Hailing from a big family of overachievers, D.J. feels largely unexceptional until he meets a strange boy who falls from the sky and helps him realize his potential.
D.J. isn't good at anything. He has two brothers and two sisters who have miles of accomplishments among them, and the only thing he considers himself adept at was a friendship with neighbor Gina…but she moved away three years ago. One day, D.J. meets a peculiar, sunny, towheaded boy who has apparently landed on Earth wearing nothing but silver underpants and recalling nothing of his previous life. D.J. immediately befriends him, and the duo becomes a threesome when Gina moves back to town. Over time, the boy's memory starts to return. He recalls his name, Hilo, and how he came to Earth—and that there are dangerous robots that could annihilate the entire planet. Although D.J. may not have a list of skills he can tick off on his fingers, he learns something more important: not only is he loyal, he is brave. Winick has concocted a universally appealing tale with bright, expressive illustrations that gently reminds readers that in this era of overscheduling and insistence on perfection, sometimes just being true to yourself is important enough. D.J. and his family are Asian-American, Gina and hers are African-American, and Caucasian-looking extraterrestrial Hilo nicely rounds out the graphic novel’s diversity.
A wholeheartedly weird and wonderful tale of friendship, acceptance, and robots. (Graphic science fiction. 7-12)