Chapter Books – Powerless

Daniel expected the kids in his new town to be different from his old friends. What he didn’t expect was that the kids in Noble’s Green can fly, walk through walls, or become invisible. At first Daniel is thrilled to have super friends, even if he can’t help being jealous. But along with super-strength, the kids have a super-secret, and it’s not very pleasant: on a super-kid’s thirteenth birthday their powers disappear completely, along with any memory of ever having been special. It’s up to Daniel, the one without powers of any kind, to figure out how to stop his friends from losing their powers … and possibly their lives!

This was an excellently done super-hero story. If I sometimes found it hard to believe that the parents of a super-kid wouldn’t find out about the child’s power (the super-strong toddler and invisible kindergartner spring most quickly to mind), I was willing to suspend my disbelief.

As in any superhero story there are a lot of action scenes. But more than an action-packed romp, this story is a mystery. Why do the kids lose their powers? Where did the powers come from? Who is the enemy and who is a friend?

The only sour note was the bullies. There are rotten kids in the world, yes. But not every school has to have a truly nasty kid. The bully kids are presented as so horrible, and rather dim, that I find it hard to believe that they are able to keep the secret. Even with the other kids actively working to keep them in check, there is simply too much opportunity to create havoc and dominate those around them. But this was only one minor concern, and one that it seems nearly every book with a school scene suffers from.

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