Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence #BookReview

Title: Star Scouts | Series: Star Scouts #1 | Author: Mike Lawrence  | Publisher: First Second | Pub. Date: 2017-3-21 | ASIN: B06XBP3MLZ | Genre: Kids Sci-Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Library

Star Scouts

Avani is the new kid in town, and she’s not happy about it. Everyone in school thinks she’s weird, especially the girls in her Flower Scouts troop. Is it so weird to think scouting should be about fun and adventure, not about makeovers and boys, boys, boys?

But everything changes when Avani is “accidentally” abducted by a spunky alien named Mabel. Mabel is a scout too—a Star Scout. Collecting alien specimens (like Avani) goes with the territory, along with teleportation and jetpack racing. Avani might be weird, but in the Star Scouts she fits right in. If she can just survive Camp Andromeda, and keep her dad from discovering that she’s left planet Earth, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime.

Book cover for Star Scouts

Star Scouts Review

Star Scouts was a cute, funny read written by someone who nails the body-oriented humor of middle grade readers (and some of us older readers as well).  The artwork was exceptional.  Mike Lawrence did a great job of blending futuristic with realistic in Camp Andromeda. His gunk infesting the cabins gave me some Neopets flashbacks, though!

The main character in Star Scouts is Avani, a young Indian girl living with her father that recently moved to a new city. There, the Scout troop that her father has made her join is not exactly what she was expecting. Avani doesn’t fit in, and doesn’t particularly want to try either.  So when she’s accidentally snatched from Earth and finds herself in the company of someone just as different as she is, it feels like a match made in heaven.

I loved reading Avani’s adventures with her troop in Star Scouts. The plot itself is nothing new, from the absent and /or scatterbrained parent to the hijinks galore. Boil it down to bare bones and you’ve watched or read the same story a thousand times before.  Underdogs vs The Elites. Somehow the Underdogs manage to rise to the top, so on and so forth. And of course they have trouble working together at one point, and of course they overcome it. However, the dressing that Lawrence puts on it means that you don’t mind too much because you’re too busy giggling.

The fact that Avani is Indian and female and gets to be the one representing Earth in Star Scouts is amazing. And I like the fact that she isn’t what one might call a Mary Sue. Avani is very brash and pretty consistently sticks her foot in it. She doesn’t quite get the concept of teamwork.  But she tries, and she’s willing to say sorry when she realizes she’s messed up.  Basically, she’s a pretty good representation of a moody little kid.

Last thing, and I have to mention this, while all the fart-based jokes are funny, the divide between the two groups (O2 Breathers versus Methane Breathers) isn’t really. It’s easy for the O2 crew to make fun of the methane breathers for the obvious flatulence reasons, but parents should perhaps take a moment to talk with their kids about the fact that being against someone just because they are in some way different from you (be it, say, skin color, sexual preferences, or the air you breathe) isn’t cool. Not even a little bit. It hearkens back to the whole “just because it’s funny on the surface doesn’t mean it’s right underneath” thing.

So, while not a perfect read, Star Scouts is a highly entertaining one. Physical age doesn’t matter as long as your sense of humor is suitably young.

Buy Link: Amazon





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