|Beetle & the Hollowbones
Author: Layne, Aliza
Twelve-year-old goblin and witch-in-training Beetle enlists her former best friend, Kat Hollowbones, to help stop Kat's sorceress aunt from demolishing the mall where Beetle's friend Blob Ghost is trapped. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 509120
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 4–8—Beetle, a 12-year-old goblin, lives with her grandmother, the helpful town witch. When she's not bored to tears being homeschooled on goblin magic, she's hanging out with her best friend, the teeny and adorable Blob Ghost, a floating, speechless, but incredibly expressive red orb who haunts the local mall. Though magical forces prevent Blob Ghost from leaving the mall, Beetle is certain that the two will always be pals—until Beetle's former best friend, Kat Hollowbone, arrives. Beetle and Kat don't get along quite the same as before—there might be feelings involved now—but Kat isn't here alone. Kat's a sorcerer's apprentice for her menacing aunt, Marla Hollowbone, who just happens to have bought out the mall. And unless Beetle and Kat do something, the mall will be demolished, with Blob Ghost still trapped inside. Cartoonist Layne makes a stellar debut. Simultaneously gorgeous and goofy, the artwork is reminiscent of the animated series Bee and Puppycat and a delicious love letter to shoujo manga. Layne's supernatural cast is fantastic, from green-skinned Beetle and her grandmother to Kat and Marla, respectively, skeletal cat and bird creatures. Characters' LGBTQ identities, such as Beetle and Kat's changing relationship, as well as the use of the they pronoun for Blob Ghost, are gently woven throughout the narrative. Relying on intersecting plotlines in lieu of a more straightforward romp, Layne conveys themes of independence, identity, and realization of one's potential. VERDICT Action-packed yet heartfelt, short and sweet yet riveting, this one is not to be missed.—Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles P.L. - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2020 *Starred Review* Preteen goblin Beetle's potions studies can wait: she'd much rather hang out at the 'Allows Town mall with her best pal, Blob Ghost, a non-binary, jelly-like shape-shifter who communicates through their transformations. Beetle lives with Gran, the powerful Town Witch, but she thinks that the kind of magic passed down in their family isn't real magic. Stirring up all kinds of feelings, Beetle's former best friend, Kat Hollowbones, is back in 'Allows Town with her aunt Marla. When Marla's plans to return the town to its former glory threaten to harm Blob Ghost and exploit Kat's powerful talent for sorcery, Beetle summons the magical abilities Gran knew she possessed, and Gran's there to help. Layne, creator of the Demon Street weekly fantasy webcomic, grounds Beetle's bighearted adventure in earthly settings like the mall and Gran's cozy cottage, and she fills 'Allows Town with a gleeful array of fantastic creatures: no two are alike. Her vibrant, comical, and overall super-appealing art is a good match for sometimes-scary and high-octane scenes. Beetle's hero's journey has the adorably vulnerable Blob Ghost at its heart; many kids will also relate to the friendship-and-more story between Beetle and Kat. A high-spirited debut about learning to trust one's heart and instincts. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.