Category Archives: learning

Last Pick – Born To Run: A Review

Title: Last Pick – Born To Run

Author: Jason Walz

Publisher: First Second (2019)

Rating: YA 13+

Hey, everyone! Last year I reviewed the first installment of the Last Pick trilogy. You can read that review by clicking here.

Today I’m happy to be bringing you up to speed on the second book: Born To Run.

I’ll save you the major details of the series; you can read my review of book one to get that info. Instead, I’d like to focus on jumping into this series mid-way and what you’ll get out of it.

It’s been about sixteen months since I’ve read the first Last Pick. I’ve read countless comics and graphic novels since. To be honest, I was a bit afraid that I was going to be lost as I sat down with book two. And for a minute I was.

But just a minute. Because not only does Jason Walz do a great job of giving us a story engaging enough for us to keep reading without prior knowledge, he drops clues to the back story and the events of book one in ways that do not feel forced or amateurish.

Twins Sam and Wyatt are knee-deep in adventure when we join them in book two. Separated by the aliens that enslave them, they must learn, grow, and adapt separately and independently.

This series is about what we are capable of when pushed to our limits. It’s about not letting anyone or anything hold you back, even if it’s a disability.

It’s not just the tone and thematic elements of this series that I dig though. I really like the story. I mentioned that it had been over sixteen months since I had read the first book, and while I might have stumbled a few pages, I remembered the plight of our heroes quickly and was able to pick right up. One of the reasons for this is the unique world and characters that Walz creates. In a market flooded with sci-fi/adventure books, this one makes a place for itself, and I’d have to say that it’s partially because Walz, a teacher, leans into making each character, and their unique differences…important.

There is a group of characters in this book that have been left behind by the aliens, the last pick…if you will. Many of them have a disability that the aliens look at as weakness. However, Walz explores how these differences hold the power to achieve success.

A great series for the classroom, library, or home shelf. Book three drops on October 6th, but you can preorder it now. Here is the link to Walz’ website.

If you haven’t read any of the books, jump in now before book three drops, or get them all and wait to read them all in one sitting. I love buying books and stacking them like that. You feel such accomplishment tearing through a series in a weekend! Plus, you don’t have to worry about waiting for the next book to come out.

I’m a fan of Walz and the Last Pick series. I’m sure you and the youngsters in your life will be as well.

Before I take off, I’d like to promote my YouTube channel! A new video of graphic novel/comic reviews comes out each Friday. You can visit by clicking here.

I also have an amazing autographed comic giveaway going on this week, ending July 9th. Stop by my Twitter account for that detail: handle below.

Happy reading!

Eric

Twitter: @comics_teacher

Instagram: @comics_teacher