Star Wars Jedi Academy – The Phantom Bully concludes the Jeffrey Brown graphic novel trilogy that started with Star Wars Jedi Academy. Roan has learned a lot, made some really good friends, and even has a crush.
Aimed at a middle grade audience, this book contains nothing too deep or convoluted. As with the previous two volumes, Roan tells the story via his journal entries. He includes flyers and clippings from school activities, too. For kids interested in Star Wars, Star Wars Jedi Academy – The Phantom Bully and its prequels are a great introduction—albeit a bit on the light side as far as plot goes.
Roan’s romance-light with Gaiana continues to progress, and on a level younger kids will understand. I enjoyed seeing the romance from that perspective: very giggly and mushy and a likely gross-out for those not yet interested in such things. I found it cute and sweet. Then again, I love romantic comedies.
The rivalry with Cronah is pretty contrived, but aren’t most elementary-age rivalries? Cronah is mostly an insecure jerk, and Brown showed that very well. Kids of that age will identify pretty well with the stereotype.
I enjoyed Star Wars Jedi Academy – The Phantom Bully. Kids in love with Star Wars will love it, too. It teaches effective ways to deal with bullies, as well as showing a few ineffective ways to handle them. It shows problem solving, and how first impressions are not always correct. It’s a solid addition to the Star Wars mythos on the kid side of things.
Release Date: June 30, 2015 (USA)
ISBNs: 0545621267 (9780545621267)
Sexuality: 0 (though there is a kiss and mushy glances)
Violence: 1 (bullying, brief lightsaber fight)