Multi-hyphenate Terry Crews is known by many, as an actor, television show host, athlete, and artist. Crews is also an author and will soon release his debut middle grade graphic novel, titled Terry’s Crew. The book delves into Crews’ childhood and follows a middle school aged Terry who has big dreams to be a multi-hyphenate. He even has an entire plan laid out. When his parents send him to the prestigious Rock City Academy, Terry jumps at the chance to show his stuff at the school talent show. With his friends Rani and Xander, Terry plans an elaborate performance and tackles other challenges that come his way.
From the start, Crews and Thomas demonstrate young Terry’s enthusiasm, in the facial expressions he wears to the way he talks about his various dreams. He’s ambitious and carries a large imagination. His excitement is palpable and will easily have readers rooting for him to succeed. Moreover, he pushes for his goals however he can. Naturally, there a couple characters that try to bring him down or suggest they don’t believe in him. Rather than immediately give up, Terry strives to prove them wrong. He believes in himself and has fun while doing it.
Along with Terry’s general personality, his friendships and family further elevate the story’s feel-good nature. Family wise, it’s clear that he has a solid relationship with his brother Troy and their parents. Readers gain a sense of his home life and how his family supports him while also ensuring he doesn’t lose track of things like school. They are a cohesive and wholesome unit that receive their time in the spotlight. Similarly, Terry’s new friends Rani and Xander hold their own passions, using them to connect with Terry and vice versa. Though they have a rocky start, they quickly bond and match each other’s energy.
Terry’s Crew is a wonderful graphic novel from start to finish. Visually, Thomas’ bold yet grounded color palette immerses readers in the story’s world. The story itself is concise but packs a big punch. It highlights the contrast between Terry’s life and his more privileged peers while allowing him to still thrive. Crews provides an accessible vehicle for the book’s messaging and offers a story that tells young readers like Terry that no dream is too big.
Terry’s Crew releases on November 8. Pre-order your copy here.