are good, the superheroes are not great caretakers, and the children yearn to be free. They defeat Dr. Enok because they are on the side of right, and the rescue the mistreated Goo. I wasn't a huge fan of the truncated, baby talk style in which Goo spoke, but younger readers will find this more acceptable.

This Australian import (the side kicks resting place atop the Sydney Opera House was a good clue!) will be popular with younger readers who enjoyed Winnick's Halo series and Trine and Montijo's Melvin Beederman books, but is also a great choice for struggling middle school readers who are still enjoying Pilkey's Ricky Ricotta. I am looking forward to book two, Ocean's Revenge. (2021)
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