My Brother Is a Superhero
My Brother Is a Superhero

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Annotation: Eleven-year-old Luke, a hardcore fan of comics and superheroes, is jealous when his undeserving older brother Zack is zapped by an alien and turned into a superhero, until a plot to destroy the Earth incapacitates Zack, and Luke, accompanied by Lara, the nosey girl next door, must come to the rescue.
Catalog Number: #143163
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 290 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-14-751605-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98016-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-14-751605-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98016-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014030547
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
After an alien grants superpowers to his older brother, Zack, eleven-year-old comic-book fan Luke has to teach this clueless new superhero the ropes. When Zack is kidnapped, Luke teams up with his friends to rescue his brother before a rogue asteroid destroys Earth. Despite broad characterization and an undemanding plot, this comedic adventure is a diverting middle-grade read.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4&11;6&12; It was just plain bad luck (he had to pee) that 11-year-old superhero-loving Luke wasn't present when the spaceship hovered next to the tree house and the alien turned his 15-year-old studious brother, Zack, into a real superhero. Zorlon gave Zack three glowing stars on his chest, six unnamed powers, and a warning, "Nemesis is coming." Luke is jealous and furious that he wasn't chosen. His brother knows nothing about being a superhero&12;he won't even wear a cape! Now it's up to Luke to teach Zack, aka Super Guy, how to act like a superhero, to help him discover his powers, and to find out who or what Nemesis is, all while keeping Zack's new identity a secret. This becomes harder than just keeping his mouth shut as their nosy neighbor, Lara, is determined that she and Luke will discover Super Guy's true identity. Throw in Zach's crush on Lara's older sister, trying to be a superhero while keeping your parents clueless, being kidnapped by a fiendish comic book store owner while trying to save the world, and you're got a non-stop action-packed, laugh-out-loud winner of a story. The main characters are finely drawn and their voices are authentic. The format of the book with its font size and generous white space make it accessible and appealing. VERDICT A great book that will charm reluctant readers as well as anyone who has ever dreamed of being a superhero. It also makes for a fun read-aloud.&12; Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
Word Count: 57,951
Reading Level: 5.4
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.4 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 178074 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:14.0 / quiz:Q70843
Lexile: 780L
Excerpt
 

My brother is a superhero, and I could have been one too, except that I needed to go pee.

My name is Luke Parker. I'm eleven years old, and I live in a mild-mannered part of the city with my mom, dad, and big brother, Zack. He wasn't always a superhero, but with a name like Zack you've got to wonder if my parents had a hunch that one day he'd end up wearing a mask and cape and saving orphans from burning buildings. I mean, come on! It's not a name; it's a sound effect. It's what you get in a comic when a superhero punches a supervillain. Pow! Blam! Zack!
It seems to me that in life you are faced with clear-cut moments when things could go one way or another. Vanilla or chocolate. Smooth or crunchy. Drop the water balloon on Dad's head, or hold your fire. It's up to you which choice to make, and sometimes all it takes to change the way your whole life turns out are four little words.

"I need to pee."

It was the fateful evening. Zack and I had been in our tree house for about an hour, and I was bursting. I was reading an old issue of Teen Titans by flashlight, Zack was doing his math homework. He's always been a bit of a teacher's pet. Before he became Star Guy, at school he was star boy.

"Then go," he said, solving another quadratic equation with a flick of his pencil. "I'm not stopping you."

The truth was I didn't want to go down the rope ladder in the dark. It had been hard enough climbing up it in the first place. It's not that I'm out of shape or anything, but put it like this: you won't ever see me on an Olympic podium. I suffer from hay fever and have funny-shaped feet that mean I have to wear these things in my shoes called "orthotics." When Mom first told me I needed them, I was excited. I thought they sounded like supersoldier power armor, but when they finally arrived they turned out to be bendy, foot-shaped supports and not a cybernetic exoskeleton suit. That was a disappointing Thursday.

I hung my head out of the tree house door. "Maybe I could just pee from here?"

"Out! Get out of here, you disgusting child!"

Zack is only three years older than me, but when I've done something to annoy him he calls me a child. Of all the things I can't stand about my big brother, being called a child is number forty-seven. Not that I have a list.

OK. I do have a list.

Even before he became a superhero, the list was up to sixty-three. Now it's almost at a hundred. He is very irritating.

I climbed down the rope ladder and went into the house.

I peed.

When I returned to the tree house a few minutes later, Zack was sitting there silently in the dark. I knew something was up because he'd stopped doing his homework. I grabbed my flashlight and leveled the beam in his face. He didn't even blink.

"Zack, are you all right?"

He nodded.

"Are you sure? You look . . . different."

He nodded again, very slowly, like he was working out some complicated thought in his head. Then he said in a croaky voice, "I think . . . something amazing just happened to me. Luke, I've changed."

Now, this didn't come as a great surprise. About six months before, Dad had taken me aside for what he called a man-to-man chat. We sat in his shed--I think that's because it's the most manly room we have--and Dad explained that from now on I might notice some changes in my big brother.

"Zack's embarking on a great journey," said Dad.

"Great! When's he leaving? Can I have his room?"

"Not that kind of journey," said Dad with a weary sigh. "He's going through something called puberty," he went on. "His voice will be different, for instance."

"Ooh, will he sound like a Dalek?"

"No, not like a Dalek.

"And he will become hairier."

"Ooh, like a werewolf?!"

"No, not like a werewolf."

This puberty deal didn't seem up to much. There was other stuff, to do with privacy and girls, but to be honest, after the letdown about the Dalek and the werewolf I stopped taking it in.

So, when Zack told me in the tree house that something had changed, I knew exactly what to say. I pursed my lips and gave a serious nod like I'd seen the doctor do when he told me I had strep throat. "I'm afraid that you have caught puberty."

He ignored me and stared at his hands, turning them over and over. "I think I have superpowers."

The award-winning #1 international bestseller that's perfect for fans of The Last Kids on Earth and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Luke Parker was just your average comic book fan until his boring, teacher’s pet, helps-old-ladies-across-the-street brother Zack got turned into a superhero. Luke can’t believe the unfairness of it all—he’s the one with the encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Ant-Man to Wolverine! At least he can help Zack—aka Star Guy—with all the important parts of becoming a superhero, like using his newfound powers and deciding whether or not to wear a cape. But when Star Guy gets into super-size trouble, it’s up to Luke—and his intrepid neighbor, Lara—to rescue his big brother and, with a little luck, help him save the world.

* “A non-stop action-packed, laugh-out-loud winner of a story.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“A loving tribute to the genre consumed with capes, masks, supervillains, and great responsibility.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will enjoy the deadpan narration that reveals the unexpected difficulties of being a modern-day superhero.” —Publishers Weekly


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