My Dad Is a Mad Scientist

Matthew S. Cox. Division Zero, $12.99 paper (284p) ISBN 978-1-950738-03-8
In Cox’s humorous middle grade series starter, San Francisco fifth grader Kelly Donovan, nine, loves comics and math, skipped a grade, and is consequently bullied. After numerous incidents, Kelly wonders whether she’d seek revenge against her bullies if she had superpowers, deciding she likely would not. But when aliens called the Nolmek arrive and Kelly—along with many others—are mysteriously imbued with power, she must choose whether to use her gifts for good or evil. Her father, a disgruntled employee suddenly equipped with boundless technological know-how and “a massive vat of dangerous acid,” embraces the dark side. What follows is an episodic superhero saga pitting Kelly—alias Übergirl—against bad guys, scheming aliens, and eventually her parents, with the support of her norm friend Paige and the superhero collective called the Aegis. Though the narration can feel overwritten (“ ‘We’re not living inside a fictional world.’ Dad gazed off into the fourth dimension. ‘Or are we?’ ”), this novel will entertain older fans of quippy, campy comic book hijinks. Ages 8–12. (Self-published)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2020
Release date: 05/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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