July Book Review
by Marion Jensen
Here is a shortened description from GoodReads.com
"Each leap year, on February 29th, at 4:23 p.m., every member of the Bailey family over the age of twelve gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it's their duty to protect the world from those evil, supervillainous Johnsons.
Today, Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny are finally going to get their superpowers. Benny wants to be a speedy, and Rafter hopes he gets super strength so he can save the day just like his grandfather. But when their powers arrive, they are, well, duds."
So how can a person be a superhero with a dud of a superpower? As various old sayings go, its what's on the inside that really matters. Rafter and his younger brother Benny have huge hearts, all they want is to be like everyone else in the family. Even though their superpowers are duds they will do anything to protect the family that they love. One of our librarians used this as a book club read this summer and one of the participants pointed out that that the families are intact in this book. Too often authors, even in children's literature, use the plot point of divorce or having a deceased parent to help shape their characters. I respect authors decisions to use this in their books but sometimes I feel like it gets too familiar, especially where the big name superheros are involved. I enjoyed that Marion Jensen did not use that point and still managed to give his characters challenges they had to face. This book's dialogue had me laughing as much as its story. It is a fun read from middle grade or upper elementary readers, and here in Indiana it is a nominee for our Young Hoosier Award for the 2015-2016 school year.