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The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid

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"Kirk Scroggs is one of my favorite author/illustrators." --Dav Pilkey, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. WARNING! UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM RUSSELL WEINWRIGHT TO ACCESS HIS NOTEBOOK, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. SERIOUSLY, WE MEAN IT. Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle "Kirk Scroggs is one of my favorite author/illustrators." --Dav Pilkey, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. WARNING! UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM RUSSELL WEINWRIGHT TO ACCESS HIS NOTEBOOK, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. SERIOUSLY, WE MEAN IT. Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle schooler; he excessively doodles; he has two best friends, Charlotte and Preston; he is not so great at sports; and he is pond scum. Nicknamed "Swamp Kid" by his classmates, Russell has algae for hair, a tree trunk for a right arm, and a carrot for a finger. Also, Russell's favorite meal is sunlight. Also, a frog lives in his arm. In this notebook, Russell details in both hilarious text and color illustrations (complete with ketchup stains!) what it's like to be different, to discover his true talents, to avoid the intense stare of Mr. Finneca (his suspicious science teacher who may also be a mad scientist), and to find humor in the everyday weird. This is The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid by writer and illustrator Kirk Scroggs, and you'll never look at middle school the same way again.


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"Kirk Scroggs is one of my favorite author/illustrators." --Dav Pilkey, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. WARNING! UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM RUSSELL WEINWRIGHT TO ACCESS HIS NOTEBOOK, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. SERIOUSLY, WE MEAN IT. Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle "Kirk Scroggs is one of my favorite author/illustrators." --Dav Pilkey, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. WARNING! UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM RUSSELL WEINWRIGHT TO ACCESS HIS NOTEBOOK, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. SERIOUSLY, WE MEAN IT. Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle schooler; he excessively doodles; he has two best friends, Charlotte and Preston; he is not so great at sports; and he is pond scum. Nicknamed "Swamp Kid" by his classmates, Russell has algae for hair, a tree trunk for a right arm, and a carrot for a finger. Also, Russell's favorite meal is sunlight. Also, a frog lives in his arm. In this notebook, Russell details in both hilarious text and color illustrations (complete with ketchup stains!) what it's like to be different, to discover his true talents, to avoid the intense stare of Mr. Finneca (his suspicious science teacher who may also be a mad scientist), and to find humor in the everyday weird. This is The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid by writer and illustrator Kirk Scroggs, and you'll never look at middle school the same way again.

30 review for The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid

  1. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    Probably my favorite of those recent cartoons based on super-heroes book for kids I read. This one also uses the cartoon style, but it uses the doodle style and the dairy as well. Mixed of style to present us the Swamp Thing has a teen. The various styles allow the book to present more content and keep the reader more into it, more dynamic. It has humor, cool artwork and a good enough story. Better than expected after reading Superman of Smallville and DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    Update! Here's my full review: https://bookishrealmreviews.blogspot.... I was sent this one for review by the publishers. I really enjoyed it and was very surprised by how invested I was in the characters and the plot. I'll have a full review of this one posted tomorrow.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Conley Carr

    "I liked the football parts. Those parts weren't scary. The Big Swamp Thing and the Little Swamp Thing was so cool. I want to turn into a Big Swap Thing. The Rat was scary." -Conley, age 4

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cadence Carr

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "So cool they won when they worked together. I'm glad Swamp Thing wasn't a bad guy." -Cadee, age 7

  5. 4 out of 5

    tony dillard jr

    Earlier this year, when DC Comics announced the inaugural line-up of it’s DC Ink and DC Zoom imprint, I had mixed feelings about this book. For one thing, I wasn’t very sure if I liked the idea behind the Swamp Kid or not. For one thing, the character of Swamp Thing has never been a G-rated property. Plus, to have such a gothic character rebooted as a Diary of a Wimpy Kid arch-type just seemed wrong to me. So, when this book debuted in October for sale, I waited. That wait came to an end when I Earlier this year, when DC Comics announced the inaugural line-up of it’s DC Ink and DC Zoom imprint, I had mixed feelings about this book. For one thing, I wasn’t very sure if I liked the idea behind the Swamp Kid or not. For one thing, the character of Swamp Thing has never been a G-rated property. Plus, to have such a gothic character rebooted as a Diary of a Wimpy Kid arch-type just seemed wrong to me. So, when this book debuted in October for sale, I waited. That wait came to an end when I found a copy of The Secret Spiral of the Swamp Kid at my local library. I must say- I was pleasantly surprised. The character of Russell Weinwright, AKA Swamp Kid, is NOT the Alec Holland Swamp Thing! But I don’t think that Russell is entirely a new character either. On more than one occasion, Russell is referred to as ‘Little Sprout.’ That’s a term referred to the character of Tefe Holland; the daughter of Swamp Thing. So, is there some sort of reverse gender bias here? If there is, this all went under the radar of an otherwise hyper-sensitive cache of modern comic book fans who fall into fervor over such recastings... I was very pleased with all of the Easter eggs peppered throughout this book. First, there is the name of the Swamp Kid: Russell Weinwright. It’s a portmanteau of Swamp Thing creators Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Then you’ve got several Swamp Thing baddies here. Plus, references to other DC heroes and maybe a cameo or two! Designing this book to be like a kid’s private journal has been done to death. But with the doodles and clever side bars, it really worked this time. While I wouldn’t mind seeing further adventures of the Swamp Kid, I hope DC limits themselves to utilizing this sort of format in it’s future all-ages works. Because like I said, this writing method is getting a little stale in my opinion. As I mentioned earlier, I would like to see more of Russel Weinwright. But honestly, I’d like to see him pop up in the pages of a mature Swamp Thing title. I think he’d make a great addition to the Swamp Thing family tree. If DC Comics follows suit with this idea, this graphic novel might actually shoot up in value as it would be the first appearance of the character! This was a fun read that doesn’t seek to reboot the Swamp Thing franchise. Instead, it adds a somewhat fresh take on a fan favorite character! Good job DC! Keep it up!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aeicha

    Meet Russell Weinwright, your average half-human half-swamp creature, just trying to survive the 8th grade with his best friend Charlotte and new pal Preston...although Russell’s middle-school problems include trying to navigate his wonky abilities, getting enough sunlight to eat, dodging his maybe mad scientist teacher, avoiding the shady men in black goons who have appeared in town, and meeting a kinda real swamp creature legend, all while documenting his crazy life in his very personal, Meet Russell Weinwright, your average half-human half-swamp creature, just trying to survive the 8th grade with his best friend Charlotte and new pal Preston...although Russell’s middle-school problems include trying to navigate his wonky abilities, getting enough sunlight to eat, dodging his maybe mad scientist teacher, avoiding the shady men in black goons who have appeared in town, and meeting a kinda real swamp creature legend, all while documenting his crazy life in his very personal, do-not-read-thank-you-very-much spiral notebook. Kirk Scroggs’ The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid is a fun, laugh-out-loud middle-grade graphic novel, that introduces the classic world of Swamp Thing, for a younger audience, through the eyes of Russell, aka Swamp Kid. While Swamp Thing and his history play an important role in The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid, this is very much Russell’s story, as told by himself. And what a wildly humorous and exciting story it is! Young readers will enjoy Russell’s quirky sense of humor and the honest, yet amusingly over-the-top, way he portrays the world around him. Scroggs’ crafts an engaging tale, full of mystery, adventure, cool sci-fi and mad scientisty elements, endearing young characters, a nice helping of heart. Readers familiar with the world of Swamp Thing will appreciate the snippets and easter eggs the author has sprinkled throughout. And of course, no graphic novel is complete without its illustrations! Scroggs fills Russell’s notebook with charming, perfectly silly and fun, giggle-inducing pictures that wonderfully capture Russell’s story. Pitch-perfect humor, fun over-the-top adventure, unforgettable characters, and an important message about embracing one’s differences, make The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid a great choice for young graphic novel fans!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate Waggoner

    @KidLitExchange #partner Thank you to @DCComics, @DCZoomBooks, and @KirkScroggs for sharing an advance copy of The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid with the #KidLitExchange network. This graphic novel hit shelves on October 1, 2019. All opinions are my own. Russell Weinwright is half boy, half plant and has been nicknamed Swamp Kid by his classmates. He is an excessive notebook doodler and The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid is told via Russell's spiral notebook. It details his adventures to better @KidLitExchange #partner Thank you to @DCComics, @DCZoomBooks, and @KirkScroggs for sharing an advance copy of The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid with the #KidLitExchange network. This graphic novel hit shelves on October 1, 2019. All opinions are my own. Russell Weinwright is half boy, half plant and has been nicknamed Swamp Kid by his classmates. He is an excessive notebook doodler and The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid is told via Russell's spiral notebook. It details his adventures to better understand his powers, find Swamp Thing, and avoid the mysterious and evil Arcane and his henchmen. This story is hilarious. Russell's voice is engaging and pulls you into the story. I love that the story is not only told from his perspective, but that all of the doodles and illustrations are supposedly also by Russell. In fact, at the end of the story Preston, one of Russell's friends, suggest they turn his spiral into a graphic novel. The book is full of jokes and I laughed out loud a few times. I also love how much narrative and writing is actually in this book. It is a graphic novel and every page is full of illustrations and pictures, but it isn't told in the traditional comic book style. Rather it is a notebook with paragraphs of writing and doodles interjected throughout (there's even a ketchup stain). Middle school and upper elementary students will be captivated by the humor and action of this graphic novel. I think it would be a real hit in my classroom library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Ordinarily I am not a fan of graphic novels. I am not against them at all; I grew up on comic books. But as I grew older, the two visual operations of print and picture fought against each other in my head. Reading graphic novels is higher-level thinking. They aren’t soothing bedtime reading for me. That being said, I don’t think Swamp Boy could be presented in any other format successfully. I read this book because I read a positive review in the newspaper and it sounded like fun. It did not Ordinarily I am not a fan of graphic novels. I am not against them at all; I grew up on comic books. But as I grew older, the two visual operations of print and picture fought against each other in my head. Reading graphic novels is higher-level thinking. They aren’t soothing bedtime reading for me. That being said, I don’t think Swamp Boy could be presented in any other format successfully. I read this book because I read a positive review in the newspaper and it sounded like fun. It did not disappoint. The paper mentioned the advantages of his journaling, and that grabbed me, former writing teacher that I am. What a great presentation of narrative writing, not to mention a perfect technique for gathering/creating detail. Russell Weinwright, Swamp Kid, has a keen sense of humor and a strong sense of observation. This book is often guaranteed to make you smile. The good guys win; even the bullies are outsmarted expertly without too much angst. The Secret Journal of Swamp Kid is a terrific middle grade book, free of expletives, full of creativity and fun. And it is a good writing tool should you wish to delve in that direction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid' by Kirk Scroggs is a graphic novel in the DC Zoom line of books for younger readers. Middle school is tough enough, what with social pressure and mysterious food being served in the cafeteria. When you're Russell Weinwright, and half boy, half swamp creature, it's worse. With one arm longer than the other, and a carrot for a finger, his life is strange at best. When he starts having visions of the Swamp Thing, he's not sure what to do, but there is something 'The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid' by Kirk Scroggs is a graphic novel in the DC Zoom line of books for younger readers. Middle school is tough enough, what with social pressure and mysterious food being served in the cafeteria. When you're Russell Weinwright, and half boy, half swamp creature, it's worse. With one arm longer than the other, and a carrot for a finger, his life is strange at best. When he starts having visions of the Swamp Thing, he's not sure what to do, but there is something mysterious going on. I had fun reading this ebook. It's in the form of a diary with drawings, like other similar middle school books that are popular. There are some inside jokes to the Swamp Thing series and movie. I liked the drawings and I think this would be a fun read for middle grade readers. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Carr

    I received this ARC from School Library Journal in return for an honest review. I enjoyed sharing Swamp Kid with my kids, they are both under that target age group of 8-12 but we still enjoyed reading it together as a family. This was only the second graphic novel I have shared with them, the first being a traditional super hero. It was nice to introduce a theme about embracing your own differences and being your own hero. The science behind "eating" sunlight yielded a fun plant life discussion I received this ARC from School Library Journal in return for an honest review. I enjoyed sharing Swamp Kid with my kids, they are both under that target age group of 8-12 but we still enjoyed reading it together as a family. This was only the second graphic novel I have shared with them, the first being a traditional super hero. It was nice to introduce a theme about embracing your own differences and being your own hero. The science behind "eating" sunlight yielded a fun plant life discussion for us, though both kids said "yuck" to talking up brussel sprouts, even if they made lots of money for it. As for my additional thoughts, I liked the origin story, how Swamp Kid came to live with his adoptive parents. The text and illustrations reflect and interracial, interfaith family that doesn't let differences keep them from loving one another. My daughter has already asked if she can share Swamp Kid with her friends so that speaks volumes to her praise.

  11. 5 out of 5

    RedPoppyReading

    “The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid,” by @kirkscroggs is pure fun! Middle schooler Russell Weinwright is pond scum, literally. He was discovered as a baby and adopted by a human family. Russell is trying to figure out where he came from and who he is, all while navigating the classes and halls of middle school. Thanks to two great friends and Swamp Thing, Russell learns about his powers, gains confidence and saves the school. This book is written in journal form with lots of drawings and comic “The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid,” by @kirkscroggs is pure fun! Middle schooler Russell Weinwright is pond scum, literally. He was discovered as a baby and adopted by a human family. Russell is trying to figure out where he came from and who he is, all while navigating the classes and halls of middle school. Thanks to two great friends and Swamp Thing, Russell learns about his powers, gains confidence and saves the school. This book is written in journal form with lots of drawings and comic segments, perfect for reluctant readers and kids who love Dog Man and Big Nate. My eight year old and five year old loved this book! We highly recommend it! Pick it up today – it was released October 1, 2019. For ages 8-12. Thanks to the author and publisher for sharing this book with #kidlitexchange and thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Well, I ended up liking this read a lot more than I first thought. With Swamp Thing never floating my boat I thought a 'Diary of a Swampy Kid' reboot/origins story, with little humour, would not work. But you know what? It did. (Although I still think some of the science stuff, where his sidekick finds a DNA strand or something with a household microscope, is definitely on the not-gonna-work side.) It's not an earth-shattering read, but for this target audience it's engaging, and let's face it, Well, I ended up liking this read a lot more than I first thought. With Swamp Thing never floating my boat I thought a 'Diary of a Swampy Kid' reboot/origins story, with little humour, would not work. But you know what? It did. (Although I still think some of the science stuff, where his sidekick finds a DNA strand or something with a household microscope, is definitely on the not-gonna-work side.) It's not an earth-shattering read, but for this target audience it's engaging, and let's face it, comic books and these visual diaries share a lot of common ground. It does actually break out into pure comic at times, but whatever the style and format, this is a success.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan T

    Russell Weinwright is the swamp kid. He was adopted by human parents after he was found in the swamp. he goes to school (maybe high school) and is has a few friends Charlotte and Nil (the video-graph-er). things grow out of him. to help people. while running track a tendril grew out of him so he won. strange people in black sun glasses following him they want to have some of his DNA so they can live longer. he goes into the swamp to meet swamp man (possibly his father) Kinda slap stick funny

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Every part of this book was fun: The artwork, the character development, and a connection to a DC hero who I have not encountered yet, Swamp Thing… Where on the family tree or vine are they connected? Hmmmm… Maybe we’ll find out. A perfect blend of drama, scifi, adventure, and hero skills training… love the parts where he is developing his powers (with the help of Swamp Thing). Check this one out! For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2019/11/08/th... For all my reviews: Every part of this book was fun: The artwork, the character development, and a connection to a DC hero who I have not encountered yet, Swamp Thing… Where on the family tree or vine are they connected? Hmmmm… Maybe we’ll find out. A perfect blend of drama, scifi, adventure, and hero skills training… love the parts where he is developing his powers (with the help of Swamp Thing). Check this one out! For my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2019/11/08/th... For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Interesting take on swamp monster legends. The Swamp Kid was found by two humans who adopt him as a baby. Scroggs picks up with his life in middle school. He looks half human/half plant. He lives a fairly normal life - family, school, friends. The obligatory evil nemesis is never actually seen but his minions are everywhere in the town. He is searching for the formula that turned people into swamp creatures. Arcane wants it for the power it brings. This is balanced against a middle grader trying Interesting take on swamp monster legends. The Swamp Kid was found by two humans who adopt him as a baby. Scroggs picks up with his life in middle school. He looks half human/half plant. He lives a fairly normal life - family, school, friends. The obligatory evil nemesis is never actually seen but his minions are everywhere in the town. He is searching for the formula that turned people into swamp creatures. Arcane wants it for the power it brings. This is balanced against a middle grader trying to fit in and also save the world. Plenty of humor for middle grade readers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Court

    This is absolutely hilarious. I had no idea how a "Swamp Thing for kids" would work (Swampy's line "most of my adventures are R-Rated" killed me). This is the perfect combination of fun, silly, gross humor and engaging art. It really does sound and look like the type of diary a kid would write. It has enough fun Swamp Thing comic and movie references (couple nice Easter egg nods to the Craven film) but not so many that a kid would be lost. I loved this. ARC acquired at ALA Annual 2019, provided This is absolutely hilarious. I had no idea how a "Swamp Thing for kids" would work (Swampy's line "most of my adventures are R-Rated" killed me). This is the perfect combination of fun, silly, gross humor and engaging art. It really does sound and look like the type of diary a kid would write. It has enough fun Swamp Thing comic and movie references (couple nice Easter egg nods to the Craven film) but not so many that a kid would be lost. I loved this. ARC acquired at ALA Annual 2019, provided by DC Comics/DC Zoom.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Claiborne

    I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. The last couple of years it has been increasingly difficult to find a good read for boys. Swamp Kid delivers. It's funny, has great illustrations, and with only a paragraph or two per page is not intimidating for those struggling to read. We will definitely be buying this book for our library...I already know a few fellas who would love to check it out!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Runa Seidr

    I enjoyed this book a lot! The story was amusing and cute and held my daughters' attention to the end. We both enjoyed the artwork. The idea of a monster being adopted by human parents and sent to a human school isn't a new one (it reminded me of Monster High series in a way) but was still well done. He goes through the usual middle-school muddles but always comes out on top through some silly antics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rowan Lane

    One of the best new reads from DC's more youth focused line. While the Swamp Thing is a strange story to pull into the kid world, this book is a fun and unique approach. A humorous approach to a kid discovering his powers story with fun illustrations. Certainly has similarities to other works like Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    A fun comic about Swamp Kid who is kind of like Swamp man only dealing with middle school issues like being average at sports, dealing with bullies and also random people following them around suspiciously. A very funny graphic novel about being a sort of superhero while still trying to be a kid.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Raven Black

    Fantastic illustrations, good story. Ages 8 to 12/13 Puns, jokes, typical science-fiction story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fiction State Of Mind

    Very cute journal style look at the life of a young teen who has many of the powers of Swamp Thing. The layout is journal format with really fun illustrations and a fun story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mompop

    maybe 3.5 - recommend this book for "personal" collections (I think in school libraries, expect to have scribbles in the extras section like the maze)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Gilfert

    Not my cup of tea.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Williams

    Quite an amusing little story with amazing drawings and illustrations. This book will really spark your imagination.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel (Gabriels_universe)

    This was definitely one my favorite graphic novels I’ve read this year!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jannah mohamed

    I enjoyed reading this book it was interesting and easy to read. I also loved how the story was told.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Warp

    Super fun scientific journal (NOT a diary, as Swamp Kid would like you to know:) ) I can't recommend highly enough: hilarious, strange, fresh, and charming.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    A worthy super kid origin story, with a nice balance of humor and drama, light on danger and suspense, copiously and excellently illustrated. Should be popular.

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