*This review contains mild spoilers*
The latest chapter book in Disney’s Star Wars Rebels series is Droids in Distress by Michael Kogge. The book follows some of the events of “Spark of Rebellion,” “Droids in Distress” and “Rise of the Old Masters” in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series on DisneyXD. Ezra is the primary focus of the book, although there are a couple of instances where other characters are used. This book is 128 pages and would be an easy but fun book for a child in grade level 1-3. The book gives a good overview of those episodes without getting bogged down in describing every detail.
The book is divided into three parts, each part covering an episode. The first part does a good job of introducing Ezra to the audience before introducing the crew of the Ghost from Ezra’s point of view. It doesn’t delve too much into how the Force is directing Ezra to Kanan, but instead uses the guess of Kanan looking like he’s going to start something. I thought this was good since the Force can be complicated to a young child. The four chapters in this section do a good job of focusing on the basic events of the episode without skipping over parts.
The second part has some good descriptions of Ezra climbing up an exhaust vent and getting dirty, something every kid can relate to. Again, it doesn’t focus on the Force helping Ezra accomplish his part of the mission but, if the reader has seen the TV episode, they would probably know what was happening. The section does a good job of explaining Zeb’s reluctance to taking the weapons and what they can do to a living being without being graphic. The end scene is the first time where the Force is described.
The final part really focuses on Ezra’s relationship to Kanan and the decision to hand Ezra over to another master, and Ezra’s reactions to that decision. You get to really see their relationship blossom while they’re fighting the main villain, the Inquisitor. The book really describes Ezra’s use of the Force while trying to open the hangar door and picking the lock and helping the crew escape. I didn’t like how the book ignored the part of the episode where Hera has to leave her perch while in the Phantom because of the flying creatures, although I can understand why. I just felt like a kid who is reading that part would enjoy it.
I felt like this book would be a good read for an early elementary aged child. It’s a good introduction to chapter-based books while not getting too involved. It’s a little too easy for an older child and an adult.
3 1/2 out of 5
Thank you to Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing a copy of the book for review.Powered by Sidelines