cover image Bad Island

Bad Island

Doug TenNapel. Scholastic/Graphix, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-545-31479-4; $10.99 trade paper ISBN 978-0-545-31480-0

Two very different dysfunctional families try to reconnect in an exciting alien adventure by TenNapel, graphic novelist and creator of Earthworm Jim. Long ago, in a distant part of the galaxy, a race of giant, machinelike people battle their enemies to keep the small inhabitants from being condemned to slavery, and a young prince is determined to prove his worth in battle. On modern Earth, teen football player Reese wants little to do with his family, and nothing to do with the family vacation. When a storm hits the family boat trip, Reese, his annoying younger sister, and his parents wash up on an island filled with bizarre, dangerous creatures. A mysterious consciousness on the island helps defend them%E2%80%94and as the family struggles to survive, they have the chance to heal not only their own broken relationships but also a family torn apart in that long-ago war. The stylized art suits the weirdness of the alien creatures, and the human faces are so expressive that TenNapel shows arcs of emotional journey without the characters having to say a word. Though geared toward young readers, the adventure features sympathetic adult characters as heroic as the children, and parents should enjoy the tale as well. Ages 10%E2%80%9313. (Aug.)