Friday, June 10, 2011

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity, by Dave Roman (fiction) - middle school in outer space!

It's Fun Friday - Time for school in space! Yes, Dave Roman's new graphic novel takes us straight to Astronaut Academy, with a curriculum you just won't believe. Oh, some things in middle school are the same even in outer space (the principal, snarky former best friends), but Astronaut Academy's variations on ball games and emergency drills are amazing.

Of course, Hakata Soy's crime-fighting superhero past may catch up with him...

The former comics editor of Nickelodeon Magazine took advantage of its closing to concentrate on his own cartooning, so watch for more of his self-published minicomics to grow into full-fledged books.

Dave is married to Raina Telgemeier who wrote and drew Smile (5/13/11 featured book) - yes, he proposed to her via webcomic! Just imagine two cartoonists in the same apartment... I heard them at a Texas Library Association presentation in April, then met Dave again in May at International Reading Association. Just waiting for their next books!

Book info: Astronaut Academy / by Dave Roman. First Second, 2011 [author interview] [publisher site] [book trailer] [selected pages]

My Recommendation: Everyone else is already at Astronaut Academy, but Hakata is late for school! A few weeks late, since he and his mecha-friends were busy saving the world of Hoppiton from the terrible Gotcha Birds.

Senor Panda teaches Spanish (and spying), Doug just wants to wear his spacesuit and stay out on spacewalk all day, and Marcos wonders why at least one of Hakata’s hearts is broken. If the Gotcha Birds decide to attack Astronaut Academy to get the bunny students from Hoppiton, it could disrupt the Fireball Tournament!!

Students, teachers, and non-students take turns telling/showing their stories in this wacky graphic novel – does your Astronaut Academy have classes in Advanced Heart Studies, Fire Throwing, Run-on Sentences, and Wearing Cute Hats? (you can’t win Dinosaur Driving Races if you don’t wear a Cute Hat... just ask Maribelle Mellonbelly)

Action! Adventure! Oxygen gum and flashbacks! The first semester at Astronaut Academy has it all…with an extra helping of funny! (One of 5,000 books recommended on

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