Stuntboy, in the Meantime

Jason Reynolds, illus. by Raúl the Third. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $13.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1816-5
Portico Reeves, secret alter ego Stuntboy, lives amid a lively, largely Black community at “the castle”—apartment building Skylight Gardens. As Portico, he navigates tense interactions with bully Herbert Singletary the Worst, the stress of his ever-fighting parents, and his own anxiety, or “frets.” As Stuntboy, meanwhile, his job is “keeping other superheroes safe, so they can save the world!” And he definitely has his hands full watching out for the castle’s various larger-than-life characters—rolling down the stairs for a neighbor who’s a “little wobbly,” taking a tumble in lieu of shoelace-obsessed Mr. Mister, and blowing salt-and-vinegar chip crumbs in his dad’s face to stop his parents’ fighting. Zola Brawner, best friend for 163 days, offers support, comparing Portico’s fighting parents to episodes of an in-universe television show, but his folks’ dismissals and descent into the “mean time” threaten to worsen the frets. From vibrant, comic book–style art with ample color by Elaine Bay to running gags and commercial breaks that balance serious moments, there’s plenty to enjoy about this engaging, high-energy collaboration by Raúl the Third (Strollercoaster) and Reynolds (Stamped). Ages 7–12. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/07/2021
Release date: 11/09/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5344-1818-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-4623-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-1179-7
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