Review Blog

Aug 29 2019

Ubby's Underdogs: Return of the dragons by Brenton E McKenna

cover image

Magabala Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781925768060.
(Age: Secondary) Recommended. This colourful, energetic graphic novel is the third part of a series featuring Ubby, 'a tough streetwise Aboriginal girl', and a large cast of very diverse characters, including a good number of females and some strange creatures, helpfully presented at the beginning of the book. Set in 'the dark heart of Broome's shadows', Ubby and her band of underdogs are battling the wealthy and ambitious pearling industry bully, Donappleton, and mysterious others while searching for Sai Fong, 'a seemingly innocent Chinese girl'. The story is very convoluted and might be easier to follow having read the previous books but the characters are well developed and they prove that a good heart and teamwork is all you need to defeat multiple enemies. The well sustained, colourful comic style with lots of action and supernatural elements keeps the reader engaged though I found myself often referring to the cast of characters page to identify new players. A great addition to Top End stories and a distinctively Australian multicultural story for comic action lovers, this book will be popular with upper primary and middle school readers. There are teaching resources available on the publisher's website for the first two books in the series.
Sue Speck

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