(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Each time February 29th rolls around, something amazing happens in the Bailey household. At exactly 4:23 p.m., members of the family who have reached 12 years old since last Leap Year, get their super powers. Rafter Bailey, now 13, has been waiting anxiously to find out what amazing super skill will be bestowed upon him. Will he get super speed, super strength, super flying ability? The suspense is killing him! He needs a truly awesome power to best his rival, super-supervillain Juanita Johnson. What will it be?
When Rafter finally gets his power, excitement is not his first reaction. Try shock, disappointment, disbelief and abject humiliation. What's he supposed to do with his "amazing" new ability to light matches on polyester? How will that help him in a battle against Juanita, who can shoot flames from her hands? At least Rafter's not alone—his younger brother, Benny, is now the (not so) proud owner of a "super" power that allows him to turn his innie belly button into an outie. What exactly are the Bailey brothers supposed to do with the lamest powers in the history of ever?
As tension grows between the Baileys and their arch nemeses, the Johnsons, Rafter's useless super power becomes even more embarrassing. He can't help his family using his dumb polyester pyrotechnics. When push comes to shove, he'll have to decide what it really means to be a hero—and a villain. With the help of the one person he didn't think he'd ever be able to count on, Rafter might finally be able to prove that he, too, is super. Well, almost.
Almost Super, a debut middle grade novel by Marion Jensen, is just as cute as it sounds. It's fun, it's upbeat, it's quirky, it's humorous. The book's a quick, easy read that will leave a smile on your face, no matter how old (or young) you are. Even reluctant readers should find it engaging and non-threatening. That being said, the story doesn't offer a lot of substance. It teaches some good lessons, sure, but there's just not tons going on beneath the surface with this one. Overall, it's an enjoyable read, if not a really memorable one.
(Readalikes: I can't think of any books, but Almost Super reminds me of movies like The Incredibles, The Adventures of Food Boy, and Sky High)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
To the FTC, with love: Another library