cover image The Mighty Odds

The Mighty Odds

Amy Ignatow. Abrams, $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1271-5

This snappy social drama hinges on the power—and danger—of nicknames and stereotypes within the middle school social scene. A bus accident throws popular student Cookie together with some of the students she normally wouldn’t be caught dead with: friendless Farshad, deemed “Terror Boy” by a racist joke he can’t shake; overweight, nerdy Nick; and quiet Martina, whom no one really notices. After the four sixth-graders discover that they have developed unusual superpowers and there is actual danger at hand, they have to decide if they will “band together to become some sort of crazy explosive-substitute-teacher fighters” or just the “League of Incredible Nerds with Nearly Useless Powers.” Emotions in this group of reluctant friends run from anger, disbelief, and disgust to eventual admiration, dependence, and trust. Framed by posts on a popular gossip blog and peppered with playful comics-style illustrations, this series opener from Ignatow (the Popularity Papers books) packs in plenty of action and edgy dialogue. Though the ending is a bit abrupt, it sets the scene for future installments. Ages 10–14. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Sept.)