Hilo Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong

We rated this book:


Judd Winick’s Hilo is back—and with a ton of storyline updates, mysteries solved, plotlines tied together, and, of course, new mysteries and an ending cliffhanger to keep you waiting for next year. For those who haven’t read Winick’s previous books, Hilo is a superpowered robot that looks like a young boy who crashed into Earth, escaping something that he can’t remember. Hilo makes friends with neighborhood kids DJ and Gina who try, often in vain, to help him fit in and pass as a real kid. Add giant robots, talking cats from a magical world, and a world-killing enemy, and you have Hilo in a nutshell.

Fans of Winick’s earlier book Barry Wein will see many similarities in the interplay between the kids and adults, along with the ongoing running jokes. But Hilo takes that adult humor, removes the F-bombs, and makes it a Pixar movie that you have to read. It’s accessible for kids—especially reluctant readers—yet funny enough for adults to dive into reading for themselves. It’s a hard line to hold, and Winick manages it book after book.

Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong ties together Earth, the magical world of Oshun (where Polly the talking cat comes from), and Hilo’s homeworld of Jannus, finally provides the “true” story behind Razorwark and sets up new conflicts with the US government and with one of their own team. For being an issue without any giant robot fights, the kids make up for it with ongoing conflicts with their classmates that eventually end with marks on their permanent record (and the troubles that can bring as well).

Hilo is one of those perfect stories. Funny for all ages without talking down to the kids or crossing a line to adult jokes that venture into the risque. It’s going to be a timeless series along the lines of Bone and Tintin (between which Hilo Book 5 sits on my library shelves). My granddaughter, her father, and I all can’t wait to see what happens with Hilo and the gang next.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date 2019-Jan-29
ISBN 9781524714963
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue February 2019
Category Tweens


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