Book Review: Teen Titans: Brain Swap
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
· Devan Aptekar
· Jason Armstrong
· Lee Loughridge
by R.J. Carter
Published: October 20, 2006
The Teen Titans get an unwanted gift from the Puppet King in this Scholastic Reading Circle adventure featuring the Cartoon Network's adolescent super group. His gift is a box of wooden puppets, each made in the likeness of one of the Titans. But when night falls, Robin, Beast Boy and Cyborg each find their bodies taken over by the Puppet King, their minds now trapped in the little toy likenesses that he now holds.
The only two Titans to escape the Puppet King's spell are Raven and Starfire. Through a quirk of magic, their minds don't go into their effigies -- but into each other instead! Now these two -- who couldn't be more opposite -- have to get to know each other well enough to use each other's powers and save their friends. It won't be easy: Raven has spent her life keeping her emotions in check so her powers don't wreak havoc. Starfire, on the other hand, is nothing but emotions:
It's a fun story for younger readers, if somewhat unevenly illustrated (the cover art exceeds the interior). With Scholastic making new forays into the graphic novel market through their Graphix line, one hopes that there may be some comic book adventures of the Teen Titans in the future, if only to teach younger readers how to read the paneled medium as well as the more standard prose.
"It's Beast Boy!" shouted Starfire.
"You mean Puppet Beast Boy," said Raven. She grabbed Starfire and tried to launch into the air with her, but couldn't. "Okay, how do you fly this thing," she asked Starfire.
"You must feel the unbridled joy of flight," said Starfire.
"Unbridled joy? Not really my thing," Raven said, biting her lip. "What do I have to feel to use star bolts?"
"Righteous fury!" said Starfire with passion.
"Your alien strength?" asked Raven hesitantly.
"Boundless confidence!" announced Starfire.
If you've got kids who are glued to the set as soon as they hear Puffy Ami-Yumi begin to sing, then you'll definitely be wanting to pick this up. Nothing gets kids reading faster than something in which they already have a vested enjoyment factor.