The Young Prince
The Young Prince

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Series: Black Panther Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Young T'Challa, prince of the advanced African nation of Wakanda, is sent into hiding at a middle school on the South Side of Chicago, where he must confront unexpected evil and learn to access his superhero powers as the Black Panther.
Catalog Number: #148990
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 264 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-484-78764-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99222-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-484-78764-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99222-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017906486
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
All 12-year-old T'Challa has ever known is Wakanda isolated, futuristic African nation, made rich by its best-kept secret, a rare metal called Vibranium. Someday T'Challa will rule as king and protect his homeland as the Black Panther, a mantle earned along with the title of king. However, it's a shock to learn that war might come to Wakanda, and his father sends him and his best friend, M'Baku, away to Chicago to stay safe. Once there, T'Challa and M'Baku find that there is just as much danger at South Side Middle School as there is in Wakanda. Smith's world building is leisurely, preoccupied with solving the mystery of the Skulls, a growing voodoo cult at the school. However, Smith does a thorough job of weaving in comic book nods, African American history, and gadgets, skillfully pairing it all with a sense of creeping dread before the decisive finale. Action fans might not find much punching and kicking; however, they will be sucked into the novel's supernatural mystery.
Kirkus Reviews
T'Challa, I've got a feeling we're not in Wakanda anymore.In his latest, Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award-winning author Smith (Hoodoo, 2016) weaves an origin tale of T'Challa, the prince of the African Wakanda people who becomes the superhero Black Panther. Readers meet T'Challa while he's still a preteen, racing through the forests of his homeland with his best friend, M'Baku, by his side. There is unrest in Wakanda, however, and to protect his son from harm, the king sends T'Challa and M'Baku to South Side Middle School in Chicago under aliases, giving them a chance to learn about the outside world. While the overall story is well-paced, readers do not spend long enough in Wakanda for T'Challa's pre-Chicago character to fully solidify. The novel ably depicts the pressure both boys feel to assimilate into American culture and nicely teases out the tensions and jealousies that simmer below the surface of their friendship. M'Baku, out of T'Challa's princely shadow for the first time, is in danger of losing himself, while T'Challa must find an identity separate from that which his royal status affords him. At times, the boys' naiveté about American culture—played for laughs—strains credulity. The tale's most profound sections show T'Challa grappling with American racial history and the complications inherent in being perceived to be African-American.An entertaining thrill that leaves readers wanting more. (Fantasy. 9-14)
School Library Journal
POPGr 46 Twelve-year-old T'Challa, Prince of the warrior nation Wakanda, is content to spend his days running races, playing games, and getting into mischief with his best friend M'Baku. But he is also quite aware of his destiny. Wakanda is a technologically advanced African land, once struck by a meteor that brought with it a material so strong it had no equal. The material, called Vibranium, is now a much-desired resource and there are many who would fight to possess its power. T'Challa's father, also known as the Black Panther, is King of Wakanda and the descendant of the great warrior Bashenga who protected the isolated nation from evil spirits when the meteor struck. Prompted by rumors of an invasion, his father summons T'Challa and tells him he will be sent away to Chicago along with his friend M'Baku. There, he will be safe until the uprising is settled. But the south side of Chicago is a far cry from Wakanda, and South Side Middle School has its own demons. Faced with making new friends while hiding his true identity, T'Challa must also deal with a bully, Gemini Jones, who has a few secrets of his own, one of which may challenge T'Challa to choose between his best friend and his destiny. Energetic, fast-paced, and adventurous, this volume will keep readers riveted. VERDICT Fans of the Marvel Universe will be thrilled to read about this superhero at the very beginning of his calling. A must-purchase for all collections. Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/17)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (1/1/18)
Word Count: 47,053
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 193812 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:13.0 / quiz:Q76392
Lexile: 580L

Book 1 in The Young Prince series by award-winning author Ronald L. Smith!

Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger.
This is his destiny. But right now, hes simply TChallathe young prince.

Life is comfortable for twelve-year-old TChalla in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When hes not learning how to rule a kingdom from his fatherthe reigning Black Pantheror testing out the latest tech, hes off breaking rules with his best friend, MBaku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, TChallas father makes a startling announcement: hes sending TChalla and MBaku to school in America.

This is no prestigious private academytheyve been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, TChalla realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic.

When strange things begin happening around school, TChalla sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined.


In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, TChalla must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.


Complete your middle grade collection with these best-selling fan favorites:

  • Black Panther: Spellbound (Book 2 in The Young Prince Series) by Ronald L. Smith
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious by Shannon and Dean Hale
  • Tristan Strong series by Kwame Mbalia
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer


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