Zebrafish by Sharon Emerson

I must have seen this book reviewed somewhere recently, and liked the premise enough to immediately put the book on hold at the library.

Artist: Renee Kurilla

Published: 2010

Genre: children’s realistic fiction graphic novel

Length: 120 pages

Setting: a generic University town, present day

Summary: Vita has just moved to a new town, and is having a hard time making friends. She decides to start a band, and holds auditions. Best friends Jay and Plinko show up, although they’re only good at playing music in a video game. Siblings Walt and Tanya are also there. Tanya thinks the band can be used to support one of her causes, in between chemo treatments for her leukemia. Since there isn’t much musical talent besides Vita, they decide to create a music video, with Walt drawing the animation. On the night of the performance, Vita’s new dog causes a power outage, but the show must go on.

Final thoughts: I think this book is targeted to a much younger audience than me, because I wanted more plot and more text on the page. Miss Adventure, on the other hand, loved the book. There were quite a few elements to the story – Vita has to make friends, and decides to do it through music. Tanya has leukemia, but that isn’t public knowledge. Vita’s mother recently died of cancer as well, so there is a strong tie between her and Tanya. We also see the kids making an effort to create and share something, raising money for a good cause at the same time.

The art in this was pretty simple. The characters were drawn in a variety of body shapes and skin tones, but the backgrounds were not very detailed. You could always tell where the characters were, but you didn’t have to worry about the background distracting you from the reading. That’s probably related to the younger targeted audience for the book.

Title comes from: Vita’s brother worked at a cancer lab researching blood formation in zebrafish. Vita loved the word and named her band Zebrafish.

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was too short

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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