In this lighthearted sequel to Recess Warriors: Hero Is a Four-Letter Word (2017), recess drama continues.
After fighting an outbreak of zombie-inducing cooties on the playground of Armstrong School, fifth-grade superheroes Scrap (aka Bryce) and reformed villain Swan (the alter ego of Juliet) learn that insidious forces are seeking to take over their beloved playground. A group of renegade vampires led by vegan, pretend-smartphone–wielding Cora is threatening to infect the play yards. After this adventure, Scrap and Swan discover a bevy of backpack-pilfering ninjas led by Simon, who has the power to compel people to do what he wants (à la “Simon Says”). Soon after, the antics once again transform, and the superhero duo must finally deal with their most nefarious foe: a scheming fourth-grader determined to rule the entire playground. Emulating the amorphous flow of unstructured play, the narrative moves fluidly among storylines as the children’s play scenarios and characters change with their whims. Mentions of technology are nearly entirely absent, as are aspects of anything academic: pretend play and the simple joys of being outside are given prominence. Emerson’s art is dynamic and appealing, with a keen balance between facial expression and movement. The children are a diverse bunch, a variety of skin tones and racial characteristics on display in the full-color pictures.
A vigorous celebration of outdoor, imaginative play. (Graphic fiction. 7-11)