Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity is a science fiction graphic novel for the middle school audience. Hakata Soy arrives at the academy a month after the start of fall semester. On his first day he finds himself paired with an unsympathetic roommate and narrowly avoids giving his origins story in class. He stumbles into the ongoing feud between dissatisfied ultra-rich Mirabelle Melonberry and Miyumi San. The adults are often illogical and the students melodramatic in this light-hearted fare. The characters carry the story, from helmet-clad Doug Hiro to the testy Tak Offsky, from the platitude spilling Guidance Chancellor to Calico Hopps, who breaks the news of Hakata’s hero status.
Zero Gravity unfolds through a series of vignettes passed between the students and staff of the academy. One interlude is told through the eyes of Gadget Thompson, a friend of Hakata’s who is not at the academy. Eccentric staff members, a covert panda operative, a watch that can stop time, and a reprogrammed robot all play a role in the action. The episodic story lines converge during an explosive anti-gravity drill.
This graphic novel plays on school stereotypes such as young crushes and image in a tongue in cheek manner. Readers familiar with the Voltron series will take enjoyment in Hakata Soy’s role in Meta-Team and the creation of Metador.
I received a copy of this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.