In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

POWERLESS by Matthew Cody

copyright date: 2009
primarily marketed for: 5th-8th graders

Matthew Cody is going to be our visiting author this school year.  He seems like a funny enough guy based on the book trailer for Powerless, which was nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award this year. 

Yep, Matthew Cody seems like a funny enough guy, but I didn’t expect to like Powerless.  I love when I am pleasantly surprised by a book! 

Powerless is the story of Daniel whose family moves to Noble’s Green to take care of his dying grandmother.  It doesn’t take Daniel long to realize that there is something odd about his peers.  He quickly earns the trust of the kids in his neighborhood and is let in on their secret: they have superpowers.  However, upon turning thirteen their superpowers disappear.  Who or what is taking away their powers?  <cue ominous music>

From there, the story takes the shape of a traditional good guys vs. bad guys comic book action hero quest.  That is the part that I didn’t think would appeal to me.  However, Matthew Cody somehow develops complex relationships between characters that are not all that complex themselves.  These relationships are what made me care about the characters.  He also weaves more sophisticated elements of a battle with cancer, parental neglect, WWII era, and classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries into what could otherwise be a simplistic story. 

There were just enough plot twists to have me guessing and just enough clues to make me feel smart for anticipating some events. 

And, if I am totally honest, the flying sequences appealed to the kid in me.  I mean, who doesn’t want to imagine what it would be like to be able to fly?

1 comment:

  1. I know I would never pick up this book, & now you've made me interested, Christy. Good to hear about it!