As I’ve mentioned here before, I rarely read graphic novels, but sometimes I stumble across a good one. I received a proof of The Silver Six, a middle-grade graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and Darren Rawlings, and thoroughly enjoyed its futuristic, kids-save-the-world story.
As with all good action-packed adventures, there is an evil, powerful bad villain at its center: Mr. Craven, owner and CEO of Craven Mining Co, the corporation that controls much of this futuristic world and that is responsible for continuing to destroy the earth in search of ever-more profitable fuels. As the story opens, young Phoebe is worried about paying her rent and convincing the landlord that her parents are still there…because they aren’t. Phoebe is an orphan who, with the help of her beloved robot, Max, has been fooling the authorities for a year now so that she can stay in her home, near her friends.
But Mr. Craven disrupts her plans, as his minions search for an important electronic file that appears to be hidden somewhere in Phoebe’s home. In short order, Phoebe is caught and sent to an orphanage. It’s a dismal life, filled with hard work and poor conditions, but Phoebe quickly makes friends. Gradually, she and her friends discover they have far more in common than just being orphans, and before long, Phoebe is leading the rest of the Silver Six in an escape plan! The kids have more to worry about than just escaping the orphanage, though, as they find they are being pursued by mysterious forces that clearly want them dead.
From there, the action continues and the suspense builds, both on earth and in distant space, as the mysteries surrounding Craven Mining and Phoebe’s parents’ deaths slowly come to light. The Silver Six is kind of like James Bond for kids: it has cool technology, an evil villain, and lots and lots of action and adventure. The characters are fully developed – which surprised me in a graphic novel – and I quickly came to like Phoebe and to root for her and her friends in their quest for truth and freedom. Lots of fun for middle-grade readers who enjoy action and adventure.