|Tales of a seventh-grade lizard boy
Author: Hill, Jonathan
After his family flees their lizard community below Earth's crust, "Tommy Tomkins" wears a human face to school but can't seem to fit in no matter how he looks. The basketball team becomes a pipe dream when bullies label him a bug eater, and only Dung Tran, an immigrant from Vietnam and fellow outsider, sees Tommy for who he is inside, which is nothing like the outer-space lizard invaders on TV's hottest series. Can their friendship survive the truth? In graphic novel format.
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Kirkus Reviews (07/15/22)
School Library Journal (10/28/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/28/2022 Gr 5–8—Tommy is a member of a family of lizard people who had to flee their subterranean homeland due to a crumbling society and dwindling resources. Now attending school as a seventh grader, Tommy misses his birthplace and is frustrated by having to wear a disguise and fit in among surface-dwellers. In the depths of misery, however, Tommy meets Dung and Scarlett, new students at his school who are outsiders facing challenges of their own. The three become fast friends, but it's not long before conflict interrupts their relationship. Though it's a true all ages book, students in grades five through eight will find the most to love here, with relatable characters and conflict. Quirky but grounded illustrations that feature colors by Nyssa Oru complete the storytelling package. Back matter includes an author's note connecting elements of the story to Hill's own experiences growing up Vietnamese American. VERDICT A touching story for anyone who has ever been an outsider, this book is an empowering tale of being comfortable in your own skin, seeking out those with whom you can bond, and learning how to navigate this bizarre and confusing society in which we live.—M. Brandon Robbins - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.