Friday, December 25, 2015

Sidekicks review

by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Amulet Books
April 2011

First line: "I'm sitting on a filthy chimney, eighty stories above street level, watching from the shadows as one of my personal top five dumbest villains tries his best to wrap his mind around a hostage situation of his own creation."

Middle-schooler Scott Hutchinson, better known as Bright Boy, is the sidekick to world-renowned superhero Phantom Justice. Superheroes are referred to by the scientific appellation plus/plus. Supers can have super strength, speed, intelligence, or some combination of all three.

Witty repartee, "punny" insults and other cheesy dialogue is part of the territory, along with standard-issue tights and capes. The problem is, Bright Boy has outgrown his traditional yellow and red outfit, and much to his mortification and dismay, after saving a particularly gorgeous young female hostage from a supervillain, his super-tight tights leave nothing to the imagination. Humiliated, he begs Phantom Justice's permission to update his costume, and is roundly refused. Thus starts his rebellious streak... before he realizes it, he's hanging out with Monkeywrench, the sidekick to Phantom Justice's archenemy Dr. Chaotic. Monkeywrench, a.k.a. Allison Mendez, is probably every young man's dream - beautiful, daring, and she knows what she wants. She and Scott share several kisses, nearly all of them initiated by her.

One feature I loved about this book was that the meetings between supervillains use black pages with white type. There were plenty of twists, turns and sudden reversals towards the end of the book, some of which I saw coming, and others which I never could have predicted. I had expected one of Scott's teachers to reveal that she was a superhero, but nothing seemed to come of that, although I was surprised by a few of the other characters' hidden abilities. I'll recommend this to comic book aficionados looking for a lengthier read, or anyone looking for a funny, action-packed book with a hint of romance.

Compare to:
Sidekicked - John David Anderson
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series - William Boniface
Sidekicks - Dan Santat
Chance Fortune and the Outlaws - Shane Berryhill

I borrowed this book from the library.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Very Hungry Caterpillar Display

Here's a display I've been meaning to share for quite some time. I got this idea from Pinterest, and it turned out just as great as I hoped. It was simple and fun to put together -  all made from paper lanterns I picked up at my local party store. The toughest part was affixing the caterpillar's eyes - the glue wouldn't hold. I ended up very carefully sewing them on. Oh... and the second toughest part was climbing up and down on a ladder and using fishing line to hang this up. I'm really happy with how The Very Hungry Caterpillar display turned out. I got lots of compliments on this one!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Citizenship Corner display

My library is partnering with the Department of Immigration to provide a "Citizenship Corner" with free materials on how to become a U.S. citizen. I helped a gentleman the other day who barely spoke English… he was looking for books on United States history. When I walked him over to the Citizenship Corner and gave him a free set of flashcards on the citizenship exam in Spanish, I thought he might cry with joy he was so happy! What a great feeling, connecting patrons to exactly what they want, even when they aren't sure how to ask for it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Read in November

This month I read the following:

1. A Place Called Home: Creating Beautiful Spaces to Call Your Own - Jason Grant

picture credit:  Young Woman Reading


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