Gum Girl is back in this second adventure.
Since her last adventures, Gum Girl (aka Gabby Gomez) has been celebrated as a hero by everyone. Everyone, that is, except the people who matter most: the members of her own loving, Latino family, who don’t know she’s Gum Girl! As Gabby get ready to reveal her secret identity, her dentist dad despairs about the tooth problems that Gum Girl’s poor example will inspire. Poor Gabby’s troubles worsen—she may have a cavity from all that gum! But even that’s not the end of Gabby’s problems: a gum-hating “mysterious masked man” is plotting to bring Gum Girl down. Meanwhile, when Gum Girl isn’t busy saving the day, Gabby is busy running from white bully Natalie, whose depiction as a large girl disappoints. Many school-, cavity-, and gum-related adventures later, Gum Girl faces off with the “mysterious masked man” and his giant robot, which she, unsurprisingly, vanquishes. Most illustrations are black and white, with energetic, bubble-gum-pink accents. The plot is fairly shallow and sometimes ridiculous, but it is aware of at least some of that silliness, which perhaps redeems it a bit of the lack of depth. Short chapters and frequent, graphic novel–esque illustrations make this a shoo-in for reluctant readers, and the text is punctuated by the occasional italicized word in Spanish.
Good, sticky fun. (Fantasy. 6-10)