Giant fungi, squishy aliens, and wobbly planks of doom make this story a fun and entertaining one to read through. This debut graphic novel features a futuristic family set out to change the world, while keeping up with dreaded homework assignments. 

Middle schoolers Nia and Jayden Bright have extraordinary parents, who are also extraordinarily busy. Their mother, Banira, is a world famous adventure scientist, and their father, Benjamin, is a Nobel prize winning inventor. With each of them having their own dedicated careers, they miss out on important events at their kids’ school and don’t have time to keep up with making sure that both Nia and Jayden are staying on top of their schoolwork. 

When their parents aren’t around again, Banira and Benjamin accidentally get sucked into their basement dimension portal and shot out into who knows where in outer space. Nia, Jayden, and their babysitter, the nanny bot, dive through to save them, which turns out to be the start of a wild interplanetary adventure. 

First, they find themselves on planet Kaiju. Here, they are immediately surrounded by massive, dangerous fighting aliens. They’ve got to stay clear of the giant red eyed fungus and giant space dinosaur pair to find the next dimension portal and rescue their parents. They venture planet to planet where they face stranger and stranger situations. Cute squishies that are super hungry and can clear a whole field within minutes, intergalactic relish, and a game show where they need to navigate super tipsy pillars are just a few of the weird cosmic things they encounter.

This graphic novel is filled with wonderful splashes of color that occupy the pages. Derick Brooks and Warren Wucinich teamed up to create adorable big eyed characters and super creative alien beings. This isn’t a comic that just fills the backgrounds of individual frames with solid colors, there is a lot of detail and extras included that make the pages a lot more interesting. 

Overall, this series is off to a strong start. It’s anticipated to be a five book series and I would recommend adding this one to any elementary to middle school library collection. The characters are relatable, the challenges they face are exciting and suspenseful, and there’s humor sprinkled in all through out the story. This team of creators works well together to blend their talents into a fun and quick read.

Bright Family, vol. 1: Versus the Multiverse
By Matthew Cody
Art by Derick Brooks
Andrews McNeel Epic, 2021
ISBN: 9781524870799
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)

  • Kendra

    | She/Her


    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently:

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