Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review: Gum Girl!: Book 1, Chews Your Destiny

Gum Girl!: Book 1, Chews Your Destiny
written and illustrated by Rhode Montijo
pub date: July 9, 2013
In this fun early chapter book graphic novel hybrid, Montijo begins a series about a girl who discovers she has new superpowers as Gum Girl. Gabby Gomez loves to chew gum. She loves it so much that she even chews gum in bed--until the morning she wakes up with a wad of the stuff stuck in her hair. While her mom is able to get the gum out with peanut butter, she outlaws gum chewing for her daughter. Poor Gabby doesn't know what to do without her chewable obsession. Fortunately/unfortunately, she finds a piece of "limited edition MIGHTY-MEGA ULTRA-STRETCHY SUPER-DUPER EXTENDA-BUBBLE BUBBLE GUM" in her pocket and gives into temptation, despite her mother's new edict. Gabby gets what's coming to get for disobeying sooner than later though when she blows her biggest bubble ever and consequently gets electrocuted. She ends up covered in gum, but soon discovers that her gum-covered self has new stretchy, gummy powers that allow her to right wrongs and help people in need.

Throughout the rest of the story, Gabby transforms to and from Gum Girl, returning to her regular self through the use of peanut butter. Helping those in needs is satisfying for Gabby, but even dealing with the bully at school is not as hard as disobeying and keeping secrets from her mother. In the end, Gabby makes the right choice (which somehow does feel didactic) and Montijo sets the story up for a sequel.

A hybrid of classic prose and graphic novel, this book is a great choice for reluctant readers, graphic novel fans, those transitioning from early readers to novels, and humor lovers. It's great to see a Latina protagonist in both an early chapter book and a story that isn't focused on race or culture (there are a few Spanish words included when Gabby is communicating with her mother that, besides her last name, identify her as Hispanic).


  1. "Chews your destiny." That just made me laugh! Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.

    1. Hahaha, it is a really silly subtitle that is a good set up for the humor in the book! Our pleasure to share :)