O’Malley, B. (2004). Scott Pilgrim’s precious little life. Portland, OR: Oni Press.
Plot Summary: This is the first book in the Scott Pilgrim series and starts with Scott dating a high school girl named knives. He has also started dreaming about another girl so when he finally meets the girl of his dreams he is desperate to go on a date with Ramona. They have a great first date and he invites her to come see his band preform. He still hasn’t broken up with Knives though and she will be at the concert as well. Things become even more complicated when the first of Ramona’s seven evil exes challenges Scott to a fight. The book ends with Scott winning the fight and deciding to go out with Ramona.
Critical Evaluation: This graphic novel is fairly simply designed but also features some manga elements that may be unfamiliar to some readers. These elements make it great for readers who are starting to get more into graphic novels and manga, while the humor and interesting storyline make it a fun series for more experienced readers. Since this is just the first book in the series there is not a whole lot of opportunity for character growth and development yet. The book does however do a good job of establishing the characters that will be important in the series. So reader have a good sense of the types of people Scott, Knives, Ramona, and Scott’s friends are. The book also establishes what type of place the story is set in. While at the start of the book things seem pretty ordinary you do see some elements of special powers that the characters possess. When the concert happens readers also see the power of music in this world when the opening band plays a song that knocks out part of the audience. While the fight between Scott and the first evil ex is the only fight in the story the way other characters react to this challenge shows Scott is an accomplished fighter and this is not something too out of the ordinary. This book clearly establishes important information about the series.
Reader’s Annotation: Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams but things get complicated when he has to fight the first of her seven evil exes.
Author Information: Bryan Lee O’Malley is a Canadian author. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life was is second book. He also plays guitar and keyboards.
Genre: Comedy, Action, Romance
Curriculum Ties: This could be used to teach students about graphic novels.
Booktalk Ideas: 1) Have you seen the movie and if so how does the book compare?
2) Why did Scott treat Knives so poorly?
Reading Level & Interest Level: The back of the book states it is for teens age 13+ which seems appropriate. The book is very popular with both teens and young adults and while it may have some middle grade readers I think the story holds more interest for teens.
Challenge Issues: The book does end with a big fight scene however, there is no blood and gore and ends when Scott knocks out his opponent.
Why is it included?: I wanted to include a graphic novel that was part of a series and that would appeal to both male and female readers. Scott Pilgrim is a popular series that