It is always a challenge to be the new kid at school but it is even more challenging when you have a reputation for being weird. When Joey meets the elementary school’s resident weird kid, Jerome, they strike up an immediate friendship. Jerome does not believe Joey when he tells him why he only eats white foods, but several encounters with the school bully, Bug, quickly convinces Jerome about the truth of Joey’s story. Food containing color gives Joey super powers! Friendship, however, is equally powerful.

A simple, but satisfying tale for young readers, the story is told in large panels, bright colors and simple backgrounds. The focus of the illustrations is on the body language and facial expressions of the three main characters, with a cameo appearance from one of the soccer team and Jerome’s mother. Even the scene in the library (which incidentally threw this reviewer out of the story), the person shhhhing the boys for talking in the library is off camera.

The storyline develops logically over the period of a week and highlights the themes of bullying and friendship without being didactic. I particularly liked the fact that although Joey took off his glasses and added a cape when confronting the bully, neither Bug nor the reader are in any doubt to Joey’s super identity.

Power Lunch, vol. 1: First Course
by J. Torres
Art by Dean Trippe
ISBN: 9781934964705
Oni Press, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages

  • Gail

    | She/Her Professor, Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta

    Reviewer

    In addition to teaching at the School of Library and Information Studies (University of Alberta) where she is an adjunct professor, Gail tells stories and conducts workshops on a wide variety of topics across Canada and the United States. Each year she teaches the following courses for the University of Alberta. All of her courses are delivered online: Storytelling, Comic Books and Graphic Novels in School and Public Libraries, Canadian Children’s Literature for School and Public Libraries and Young Adult Literature. She also teaches a course on Indigenous Literature for the ATEP program (Aboriginal Teacher Education Program) at the University of Alberta. Gail is the award-winning author of nine books on storytelling and folklore in popular culture.

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