Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

30206050Hale, Shannon and Dean. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. 
February 7th 2017 by Marvel Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Doreen Green (who loves that her name rhymes) moves from California to the suburbs of New York City and has a little bit of trouble fitting in-- and not just because she has a squirrel tail that she must keep hidden! She eventually makes friends at school with Ana Sofia, who is deaf. It helps that Doreen has a cousin who is deaf, so she knows some sign language, although Ana Sofia is proficient in lip reading and the two often communicate through texting. Things are not all good in Doreen's neighborhood, and Ana Sofia tells her to be careful, and to not walk home alone after she babysits. Doreen can communicate with squirrels, and makes friends with one called Tippy-Toes, whom she rescues from a trap in a tree. Tippy-Toes also warns her of the evil going on in the neighborhood, which seems to be centered on the activities of a character called the Micro-Manager. Doreen uses her super strength and ability to jump, along with her ability to communicate with the squirrels, to make her neighborhood safe again. 

Quirky and fun, with snarky footnotes and engaging page decorations of squirrels, Squirrel Girl is an introduction to the long running Marvel comic book character. We learn about her background and family, see her settling in to a new community, and find out her likes (Babies! Iron Man!) and dislikes (Evil doers! Jeans!). 

The main characters are well developed, and I particularly liked Ana Sofia. Doreen is an exuberant young lady, and won't be brushed off, which is the only way to break through Ana Sofia's shell. The supporting characters are fairly one dimensional but serve their purpose of advancing the various plots, whether it is at school or battling the forces of evil. 

Readers who enjoy Lisa Yee's Super Hero High Books will be glad to see this novelization of the Marvel comic book character Squirrel Girl, as will anyone who is looking for a fun, quirky story about girl power and squirrels. My dog and I greatly enjoyed the promotional hat that came with the book, and plan to use it to great effect when keeping an eye on the squirrels around our house!

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