The Silver Six by AJ Lieberman & Darren Rawlings

silver six

The Silver Six
AJ Lieberman
Darren Rawlings
Graphix, Scholastic, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-37097-4
Reviewed from an advanced galley
FORMAT: Graphic Novel
AGES: Elementary School, Middle School
3 Stars

Phoebe’s parents were killed in a mysterious shuttle explosion (along with 10 other people). A year later Phoebe can no longer run from the authorities and is put in an orphanage. However, while there she discovers that five other orphans are connected to her. With a “powerful corporate boss” sending a henchman after them to kill them as well, they know that they must do something. But since they don’t understand why their parents were killed in the first place, it is a little tricky to put all the pieces of why their parents were murdered while trying to stay alive themselves. But these silver six (all dressed in the silver jumpsuits from the orphanage) are willing to do anything to stay alive and find out just what their parents were doing before they all got killed.

This action-packed graphic novel is perfect for the young readers who are into space and a world where all the scientific mambo-jumbo isn’t really explained but is just in the sphere of suspended disbelief so that the story (and the action) can just race on ahead. Plus, what elementary school-aged kid wouldn’t like a world where kids can drive spaceships and save the world from corporate bullies? One thing worth mentioning is that each page is packed with illustrations (I know, it is a graphic novel, it should be…). However, there are so many panels on each page that it is sometimes refreshing when there are only four or five panels. I had wished that every now and again there were a few panels that were a bit larger, if only to showcase a bit more the importance of a scene. And granted, there are a few of those at the end of the book with only three panels (and once with only two on a page), but I would have preferred a few more.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. I think there was enough action to keep readers turning the pages. I also liked that the main character was a girl. Especially since this is a good, action story. There just need to be more action, sci-fi adventures in the world that happen to have a female as the main character (and having it be a graphic novel is a bonus). And the interactions between the six characters is great. I liked how they had doubts and fears and seemed a bit more real (for as real as characters living in a sci-fi world can seem that is). I can’t wait to see if there will be more of the Silver Six.

Book discussion Questions:
Why did Mr. Craven kill everyone on the freedom shuttle?
How did Phoebe escape being caught and sent to an orphanage for so long?
Was it wise for Phoebe to hide from child welfare services?
Why does the name “Silver Six” work? Or does it work? What would you have named this group?
Was SOS a good-guy or a bad-guy? Why?
How did you feel about the government coming in and saving the day at the end? Did that ending work for you? Why or why not?
What would be the first thing you would want to do on a new, unexplored planet/moon?

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