Sunday, January 7, 2018

Winter Reading 2018 Black Panther: The Young Prince


Those eagerly awaiting the release of the Black Panther movie will be glad to have this title to read in the meantime. Focusing on a T'Challa still middle-school age, The Young Prince introduces several of the key players in the story of Wakanda; T'Chaka (king of Wakanda), Nick Fury, and the enemy of the kingdom, Ulysses Klaw all play a part in the events that lead to the prince's first adventure as a young Black Panther.

T'Challa and M'Baku travel to Chicago and attend school with other teens and pre-teens while hiding their true identities. When M'Baku falls in with a group of kids up to no good, T'Challa knows that he has to rescue his friend. Luckily for him, he also has new American friends to help out - and the vibranium enhanced suit that his father gave him. But can some physical enhancements and a couple of nerdy teenagers give him enough strength to defeat the plot hatched up by the gang?

Although it is a chapter book rather than a graphic novel, the descriptions make it easy to imagine the setting and action. The prince is shown as a young man still trying to figure out the world and how he will approach life. The conflicts with his adopted brother Hunter are very similar to disagreements between siblings anywhere, although the dynamic between Thor and Loki does come to mind. As T'Challa tries to become a man who will be worthy to take the throne one day, he wrestles with anger, pride, and jealousy just like any other teen, all while studying for tests and preparing for a chess tournament. Life goes on, no matter what the teenage drama or threats to his identity.

Highly recommended for middle grade readers who are interested in the Marvel universe, particularly Black Panther and the Avengers. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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