Sunday, October 28, 2018

Book review: Super! by Jennifer Chen (middle-grade novel)



(I received my copy from the publisher)

Publisher:  Insomniac Press
Publishing date:  2018

What's it like to have a gifted friend?
Exciting.
Fun.
Yes, but there's also the matter of jealousy. Especially when your own mother compares you to your friend and you come up lacking. Especially when everyone expects you to be gifted.
That's what twelve-year-old Beata faces--in spades. Her friend Gwen is a "polypower" super-hero and her great-grandmother was the world's first super-hero. And worse, Beata suspects that she may be a Dud-- a descendant of a super-hero, with no super-hero powers.

There's so much about this book that I like...
-the strong female and ethnically diverse characters
-the plot that has as many twists and turns as a super-hero in mid melee.

But...
-the Prologue and Epilogue could easily have been woven into chapters.
-long chapters--especially considering the target reader
-the book would benefit with one more edit as I found passages that could have been made clearer or stronger.

Two examples...
'I nod wordlessly.' (p. 116)
Can you nod with words?
'They amass around me like bees.' (p. 337)
Bees swarm.


Favourite quotes...
'"All anyone can ever ask is for you to do the best with what you have."' (p.117)
 'Before, I could only see Frances Fantastic, the Original Super. Now, I see more. Beyond the fame, she was just a girl.' (p.391)
Thank you, Jennifer Chen, for this action-packed story.  


an island friend kindly indulging me, photo by ldyck

November, on this blog, will be a month for remembrance and knitting-themed fiction.

Sunday, November 4:  Shared Passion (short story)
This piece of magical realism celebrates knitting for charities.

Sunday, November11:  I couldn't think of a better way to remember than to share (again) my dad's words--the words of a veteran from World War II.

Sunday, November 18:  The Lure of Yarn (short story)
A cautionary tale told in jest.

Sunday, November 25:  Courting (short story)
Jane Austen inspired historical romance


on Mayne Island, photo by ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

This October I...

worked (I've lost count) draft of a short novel
wrote a picture book inspired by a childhood friend--who had down syndrome