By Chris Wilson
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This review originally carried a Highly Recommended with Reservations rating because of some language. In the second edition, Chris Giarrusso took out the language to make the comic more child-friendly. We changed our review and recommendation accordingly.)
Author & Illustrator: Chris Giarrusso
Format: Trade Paperback
Color: Full color
ISBN (10): 1-58240-431-3
Chris Giarrusso’s G-MAN is the stuff of typical – if not hysterical and awkward – childhood: bullies, pushy fathers, mean older siblings, fights over incidental things, and just figuring out life. I laughed my way through the pages and nodded my head remembering similar instances in my own life.
Kids can relate. That is a good thing and a bad thing as far as literature for the classroom goes. Oh, there’s nothing really bothersome in G-Man except the occasional word like “sucks” or “sucker” or a good character dressed in green and black tights with green horns, called Demon.
Kids will, indeed, relate to and enjoy G-MAN. It tells a universal truth about growing up even when one is later meant for greatness. I howled at parts and loved every page-turn. The main story is about G-MAN’s attempt at flight and his subsequent run-in with the kid-bully of the most famous superhero in the city. The kids stand up to the super bully and eventually win him over, but not after a bit of a scuffle.
Students will also connect with young G-Man and his brother, Great Man, and the fact that superheroes though they be, the lawn must be mowed, food must be finished, summer camp must be attended and mistakes must be made. It’s a tough life, to be sure, even for the masked and caped.
No doubt students will have a riotous time reading G-MAN.
This book screams for kids to read it. The art is comic, young, and just begs to be devoured.
My Rating: Ages 10 and older
IN THE CLASSROOM
Real life is masked behind a superhero story, but make no mistake: This book is all about the life and times of kids and students will have so much fun reading their own lives through the lens of G-MAN. All those wonderful character qualities that schools love to promote are sprinkled throughout giving the teacher an opportunity to access those morals and civic engagement.