Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Gumazing Gum Girl: Popped Star by Rhode Montijo with Luke Reynolds

Gum Girl is back in her third adventure - and she's got sticky problems!

Gabi Gomez' dad, a dentist, has said no more gum. But she didn't listen, she had to keep turning into Gum Girl and saving the day! Now she's at the dentist with a sore tooth and a new superhero is moving into town, Ninja-Rina. She's got to do a project on what it means to be a hero, bully Natalie Gooch is selling Ninja-Rina t-shirts, and everybody seems to have forgotten about Gum Girl.

When Gabi discovers the secret behind Ninja-Rina, the two are at odds. Gabi just wants to save the town, tell her parents the truth, and finish her essay. But... maybe she cares a little about what people think? What does it really mean to be a hero anyways?

As you might guess from the cover (and yes, it smells like sour apple!) Gum Girl's usual pink is being taken over by green. However, the art still has the trademark Gum Girl look, with lots of bold, black lines, cartoon faces, and comic-style action.

I love that this series features a Latina whose dad is a dentist! While I don't have a lot of readers interested in the faux-superhero genre, they do like Gum Girl. It's heavily illustrated, features lots of goofy humor, and has a very relatable main character. It's a little more challenging than your average beginning chapter book, but plenty of illustrations and a bold font make it a good choice for a fluent 2nd grade reader up to a struggling 4th grader. The one problem I have is that popular beginning chapter book series tend to come and go overnight. With only three titles in this series and the long waits between titles, fans tend to grow up or lose interest while waiting for the next installment.

Verdict: I think this is worth a little extra promotion; whenever a new Gum Girl comes out I do some booktalking and pop it up on the staff picks and soon there's a new group of readers excited about the bubble-icious adventures of Gabi Gomez. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781423161189; Published 2018 by Disney-Hyperion; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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