THE BLACK BELT CLUB #1: SEVEN WHEELS OF POWER by Dawn Barnes

THE BLACK BELT CLUB #1: SEVEN WHEELS OF POWER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hybrid format—part blocks of text, part graphic-novel-style cartoon panels—revs up this unvarnished karate adventure. Battling a sense of inadequacy, 11-year-old Max joins a trio of preteen black belts in doing battle with the evil Death Master, who has stolen the Tree of Life’s seven wheels, or energy centers, or (as the author explains in her afterword) chakras. This naturally entails much kicking, punching, and exercising of inner good qualities, interleaved with family issues, internecine bickering, and words of wisdom from both Sensei Dawn (a character, as well as the author) and a turbaned Sage. Veteran comics artist Chang creates simply designed black and white strips and single panels for every page, featuring young folk in karate gis squaring off against an array of oversized, over-muscled, often toothy adversaries. Though the closing gallery of karate blocks and attacks is hedged with dangerously perfunctory cautions, readers swept along by the nonstop action will have encountered compensatory doses of karate principles and dojo etiquette along the way. Future episodes, plus a feature film and other marketing ventures, are in the works. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-63935-2
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005




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