Comics Buyers Guide
There is danger and suspense throughout the book, but the detectives overcome such adversity in believable fashion, often using items introduced earlier in the story, allowing readers to predict where the story will go.
This is a terrific introduction to comics outside the superhero realm and should be on everyone's shopping list.
The Scrapyard Detectives isn't a series about social injustice but about three kids that find a mutual satisfaction in solving little local mysteries. That these cases happen to include a context of prejudice or abuse is simply an unfortunate truth in today's America. Scrapyard spares us the kid gloves, and in so doing respects anyone that might read it, kids included. Simply put, by presenting a realistic story about children, The Scrapyard Detectives appeals to children, or the inner child in all of us comic book readers...
Laurence Comics Worth Reading
It's suitable for kids and crafted with experience. Bill Galvan's art is straightforward and easy to read.
If the stories seem a little calculated, well, it's for a good cause, and the younger the reader, the less likely they've seen the formula before. It's wonderful seeing a young black man presented as such a genius in what's a great book for kids.
Johanna Draper Carlson
The stories are simple and solid, but not black and white. There is a mystery for the team of young teens to solve, and they solve it, but there is no perfect happy ending. In one of the three issues a rec center gets burned to the ground in an act of arson almost killing two of the main characters. There is no perfect happy ending after something like that. But there is a resolution that may actually teach the reader a little something about life without being hit over the head with it....
It's easy to like this as a real-deal comic book with a good heart. To a neophyte kid, not yet aware of the broad realities of xenophobia, this is just another crime-fighting comic. But it makes a good point, one that will resonate with most kids..
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5 -In this collection of a three-issue series, a group of preadolescents, including Robert (an African American), Raymond (a Hispanic) and Jinn (an Asian American who uses a wheelchair) solve mysteries in their small town. In "Case of the Missing Roses," a night prowler destroys the rose garden of the Khatibs, an Indian-American family new to the neighborhood. In "Patriot Dreams," a white supremacist founds a club called the League of Real Patriots and sets fire to the new community center to avoid an influx of "immigrants." Finally, "A Friend in Need" focuses on Ben, a cranky football player whose behavior appears to be getting worse after a prejudiced and strict man becomes his stepfather. Each story includes a heavy-handed message about tolerance, acceptance, and diversity. Drawn in a traditional comic-book format with characters resembling a more modern Archie, The Scrapyard Detectives may make a useful teaching tool but it will not appeal to kids for general recreational reading.-Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA