It’s not often that I get to read young adult literature for review around these parts, and I’ve almost forgotten how much I enjoy it. I’m no stranger to James Patterson, but I will go on record by saying that I have never read one of his novels, and this one, Public School Superhero is the first one that I’ve consumed. Nathaniel, however is a James Patterson fan, having read the entire Maximum Ride series, so he was my go-to for this author.
Public School Superhero is about Kenneth Wright, a sixth grade middle school student who often daydreams that he is a superhero named Stainless Steel, a crime fighting, chess playing hero for all of DC. He finds that he is having a hard time finding exactly where he fits in within his school community, and while making lots of mistakes, he realizes that his life isn’t nearly as bad as he thought.
Isn’t that they way it usually is with middle schoolers and with those high schoolers in general? I’ve found that middle school was pretty tough for me as a parent as well, so it was interesting to see the point of view from Kenny, who is under the watchful eye of his Grandma, and walking the line of being a geek, and a rebel. The decisions that Kenny makes on the spot, often made me think about the time that I didn’t make the wisest choices because it was easier to do so.
Nathaniel read the book along with me, and while he thought that the subject matter wasn’t as true to life as what he experienced in middle school (no grandmother watching over him – just his mom and dad, and not really going to a school that was full of bullies, just a few ) he did say that he appreciated the fact that James Patterson does shed some light on the fact that the life of a tween is sometimes horrendous, even if it doesn’t seem as bad from the view of an adult. Traversing hallways, and making sure to stay out of the way of the school jocks, or bullies is enough to cause stress in the life of a kid. Making sure to stay out of the way of troublemakers is just as difficult because at that age, it surrounds you.
There should be no worries, because the end of the book brings it all back to the middle, and the resolution is one that we can all agree with. The good thing is, you don’t have to take our word for it. We’re giving away a copy today along with three other James Patterson books, for a fabulous prize pack! Just let us know your biggest middle school daydream, and you’re entered to win!
In 2015, James Patterson will donate 100,000 copies of PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO to some of the most neglected and underfunded schools in America, and he will launch a major campaign to support school libraries. In 2014, in addition to giving a copy of one of his middle grade books to every sixth grader in the New York City and Chicago public school systems, Patterson gave $1,000,000 to independent bookstores with children’s sections.
When James Patterson meets with underprivileged kids at schools in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods, they often ask him, “Why can’t we be heroes in any books?” To answer that question and to bring more books into more kids’ lives, James Patterson is donating 100,000 copies of his new book for young readers, Public School Superhero, to some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country. He was moved to make this donation after recognizing a large and underserved community of children who don’t see themselves portrayed in dynamic, entertaining stories often enough.
These same kids also inspired Public School Superhero, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, with illustrations by Cory Thomas, a book about an African American sixth-grade chess devotee named Kenny Wright who lives in an inner city. It’s a story brimming with wit, action, and heart, one all kids are bound to find relatable and entertaining.
The books will be distributed through First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books for kids in need. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information visit firstbook.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.