cover image Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

Judd Winick. Random, $13.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-38617-3

While D.J. Lim’s friends and family are all “awesome at something,” the 10-year-old sees himself as average and boring. That’s until Hilo, a boy with superpowers, crash lands on planet Earth, making D.J.’s life anything but dull. Although Hilo can fly and shoot lasers from his hands, he’s clueless when it comes to normal things like food and clothing, forcing D.J. to look after the shaggy-haired dynamo like he would a puppy. Hilo can’t recall where he came from, but his memories slowly return as he, D.J., and D.J.’s friend Gina contend with giant robotic insects that herald something more sinister. Winick keeps the action flowing while giving his characters authentic motivations and including numerous jokes and recurring gags (Hilo’s favorite human greeting is the terrified “Aaahh!” he and D.J. exchanged when they met). Though Winick’s comic-strip lookalike cartoons are a tad generic, he creates a rousing adventure with a diverse cast (D.J.’s family is of Asian descent, while Gina’s is African-American), and a cliffhanger ending should leave readers anticipating the next book, due in spring 2016. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)