cover image Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

Mike Jung, illus. by Mike Maihack. Scholastic/ Levine, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-33548-5

Many residents of Copperplate City are fond of local superhero Captain Stupen-dous, but 12-year-old Vincent Wu and his best friends Max and George are diehard fans. When a new supervillain, Professor Mayhem, arrives in town with a giant robot, and Captain Stupendous starts acting strangely after their first battle, Vincent and his friends try to figure out what’s going on (and what it has to do with Vincent’s crush, Polly Winnicott-Lee). Debut author Jung smartly balances adventure and comedy in a story about (unwanted) power and responsibility that pokes fun at superhero conventions along the way (Professor Mayhem, like a true supervillain, takes his time to explain his evil plot in full). Jung’s fast-paced storytelling, filled with comics-inspired gadgetry and sound effects, makes the story’s action sequences come alive, and thanks to Maihack’s b&w spot illustrations, Vincent, Polly, and the others look like they’re ready to star in an animated series. Superhero fans also will appreciate the sly nod to Clark Kent/Superman when the book jacket is removed. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Oct.)