Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Length: 88 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Bird Boy series
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Bird Boy follows the story of Bali, a 10 year-old boy, desperate to prove his worth to his Northern tribe, despite his small stature. Banned from the ceremony that would make him an adult in the eyes of his people, he takes matters into his own hands. To prove that he is capable of taking care of himself, he sets out into the forbidden forest and stumbles upon a legendary weapon. Bali fights his way across a dangerous land of gods, men, and beasts to keep the sword of Mali Mani, the savior of the sun, from the hands of the terrifying Rooks.”
This was a really well done middle grade graphic novel. I loved the illustration style; it’s detailed and beautifully done. I loved the color throughout and the slightly cartoony look to it. The artwork has a bit of a tribal feel to it because of the Northern tribes clothing and masks but also a very mythological feel to it because of what Bali finds in the forest.
The story is cute, slightly scary and very unique. My nine year old son and I both read and loved it. My son commented that he loved the illustration and thought the story was “very cool”.
It’s a quick read but one I think anyone middle grade and older will enjoy. The artwork has a very neat style of its own and I loved the story. I also loved that everyone; including the animals wore masks. I was constantly wondering why they all wear masks. Additionally that fact that everything wore a mask meant that their actions had to be super expressive (which was very successfully done).
Overall a fantastic start to this new middle grade fantasy graphic novel series. I adored the art style and the blending of tribal and mythological themes. The story is cute, adventurous, and magical all at once. The story immediately draws the reader in and is completely engrossing. I can’t wait to see what future volumes of Bird Boy hold for us.