E ARC from Netgalley.com
Michael's language arts teacher makes her students keep a journal, so he details the goings on in his family and school. The difference is that in his middle school, many of his classmates are starting to get super powers or are being recruited by the Sun Troopers to help fight super villains. Michael tends to get in trouble frequently, especially with his science teacher, who thinks that super powers are bogus and that the way to succeed is to get an education. Sometimes, it's not his fault-- his brother Dave, for instance, keeps claiming that Michael breaks the video game controllers, while in fact he never touches the games. When Thunderman, Michael's favorite super hero, has more frequent battles with Mister Mental, and the Sun Troopers start recruiting, Michael tries to gain his own super powers, and managed to fly with the aid of a cape made out of a magic blanket. Even then, however, he manages to get in trouble in school, especially with his rich and spoiled archnemesis.
Strengths: This is a notebook novel, and certainly fills a niche for books in this format that deal with super heroes. Reminiscent of Big Nate (nothing goes right for Michael) and based off comic books with the same characters, this will be immediately popular.
Weaknesses: I'm guessing a paper-over-board format, so the book will fall apart quickly as well. I was rather disturbed by the portrayal of Michael's father as "angry dad"-- he's a muscle bound character who seems to exist only to yell at Michael. And we wonder why his brother is equally abusive to him. Not a pleasant family dynamic, and it seems to have no real purpose.
This can be read and enjoyed without having read the comic books.
And it's day two of extreme cold here in Ohio. I fulfilled my bargain with the Snow Gods and read my eight books. Today, since the weather tomorrow is supposed to be 33 degrees and snow/rain, I may go to the grocery store even though we are off school. Growing up, we were NEVER allowed to go anywhere on a snow day-- if it's too bad for school, it's definitely too bad for anything else! Extreme cold is different from snow, and I need to get some things for my parents.