POWER PLAY by Liam O’Donnell


From the "Graphic Guides" series
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12


O’Donnell and Deas present another educational thriller in graphic mode (Ramp Rats, 2008, etc.). Here, a summit of world political leaders has gathered to address the inalienable right to fresh, clean water. Marcus’ dad is on hand as a water-rights advocate; Nadia (and her brother, Devin, by default) is in attendance to serve as a guide at the parallel youth summit. This affords the author the opportunity to use Nadia to deliver pithy commentaries regarding the wheels of democracy. These stretch back to Athenian forays into the process and proceed to civil disobedience, teach-ins and popular revolution. The message-driven dialogue is stilted at times, but it is also historically on target (i.e., Athenian democracy was hardly the final word), while the illustrations are rich in detail and chromatic with atmosphere. Though there is an undeniable didacticism in evidence, there is also an enjoyable level of suspense: An advisor of Marcus’ dad is murdered, and a gang of Nadia’s friends get themselves into hot water trying to uncover the person responsible. And who should that be but a lobbyist for a bottled-water company, one of the too-many bent spokes in the democratic wheel. The kids are saved by their pluck and the wiles of a group of non-violent Raging Grannies, both displaying the exercise of democratic vigor. The point is well made: Democracy is imperfect but self-righting in its course. (Graphic thriller. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55469-069-5
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011


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