The AstroNaughties: Moon mayhem by Andrew Cranna

cover image

Australian author and illustrator Andrew Cranna (The Bloodhound Boys) has created this super fun graphic novel with a bit more of a text focus than other similar series such as Bad Guys or Dog Man. This presents a great way for fans of graphic novels to start engaging with longer chunks of narrative and dialogue. The black and white illustrations are character-driven and intricate, with a particular focus on facial expression. 

Moon Mayhem is set 101 years in the future and Lunar Park, an amusement park, is being built on the moon, complete with crazy rollercoaster. There's a team of specially trained kids about to launch off to the moon and test out the new rides before other kids can start visiting, but they never get there. Why? Because their space shuttle is accidentally hijacked by the AstroNaughties, a bunch of misfit kids who attend the Astro Academy but have zero idea about how to navigate a shuttle in space (or what to do once they get there). Is it just a coincidence or were they lured onto the shuttle by their parents who are working on the moon? Is something else going on and can the AstroNaughties possibly save the day? 

The AstroNaughties along with their octopug and robot minder are endearing, humorous characters, each with their own individual personalities and despite their moniker they are more naive than naughty. Their simple-thinking antics and commentary make for lots of fun and the fast-pace makes it a rip-through read, especially because there are no chapter breaks. Mission control back on Earth are simply useless and even the villain is funny. Most of the story is told through dialogue as well as some narration from the robot minder to give background information. This is a fun read that ends with the hint of a sequel.

Themes: Space Travel, Humourous Stories.

Nicole Nelson