Sidekicked

John David Anderson, 1975-

Book - 2013

"Drew Bean might be a part of a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn't mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds.Drew is possessed of super senses--his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet--making him literally the most sensitive kid in school. And then there's his best friend, Jenna--their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren't able to throw an eighteen-wheeler th...e 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 pretty much a drag regardless of whether you have superpowers. But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica 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? Fans of The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy will love Sidekicked, John David Anderson's hilarious middle-grade superhero novel"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2013], ©2013.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
373 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062133144
0062133144
Main Author
John David Anderson, 1975- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The community of Justicia may seem like Anywhere, USA, but it's home to an abundance of superheroes—or "Supers" as they are known locally—and Highview Middle School has a secret training class for superhero sidekicks. Andrew "Drew" Bean, one of the six sidekicks-in-training, is not only saddled with the usual middle-school angst but a problematic Super as well. With most of the Supers absent, a crime wave commences and a supervillain threatens. This draws heavily on the beloved superhero genre, and features plenty of hair-raising action and characters knocked about and annihilated. But it is the sarcastic middle-school humor that sets the tone. Drew's take on his teenage problems are well balanced with the unique situations arising from being part of an elite (and somewhat nerdy) team. Big action sequences notwithstanding, this is more about small moments and dealing with less-than-perfect people and circumstances. Those who like their fantasy grounded firmly in the real world will enjoy this one. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this engaging middle-grade adventure, Anderson (Standard Hero Behavior) again examines the idea of heroism, this time through the lives of superpowered sidekicks. Thirteen-year-old Andrew "The Sensationalist" Bean is part of the H.E.R.O. program for aspiring sidekicks, but his mentor, the legendary Titan, is an alcoholic no-show, leaving Andrew to fend for himself against supervillains and their deathtraps. When the infamous Dealer returns from the dead and reunites his deadly henchmen, the entire city is put at risk. Adult heroes are vanishing, their sidekicks are under attack, and someone associated with H.E.R.O. may be a traitor. Amid the chaos and danger, Andrew tries to embrace his heroic potential. Anderson tackles some heady topics, including superhero morality, teenage confusion, and divided loyalties, playing with the usual comic book tropes without treading on overly familiar ground (even for fans of Jack Ferraiolo's similar 2011 novel, Sidekicks). There's a lot to enjoy, from memorable characters to a complex yet accessible plot, in this superhero story that any comics fan will enjoy. Ages 8–12. Agent: Quinlan Lee, Adams Literary. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–7—With his less-than-spectacular superpowers and a partner who never shows up, Andrew finds that his life as a crime-fighting sidekick called "the Sensationalist" is fairly tame. When a mysterious villain captures most of the city's top "Supers," though, the 13-year-old has to find a way to thwart the evil plot and save the day. Andrew's self-deprecating, occasionally sarcastic narration lightly mocks superhero conventions with some fun and insight. Insecurity about his role neatly mixes in with typical middle school headaches, including teasing, romance, and school lunches. While Andrew's self-analysis drags on a bit at times, there are plenty of funny observations about the challenges superheroes face, including financial worries and outgrowing their spandex. The boy's relationships with other sidekicks, his teacher, and the retired Super who rejects him work fairly well to set up some tough personal and moral decisions. They also impact the gradually developing heroes-versus-villains plot, which includes a couple of slightly predictable twists and ends with a battle in which the sidekicks prove their worth. The action scenes are not especially involving, but the clever humor, coupled with some thoughtful exploration into the nature of friendship, courage, and heroism, makes this a solid addition to the field of superhero novels.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR [Page 94]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Thirteen-year-old superhero sidekick-in-training Drew "The Sensationalist" Bean must overcome his not-so-superpowers and become the hero everyone needs when a supervillain, The Dealer, returns to Justicia.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Possessing the most powerful super-abilities in his secret school for superhero sidekicks, young Andrew Bean struggles with his bar-hopping, once-legendary superhero counterpart and a complicated friendship with the fiercely strong Jenna until the disappearances of local superheroes are tied to a supervillain long believed to be dead. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The Avengers meets Louis Sachar in this hilarious and action-packed tween novel by John David Anderson, which Publishers Weekly called a "superhero story that any comics fan will enjoy" in a starred review.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. Then there's his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. 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 supervillain 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?

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The Avengers meets Louis Sachar in this hilarious and action-packed tween novel by John David Anderson, which Publishers Weekly called a "superhero story that any comics fan will enjoy" in a starred review.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. Then there's his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. 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 supervillain 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?