Galactic Hot Dogs: Revenge of the Space Pirates by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire and Nichole Kelley

  Galactic Hot Dogs: Revenge of the Space Pirates by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire and Nichole Kelley, Published by Aladdin, 9781534478039, 2020

Format: Hardcover, 316 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Action/Adventure Science Fiction

What did you like about the book? The third installment of the Galactic Hot Dogs series will delight fans of Brallier’s first two books.  This book can be read out of order; however the storyline overview is not as well developed as in the first book.  There are still copious black and white illustrations combined with an energetic plot that will keep graphic novel fans turning pages to see what befalls our heroes next.  As with the previous installment, multiple font types, a generous dose of onomatopoeia, and humor give the text an energetic feel and support the plot.  This adventure begins as Cosmoe, Humphree, and princess Dagger attend a hot dog eating competition and bump into Rani Zonian, a space pirate from Cosmoe’s past.  The story has multiple flashbacks that give readers insight into Cosmoe’s life on earth and subsequent hijacking in space.  Cosmoe is forced to face his past and possibly lose Goober, the gelatinous arm appendage that he has come to rely on.  Calamity ensues as his friends try to save him, outwit General Krax, and save Goober.  Once again, the author does an excellent job of creating fictitious settings and over-the-top characters that will keep readers on the edge of their seats amidst fits of laughter.  Back pages have more information for interested readers including blueprints for the Neon Wiener, Menu items, and a map of the galaxy.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The characters are corny and two dimensional.  Some of the pop culture references may not be understood by the targeted audience.  Not a negative, however struggling readers may be overwhelmed by the created vocabulary.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 3 and up who enjoy humorous, highly illustrated, stories like the first two installments of this series or The Last Kids on Earth will enjoy this text.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for elementary schools or public libraries that cannot get enough of this author, science fiction, or graphic novels.  

Where would you shelve it? Action/Adventure/ Science Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the middle of a “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: December 31, 2020

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