Oni's Buzz, Where Words Have Power! ~ What'cha Reading?

Oni’s Buzz, Where Words Have Power!


Ananth Pangariya and Tessa Stone’s graphic novel, Buzz, takes a look at the seedy underworld of underground spelling bees – yes, you read that right. Spelling Bees. But here, spelling bees are more like Fight Club with words. Words carry literal power here, bringing thunder and damage with them. Forget lining up in the school auditorium in your assembly clothes, these kids are from all walks of life, hiding out in abandoned spaces, and spelling themselves into a frenzy.

Oni's Buzz, Where Words Have Power!

Webster is about to start his first day of high school when he gets drawn into the world of the illegal spelling bees by Khan, a strange guy he bumps into while reading an SAT spelling book. From there, Buzz is a wild ride of revenge, redemption, and family secrets.

Tessa Stone’s art has a manga influence, with a Scott Pilgrim-type feel. The art is black, white and yellow, which gives the overall starkness of the novel a nice jolt, especially when words are flying in lightning bolts and hammers!

I love the representation of the spelling bees. Rather than give the word away to the reader, they’re presented in phonetic spelling, leaving the reader to guess at the word just as the competitors must. It’s a great way to get middle schoolers reading, thinking, and expanding their vocabulary, while giving them a good story and eye-catching art. Heck, if prints from this book are ever available, I’d hang a few up in my library, just to get the kids asking. (Wow, that’s a really good idea, actually… I have to think on this.)

Buzz hit stores in late 2013, but you can still get it – ask your comic book store to order it for you, or get it on Comixology, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. Four out of 5 stars!

Writer: Anantha Panagariya
Artist: Tess Stone
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-62010-088-2 
Diamond ID: JUL131212 

About Author

Rosemary Kiladitis is a children’s librarian, a mom, and a proud fangirl/nerdgirl. She did her homework while watching reruns of the 1966 Batman series, which led to her longstanding relationship with the Bat, and she’s pretty sure that Barbara Gordon is the real reason she went to library school. She loves superheroes, supervillains, and is secretly married to Hellboy. Or Loki. She can’t remember, but it’s one of them. Roe blogs about children’s and teen books at http://roespot.blogspot.com, and you can read her 140 character ramblings on twitter @RoeSolo.

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