Hilo by Judd Winick Book Review

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth (Book 1) by Judd Winick
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1, 2015

D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. That is, until a boy falls from the sky. Hilo doesn't know where he came from or why, but he does know that whatever is going on, it probably isn't good.

Starting in the middle of the action, I absolutely loved that this story began with the two main characters running for their lives and screaming for about seven pages. Laugh-out-loud funny, Hilo draws on all the humorous elements that both children and adults love reminding me of the old comic strips like Calvin's (from Calvin & Hobbes) Spaceman Spiff, but with more diversity. There were so many wonderful moments throughout the book that I almost wanted to read it aloud, although then it would lose some of its visual charm.

The characters are great. D.J. is rather lonely, not very adventurous, and completely relateable kid, which is what makes Hilo such a great foil for him. Gena, D.J.'s once and now once again neighbor has changed a lot in the years, but as with any true friendship, it withstands the test of time and some growing up. Perhaps it is because I have read so many books lately where the friendships are drifting apart, that I actually found the rekindling of a friendship to be rather refreshing. Spoiler: Hilo, although looking like a blond-haired boy, is in fact a robot from another dimension. And he didn't come alone. Once his memory returns, Hilo goes from being a gooftastic little boy to a scared artificial intelligence with a big mission to accomplish.

Perfect for graphic novel fans who like Cleopatra in Space or Zita the Spacegirl and lots of humor.