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The Revelation: Sprouse Bros 47 R.O.N.I.N.    by Marc Cerasini & et al order for
by Marc Cerasini
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Revelation begins a new middle grade save the world series, centered on the old Japanese story of the forty-seven ronin, samurai who gave up their heritage to seek justice for their murdered lord. The story's text surrounds eight graphic novel pages that present key action sequences in full comic color (very nicely illustrated by Lawrence Christmas). The series is written by Marc Cerasini with young actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse, as part of their Sprouse Bros. brand products.

The stars are (of course) twin fifteen-year-old boys, Tom and Mitch Hearn - Tom's the impulsive athlete and Mitch the science nerd, but both train regularly in martial arts (Tom takes it more seriously). Their mother died when they were small, their father Jack travels a great deal on business, and the boys are looked after by Mr. Chance, a Japanese man who's 'a wiry bundle of dynamic energy.' They realize their life is changing when they're attacked in the NY underground on their way home from school by a sword-wielding ninja. Their savior turns out to be Laura Ting, the girl who won (to Mitch's dismay) the previous year's Citywide Science Fair. This talented young woman joins the duo in their ongoing adventures.

Mr. Chance reveals that the boys' father and grandfather were members of an organization called R.O.N.I.N., with forty-seven (from the original samurai) clans, each holding a scroll 'filled with knowledge and wisdom'. It seems that Jack Hearn and Laura's father have both disappeared and that the trio will head to Japan next (pursued no doubt by more of Vane's assorted minions) in search of their fathers. The Revelation is an exciting beginning to an action-packed series that seems perfect for reluctant readers.

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