Tuesday, August 06, 2019


Hannigan, Kate. Cape (The League of Secret Heroes #1)
Illustrated by Patrick Spaziante
August 6th 2019 by Aladdin
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In an alternate historical world, World War II is raging, but the superheroes that once saved the day are all gone. Josie O'Malley always put her faith in Zenobia, whose exploits were often written up in comic book format, and wishes that she could be like the superhero instead of just working at a local diner to help out her family. Josie's father is a soldier abroad, and her mother is trying hard to make ends meet for Josie, her two younger brothers, and her cousin, Kate. Josie is hoping to become a puzzler and help the government crack codes, but she and two other girls are thrown out of the test. When they are pulled aside by Mrs. Boudica and taken to Room Twelve, they manifest super powers and save the day. Room Twelve has been attacked, but when they manage to hunt Mrs. Boudica down, they find out that they will be able to help her fight the Nazis, especially Hank Hissler, who has gone over to the Nazi side. Little by little, they find out how their powers work and learn how to use them to defuse situations, such as an attack on the ship yard where Josie's mother works. They also find out that Kate works as a computer on a government project, and this group is being targeted for attacks because they are so important to the war effort. Will the mighty mites find a good superhero name for the newspapers, and will they be able to save the day?
Strengths: Superheroes are always a good topic, and Hannigan puts a great historical twist on this theme while incorporating current social justice concerns into the story. This is one of the few times that diverse characters have been given a reasonable explanation for hanging out together, when in reality, it would have been rare for Akiko, of Japanese descent, and Mae, who is African-American, to have hung out together. It's also rare to have a book talk about the conditions of Irish immigrants and the suspicion with which German Americans were held during WWII. There are periodic chapters in graphic novel format, which adds interest, and Spaziante's illustrations have a nice vintage feel to them. The other interesting part of this was Kate's work with the government on ENIAC. All in all, an intriguing book with a nice mix of history, adventure, and super heroes.
Weaknesses: This is a bit on the long side, and the girls spent a lot of time figuring out their powers; somehow, I just wanted someone to tell them so they could get on with the more exciting part of bringing down giant snake villains!
What I really think: I will probably purchase this, but am a bit concerned about circulation. I loved this author's The Detective's Assistant but can't get anyone to read it, and another super hero/graphic novel mix that I thought would check outAttack of the Alien Hordes by Robert Venditti  and illustrated by Dusty Higgins gathers dust as well. I hate that I have to think about this, but weeding a book that I bought that has just sat on the shelf unloved for ten years is the worst part of my job. Well, along with finding poop on the floor in the stacks, but that happens FAR less frequently!

Thinking vaguely about including more personality leakage/blather at the beginning of posts. It's part of my goal to create more relationships with students and making the library a safe, welcoming space, given how stressed everyone seems to be.

The problem? While I would gladly recommend books to students twenty hours a day, I don't really want to talk to people. And if I connect to students, I will just miss them when they leave. Also, I don't like to tell anyone anything that is going on in my life.

Instead, maybe I will just include pictures of my outfit for the day, since I get a lot of enjoyment from assembling outfits from thrift store finds. We'll see. Today is the first schedule pick up at school, and I went in yesterday to try to restore some order to the library after it was cleaned this summer.

This outfit says "Yes, it's still summer because I'm wearing sandals, but I have on a jacket because I'm at school!"

1 comment:

  1. The time period and superheroes sound interesting. And I like your outfit. I work at home so thankfully can get dressed or not.