cover image Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, . . Knopf, $5.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-375-84683-0

In this campy graphic novel series debut, Krosoczka (Punk Farm ) introduces Lunch Lady, a scrappy, permed crime fighter with rolled-up sleeves, yellow dishwashing gloves and an apron. Down in the school's boiler room, she and her older sidekick, Betty, test gadgets (like a handheld spatula-helicopter and a banana boomerang) and keep an eye on things. Three children—Hector, Dee and Terrence—speculate about Lunch Lady's after-school life and follow her when she jumps on her moped, in hot pursuit of a suspicious substitute teacher. Krosoczka's plot is somewhat thin: the title and cover illustration announce the trouble with the sub; the only mysteries are the mastermind and motive behind the sub's deployment. Yet Krosoczka crafts Lunch Lady as a tough, capable heroine who deploys such exclamations as “Nutritious!” and bon mots like “Should I serve up some whaaamburgers and cries?” when on a robot-destroying tear. With plenty of silliness and slapstick in the text and panel art alike, this comic should alleviate lunch-line boredom with visions of servers wielding fishstick-nunchucks and growling, “Today's special is a knuckle sandwich.” Also available: Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians . Ages 7–10. (July)