Brown (My Alter Ego Is a Superhero #1)

Håkon Øvreås, illus. by Øyvind Torseter, trans. from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson. Enchanted Lion, $16.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-59270-212-1
In this first in a series from Øvreås (The Heartless Troll) and one of Enchanted Lion’s early forays into middle grade, Rusty hopes that after his family moves to the country, he’ll be able to spend more time with his grandfather. Instead, his grandfather dies suddenly, and a trio of persistent neighborhood bullies adds to Rusty’s troubles. Unable to talk about his loss and pushed to the edge after the bullies destroy the fort he’s been building with his friend Jack, Rusty steals away in the night, dressed as “Brown,” a superhero, and defaces one of the bullies’ bikes with brown paint. Feeling empowered, Rusty begins to encounter his grandfather’s spirit, who seems to approve of his nightly heroic missions. He’s joined by tall tale–telling Jack and lonely Lou (the superheroes Black and Blue, respectively), and together, the three friends find courage and independence when acting as their alter egos. Rusty’s slow, rebellious processing of his grandfather’s death and his growing sense of self and agency will appeal to Roald Dahl fans. Simple line illustrations with splashes of color and texture from Torseter (My Father’s Arms Are a Boat) enhance the quirky, engaging story told in poignant, occasionally humorous prose. Ages 6–10. (June)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2019
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-1-59270-251-0
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