Author: John David Anderson
Interest level: middle grade, ages 8-12
Length: 384 pages
Release date: June 26, 2013
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Sidekicked from Walden Pond Press but opinions expressed are my own.
(description from publisher)
Andrew Bean might be a part of H. E.R. O., a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn't mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds. First, there's Drew's power: Possessed of super senses—his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet—he's literally the most sensitive kid in school. There's his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. And then there's his best friend, Jenna—their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren't able to throw a Volkswagen the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: Middle school is a drag even with superpowers.
But this is all before a super villain long thought dead returns to the city of Justicia, superheroes begin disappearing at an alarming rate, and Drew's two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It's what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?
If you are like me, you want a taste of a book before you gamble limited library funds on a copy. Here you go, a nice tasty sample from Harper Audio via Sound Cloud.
The Short and Sweet of it:
I had as much fun reading Sidekicked as I know my students will. Andrew "Drew" Bean is an average likeable middle school kid facing his own daily struggles with parents, school, homework, and pesky super-villains. You know the type. Drew's engaging narration with witty on-the-side comments to readers keeps the action flowing throughout. I laughed a lot and commiserated with him on the neglectfulness of his Super, his girl troubles, and those lousy lunch menu items. I have to stop here, or I will spill the "Bean" and spoil the ending. Read on!
Why kids will get a "kick" out of Sidekicked:
Book Cover appeal: Bright blue cover with likeable kid flashing his hidden Sidekicked shirt hidden beneath his black zip jacket. The cover is cool.
Kid humor: Kids will appreciate the humor because it is genuine and not condescending. They will laugh at age appropriate remarks and frequent references to lunch room disaster foods and gaseous identifiers such as SBD. (one of the funniest parts occurs on p. 137-you will guffaw out loud!)
Adventure: In the teacher's lounge, behind a vending machine, is a secret passage leading down into an awesome basement lair filled with an arsenal of H.E.R.O. gadgets, weapons, screens, and electronics to help Sidekicks train and control their powers. Each Sidekick has their own personal room set up for their specific abilities.
A Chance to Dream: Reading Sidekicked is like having Mr. Masters take out his watch to freeze time. As a Reader, you will sort of drift away for a few moments pondering what type of special abilities you might possess and how you could use them if you were a Super or a Sidekick-in-training. Just think of all costume potential! Kids are bound to sketch out their possible Sidekick attire with their specific colors of choice.
- Drew has to face the same mundane experiences in life as the average OC (ordinary citizen) middle school student. He has issues with tests, lockers, girls, and the occasional gross lunch menu items.
- His mom still sees him as her baby boy.
- Life is getting more complicated as the lines between black and white are blurring to gray. Is evil always evil? Is good always right?
Get to know the author: John David Anderson
Author website: John David Anderson
John David Anderson on Facebook
Read this "Letter To My Teen Self" from John David Anderson
(Authors write letters to their teen selves- brilliant!)
Sidekicked Super Hero Activities:
Join H.E.R.O. and make your own SideKicked Trading Card at this link here.
Superhero Element Trading Cards utilizing the Periodic Table. class activity PDF
(source: Pleasant Valley Community School District-Iowa)
Want to create your own Super Hero comic strip? Use this tool: Artisiancam
Get creative and write your own Sidekicked adventure story.
Think of what powers you might possess as a Sidekick. How will they help you to save mankind? What is your Sidekick name, emblem/icon, and colors? What terrible catastrophe has befallen your city and what is your plan of action?
Make a list of action words to give your story a visual message with zing!
zoomed domination rescue slash evil maniac menacing justice honor
villain mastermind power gagged slam SBD force strength cunning
Check out all the Sidekicked Blog Tour stops for humorous interviews and more chances at give-a-ways!
Book Egg is pleased to Give-A-Way one FREE signed, hardcover copy of Sidekicked.
Please read the rules pertaining to the give-a-way and complete the entry below.
Rules and Details:
- Open only to US readers that are 13 years or older.
- The winning entry will receive their book prize from Walden Pond Press.
- Book Egg is not responsible for copies of Sidekicked that are lost, stolen, or kidnapped by super-villains or anyone else.
- Book Egg Give-a-Way ends on July 30th at 11:59 p.m. CST.
for more chances at wining your own signed copy of Sidekicked.
Thank you to Walden Pond Press for providing a copy of Sidekicked for review.
Extra goody: Visit the Walden Pond Press sweepstakes page:
The Sidekicked Summer of Superheroes Sweepstakes
You could win an E-reader! A collection of Drew's favorite Superhero e-books or a signed hardcover of Sidekicked.
a Rafflecopter giveaway