ZEBRAFISH by Sharon Emerson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Created by Peter H. Reynolds’s media studio, FableVision, this heavy-handed graphic novel depicts a predictably multicultural bunch that starts a band and works despite their differences. Punky Vita yearns for fame and, with the help of her brother Pablo, who works in a hospital researching drugs, decides to follow her true calling. A well-placed sign leads to the formation of Zebrafish, a band made up of Vita, darker-skinned, overweight Plinko, skinny Jay, aloof, artistically gifted Walt and his sister, Tanya, who is suffering from leukemia. This quintet ultimately wants to use their music and art to make the world a better place. The group—so tritely composed they could have sung backup for a certain large purple dinosaur—displays little genuine personality. On a positive note, those who relate to the do-gooder message will be delighted that a portion of the proceeds benefits the Children’s Hospital Boston; otherwise the overall story lacks any real cohesion, tending more toward the didactic than dynamic. An odd and stultifying mixture of bland and saccharine. (Graphic fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 4th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9525-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010


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