D.J. is sitting at his clubhouse one day, feeling kind of lonely, when all of a sudden, there’s a flash of light, a giant boom—and a boy falls out of the sky.

The boy doesn’t know who he is, where he’s from, or why he’s there.

D.J. takes him home and feeds him—mainly to keep him from eating grass—and bit by bit, the boy starts to remember things.

His name is Hilo. And he’s on a mission to destroy a terrible monster.

Genre: graphic novel

Grades 2-5.

The series continues with Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World, and Hilo: The Great Big Boom.


J’s take on it:

I booktalked Hilo last year in 4th and 5th grade classes, and it was a big hit. I’ve brought it back this spring for the 4th graders. It’s fun to watch the audience on the line “…and a boy falls out of the sky.” They aren’t expecting it.

I avoid giving it away immediately that the book is a graphic novel. Near the end when I say, “His name is Hilo,” I show the page where Hilo draws his signature “H” on his shirt (page 31)—this will usually provoke a rustle of excitement in the room.

The booktalks in my presentation usually range between 200-300 words, but I’m always thrilled when I can get kids hooked with less than 100 words—for Hilo it only takes 85.

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