Lunch Lady graphic novels by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

I am always looking for new graphic novels for my middle schoolers, but I hadn’t had a chance to read the Lunch Lady series quite yet. So I gave them to two seventh-grade boys with the request that they read them and write me a reading comprehension test on them. They giggled their way through the class period and gave me the thumbs-up on the books. As I went over their tests, I was amused with what they had written about the Lunch Lady and her gadgets, so I decided to read them myself. They did not disappoint.

In Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, the Lunch Lady notices that something is a little weird about a new substitute, and she uses her gadgets (the milk-cam, the spork phone, the lunch-tray laptop) to uncover a plot that involves kidnapping, the aforementioned cyborg, and teacher of the year. There’s also a nice story about some students (the “Breakfast Bunch”) gaining confidence and learning to stand up for themselves.

In Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians, the librarian is, unfortunately, not very nice. She is on the path to world domination, hoping to destroy the new video game system and using weapons called “book beasts” (they shoot animals from classic stories such as Black Beauty and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). The Lunch Lady defeats her and manages to combine reading AND fun, while also using some cool new gadgets like taco-vision night goggles, hover pizzas, and a sonic-boom juice box. I only hope that the new librarian who is hired is a little bit nicer.

These are really fun – I don’t even really like graphic novels, but they made me laugh. They are silly with good plays on words, and I’d recommend them for upper elementary or some lower-level middle school readers. Also, my seventh-grade boys gave them two thumbs up. (They especially liked the taco-vision night goggles.)

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