________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 22. . . .February 12, 2016


The Case of the Battling Bots. (Tank and Fizz).

Liam O’Donnell. Illustrated by Mike Deas.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
176 pp., pbk., pdf & epub., $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0813-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0814-0 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0815-7 (epub)

Subject Heading:
Graphic novels.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Natalie Schembri.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



The Codex had never been caught. And no one knew who he was. Or even if it was a he. It could be a she. No one knew who the Codex was, but everyone in Slick city had felt his—or her—power…

Our little task of catching a cheat had just gotten as big as the stadium in front of us.


In O’Donnell and Deas’ The Case of the Battling Bots, fourth-graders Tank and Fizz are back in a second action-packed mystery, with the first being Tank and Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede. This installment begins with Tank and Fizz trying to reveal the fact that Rizzo Rawlins, the school bully, is planning to cheat in the school Battle Bot competition. Their case leads the two detectives to the destructive plans of a mysterious hacker, the Codex. Full of imagination and suspense, book two humorously explores how Tank and Fizz, and their wizard friend Aleetha, triumphantly protect Rockfall Mountain.

     Following the aesthetic and format of Tank and Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede, O’Donnell and Deas provide middle-grade readers with a hybrid format story of written narrative and illustrated comic panels. The illustrations and speech bubble dialogue flow seamlessly with the written narrative, resulting in a page-turning read.

     The well-crafted mystery, action, and adventure make The Case of the Battling Bots an ideal addition to a school or public library juvenile fiction collection. I would recommend The Case of the Battling Bots for young readers who are interested in fast-paced adventure, robots, magic, super sleuths, and who appreciate the hybridity of written text and comic art. Readers do not necessarily have to read Tank and Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede to follow the narrative of the second book in the series.


Natalie Schembri is a librarian in the Lower Mainland, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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