The Gumazing Gum Girl! Chews Your Destiny and Gum Luck by Rhode Montijo, with Luke Reynolds, illustrated by Rhode Montijo, 128 pp, RL 2
I put a paperback copy of The Gumazing Gum Girl: Chews Your Destiny by Rhode Montijo on the shelves of my library a couple of years ago and it became a fast favorite, so much so that I ordered three library bound copies to keep up with the interest, wear and tear. I spent last year being asked, "When is the next Gum Girl book coming?" Happily, book 2, Gum Luck, is here!
There are so many great things about Gum Girl, I almost don't know where to start. With Chews Your Destiny, Montijo hits three important points for my students, the majority of whom are Latinx, English language learners, and reading below grade level: high interest, low reading level, a Latina main character (as well as Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout) who gets superpowers and, of course, that thing all kids love - gum. In book one, Chews Your Destiny, Gabby Gomez loves chewing gum so much that she falls asleep chewing it, only to wake up covered in gum. Of course her mom bans the bubble gum, but when Gabby finds a piece of MIGHTY-MEGA ULTRA-STRETCHY SUPER-DUPER EXTENDA-BUBBLE GUM, she just has to have a chew. The amazing gum creates the biggest bubble Gabby has ever blown, and when it pops (all over her, as seen above) she discovers that, not only is she very sticky, she has super powers!
One of the things I love about Gabby is her conscience. She hates the fact that she is chewing gum when her mother has forbidden it, but she also feels the pull of using her super powers to help those in need. This dynamic comes into play in Gum Luck big time when Gabby's dad, a dentist, suspects she may have a cavity from chewing too much gum in the past. He is also concerned with this new super hero, Gum Girl, and the fact that she is inspiring kids to chew more gum than ever. Once again, Gabby is faced with the dilemma of obeying her parents, helping others and dealing with the throbbing pain of a sore tooth. She also has to deal with the school bully, Natalie Gooch and a new evil villain looking for revenge. Inside an abandoned spatula factory, Robo Chef, an massive, robot able to lift bank buildings in one piece, is being built by a pastry chef who found his career at an end when he tripped and tossed his masterpiece of a cake on a major baking competition show. Can Gabby keep her secret, get her cavity filled, battle Natalie and Robo Chef even when her last gumball and all her change are gone? I can't wait to see what Gabby Gomez gets up to next - and what color Montijo chooses for his cover!
Source: Review Copies & Purchased, Library Bound Copies