Sunday, December 6, 2009

Powerless by Matthew Cody

Have you ever imagined what it might be like to fly at the speed of light, walk through walls, lift up cars, or create electricity with your bare hands? What would you do if you woke up one morning and were actually able to do one or more of those things? And what would you do if you had always had those powers and woke up one morning without them?

That's kind of what happens to the kids of Noble's Green, Pennsylvania, which is the self-proclaimed "Safest Town on Earth." Part of why Noble's Green is so safe is that all of its residents under the age of 13 have one or more super powers. Some are terrifically strong or fast, several can fly, others can disappear, and still others have superhuman senses. When a house starts on fire or a car drives off a bridge, the kids are on the scene, ready to save the day however they can.

To the kids, having super powers is a blast; flying is a total thrill, and the games of hide-and-seek are taken to a whole new level. So it's especially sad that, on the night of each young superhero's 13th birthday, his or her powers, and memories of ever having them are taken away forever. Why do the kids of Noble's Green have these powers? And why do they disappear faster than a speeding bullet? These are mysteries that are beyond even the powers of the super kids.

This link is to a short video of the author it is only 2 1/2 minutes and is interesting!

Help comes from the unexpected source of a boy without super powers, Daniel Corrigan. Daniel and his family move to Noble's Green to be with his grandmother while she's dying of cancer. It takes Daniel a few days to realize that there's something a bit odd about his new classmates and neighbors, but when he learns their secret and hears about the mysterious disappearance of their special skills, he thinks that he might be able to help. Many of the children, including superhero extraordinaire and leader of the pack Eric, are about to turn 13, leaving the town open to the tyranny of super-powered bullies and also to a host of natural and man-made disasters.

Since his father is a fan of Sherlock Holmes, Daniel knows how to use his powers of deduction and observation to solve problems. Combined with his super friends' unique powers, can Daniel uncover the mystery of the menacing Shroud who sucks away super powers?

This is a book with fast-paced action, rapidly shifting plot, and focus on superheroes and detectives. The book will appeal to both girls and boys, and is a great choice for comic book fans. With the lessons taught I think that it would be great it teachers taught the book in the classroom. Young adults would love this book. It would be good for anyone above the age of ten or eleven if they are good readers. Although there are moments of humor and plenty of suspense throughout, POWERLESS also contains dark segments that might get children thinking. Some of the themes are about making friends, growing up and taking responsibility.


Anonymous said...

schenieka hoskins said...

This book sounds great! From your post it sounds as if the book teaches vital lesson without the reader even noticing that they are being taught. For instance, I since vital themes in this book such as humility, and the value of cherishing the moment that life provide. If children are heroes and have the job of saving people than they are demonstrating the lesson of helping others in the time of need, which results to humility. Moreover, if all the kids have different power, it also demonstrates that any one can be a hero. This is a very important specifically, for young readers. Also because the powers leave, this book possibly reflects the importance of savoring the moment and not being in a rush to grow up. I think that it is totally awesome that such a fun book could possibly include so many vital themes. Great post!

Amy said...

I agree, this book does sound pretty good. I think it's interesting too that at age 13, the students are losing their "identity." It's similar to regular 13-year-old kids as well. This is a hard age for any adolescent and when they lose their "power" or the item that makes them who they are, it has to be difficult. Looking at the book from this perspective, might this also be a slight coming-of-age story?

Andra said...


I love your first paragraph! I was hooked and want to know why they lose their powers!

I think this sounds like a great books for students who do not enjoy reading. Often times, students who struggle with reading or don't like reading, give up. Using graphic novels in the curriculum can show those students that not all books are long chapters. It would also be good to use because it would show a different style of writing. Our students are so used to the stereotypical novel that they don't know there are other styles.

Great post and I look forward to picking up this book!