Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: John David Anderson
Illustrator: Shannon Tindle (jacket art)
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
When Andrew Bean was a baby it was discovered that he had a rare condition called hypersensatia that caused him to see and hear, taste and smell things better than 6 billion other people in the world. He always thought of this as a disability, but when he reached middle school he was recruited into an elite group of kids with superpowers apprenticed as sidekicks to adult superheroes. It was through this secret H.E.R.O. program that select students practiced using and honing their powers. Training to ‘save the world,’ they met 3 days a week in the basement of the school. Each member of the group possessed a special ability: walking through walls, fantastic martial arts, turning into granite, super human strength and stopping time. Drew learns that his gifts can make a difference as he and his sidekick friends thwart a supervillain who threatens to destroy superheroes and rule the city
Written in first person through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy, Sidekicked is an amusing tale of middle school life with a twist. John David Anderson depicts with wry humor things that ordinary kids deal with: school lunch, friendships, math class, parents, homework and fitting in. But most kids don’t have to worry about danger, fighting crime, controlling super powers, and getting into tights quickly. Anderson’s tale is fast paced, his main characters are well drawn, and the detailed plot culminates with an unexpected turn of events. Sidekicked has plenty of action, the story moves quickly, and even at nearly 400 pages is sure to appeal to young people who enjoy reading about superheroes. The cover art is clever and sure to attract readers to check the book out. Below the humor and wit of Sidekicked are timely issues that could spark interesting conversations in a class or a family.