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Any fan of Steven Universe will tell you that Steven does not go to school. Instead of a formal education, the Crystal Gems teach him how to use his magical powers and fight intergalactic enemies. So what would it be like if Steven did go to school? Well, fans will get a chance to see Steven’s academic adventures in Steven Universe: Too Cool For School, a new graphic novel written by Ian Jones-Quartey and Jeremy Sorese and illustrated by Asia Kendrick-Horton.

Steven Universe is going to school for the first time with his friend Connie! It should be a lot of fun, and Steven is always willing to try something new. However, when your friend is constantly worried about her academic reputation, it’s hard to be the magical and overly friendly boy that you are. It becomes more troublesome when Steven brings a snail monster to school and it causes havoc up and down the halls. Will Steven and Connie’s friendship be ruined, or can it survive the pressures of junior high school? Will the two be able to stop the snail from taking over the building?

Even in comic form, Steven Universe is a character you can not help but love. He is optimistic and eager to help in any situation, along with being caring and open minded. However, his best quality would have to be his individuality. Steven knows he is unlike any other twelve year old boy, and he is not ashamed to express it. However, his expressive behavior causes his friend Connie to be embarrassed. But who doesn’t have that one friend who always seems to embarrass you but still brings out the best in you? Children will find a part of themselves in Steven and Connie, whether they are studious or an extrovert. They will find joy in their close friendship and excitement as they work together.

Characters aside, readers who want some action in their comic selections are also in for a treat. Not only do you have the magical fighting styles of the Crystal Gems, you also have children using skills from dodge ball practice to protect their school and themselves. The illustrations are done really well, with a bright color scheme similar to the television show and the panels flow well with the story. During the action scenes, the panels become enlarged in order to accommodate the fighting skills and defense tactics of the characters, as well as the accelerated growth of the snail creature.

With funny, relatable characters and an action packed story, Steven Universe: Too Cool for School is a great read and a definite purchase for any graphic novel collection. Children and school librarians will want to add this to their collection, especially if they know readers who like action, a good story, and some laughs here and there. Fans of the television show will be excited to read this comic and see if Steven and the Crystal Gems will save the day.

Steven Universe: Too Cool For School
by Ian Jones-Quartey, Jeremy Sorese
Art by Asia Kendrick-Horton
ISBN: 9781608867714
KaBOOM!, 2016
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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