BORN TO RUN by Jason Walz
Kirkus Star


From the "Last Pick" series, volume 2
by ; illustrated by &
Age Range: 12 - 15
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With his sister apprehended by aliens, neurodiverse Wyatt must lead a team to save Earth.

In the follow-up to Last Pick (2018), evil extraterrestrials have taken or killed all those between 16 and 65, leaving only the young, the elderly, and anyone they consider “useless,” like those who have a disability. Wyatt (who appears to be on the spectrum) is trying to figure out how to lead his sister Sam’s resistance effort after her capture. Off in outer space, Sam is struggling in the alien compound, ordered to exterminate an opposing alien race. Despite all this, Wyatt and Sam have commonplace teenage issues: Wyatt has a blossoming relationship with mauve-haired Harper, who is deaf, and Sam shares a confusing kiss with her best friend, Mia. Their storylines converge into one pulse-pounding cliffhanger, leaving readers positively frenzied for the promised conclusion. Walz’s art is cinematic in scope, shifting from adrenaline-inducing action scenes to evocative facial close-ups. His economic prose creates many sequences that are largely wordless. Colorist Proctor adds dazzling splashes of embellishment amid a purposefully drab landscape for a striking effect. Walz’s cast of characters is richly diverse, portraying characters of myriad skin tones, ages, neurodiversity, and abilities, like a white adult who has one leg and uses a wheelchair; Latinx Mia, whose mother was an immigrant; and a brown-skinned resistance fighter with cerebral palsy. Wyatt and Sam are white.

An extraordinary sequel that is thrilling, inclusive, and unforgettable. (Graphic science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-62672-893-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: First Second
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2019