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School for Sidekicks

Hi Guys,

What is it with superheroes that we just can’t pass up. I saw this one on our new book shelf and had to pick it up. Sidekicks are some of my favorite characters! This is the first book in a new middle school series.

School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough is about one boy who wants more then anything to be a superhero. Every morning, Evan Quick tests his reflexes, his strength, and looks for any sign that he might be turning into a Mask. Mask’s are real life superheroes who fight evil and protect the innocent and Evan would give anything to be one of them.

When his class trip to the Mask Museum is interrupted but a super evil villain, Evan is taken hostage. Captain Commanding, Evan’s favorite good guy, shows up to save the day but the Captain is the one who needs saving and Evan finally finds his inner superhero, winning the day.

Evan is whisked off to sidekick school, where he finds out that being a mask isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Captain Commanding has blacklisted him, his parents won’t support him, rules and regulations thwart him and Evan is saddled with a has-been for a mentor.

What will Evan do when he finds out that when dreams come true, they don’t always come true the way you’d expect?

This is one of those books grownups can use to get their kids reading something other than graphic novels. It’s got all the themes and elements of a comic but in chapter book format. You’ve got an unlikely hero kids can relate to; action and adventure; superheroes fighting crime; a mystery that needs solving; and a plot that moves at an OK pace. So let’s move past Diary of a Wimpy Kids and Captain Underpants and on to chapter books with fun characters and a little more depth. –I’ve been getting a lot of “please, help me get my child to read anything but DOAWK!” lately.

One of the things I liked about this book was the group of kids Evan makes friends with. You can tell we’ve got some big personalities and that is bound to cause some friction but the group always gets past it and in the end you can tell they really are friends. Teamwork and redemption is a big thing in this book.

Evan has a really believable voice in the book. I could imagine kids today saying and doing some of the things Evan does. I think this is so important for middle school lit. Yes, Evan does have mature moments where I was like …really? but they were necessary for the story.

My one big gripe about School for Sidekicks was that it had a slow start and that’s really a hard thing to get past for reluctant readers. As soon as Evan finds his powers, things pick up and the story really moves forward.

This would probably be a good book for a good 4th grade reader or 5-6 grader. Overall, it was an entertaining read if you can get past the first few chapters. This book was one I was able to put down for a few days without thinking about, so I am giving it 3 stars. But ultimately, a good read for those superhero fans out there.

That’s all for now!


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