Almost Super

Almost Super

4.0 6
by Marion Jensen

View All Available Formats & Editions

On February 29th, at 4:23 p.m., everyone in the Bailey family over the age of twelve gets a superpower.

No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it's their duty to protect the world from those evil, supervillainous Johnsons. *shakes fists*

Today, Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny are finally going to get their superpowers.


On February 29th, at 4:23 p.m., everyone in the Bailey family over the age of twelve gets a superpower.

No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it's their duty to protect the world from those evil, supervillainous Johnsons. *shakes fists*

Today, Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny are finally going to get their superpowers. Benny wants to be a speedy, and Rafter hopes he gets his grandpa's superstrength so he can save the day just like him.

But when their powers arrive, they are—well—duds. Rafter can light matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie.

How is Rafter supposed to defeat his algebra class nemesis, Juanita Johnson, now? And worse still, what if everything Rafter thought he knew about superheroes turns out to be a lie?

Rafter may not have an awesome power, but with the help of his wits and an unexpected friend, he could just be almost super.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"At 4:23 in the afternoon, on February 29, any Bailey age 12 or older gets a superpower." In this entertaining and exuberant debut novel, the time has finally come for 13-year-old Rafter Bailey and his younger brother, Benny, to receive their first powers. Rafter can't wait to join his family's fight against the supervillainous Johnson clan, but their new powers are a colossal disappointment: Rafter can now light safety matches using polyester, and Benny can turn his bellybutton "from an innie to an outie." In a fun twist, when the Bailey brothers try to take on Rafter's classmate Juanita Johnson, they learn that the Johnsons believe that they are the heroes, and that the Baileys are the supervillains. Though initially wary, the three kids band together to discover the truth behind their disappointing powers and the feud that has engulfed their families for decades. Balancing humor, action, and an everykid longing to be more (or to be bitten by a radioactive arachnid, at least), Jensen also incorporates subtle messages about perspective, misconceptions, and what true heroism really entails. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sarah Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This superhero story is really about growing up, making choices, and figuring out the world. The Bailey family knows their purpose in life is to fight supervillains like the Johnson family. The Johnson family just happens to think that they are the true superheroes and that the Baileys are the real evil villains. Rafter Bailey cannot wait until the day he gets his superpower. When that day comes, however, the power he gets is less than super and he must learn to live with his disappointment. Although the book is not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, Jensen employs a clever tongue-in-cheek humor throughout. Readers will identify with the way in which Rafter is treated like a kid instead of a full-fledged member of the superfamily and will enjoy seeing Rafter and his friends outsmart the grown-ups. The short chapters and action packed sequences keep the pages turning. Reluctant readers and fans of the Pixar movie The Incredibleswill be excited to find out what happens in the sequel.—Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Inventively tweaking a popular premise, Jensen pits two Incredibles-style families with superpowers against each other--until a new challenge rises to unite them. The Johnsons invariably spit at the mere mention of their hated rivals, the Baileys. Likewise, all Baileys habitually shake their fists when referring to the Johnsons. Having long looked forward to getting a superpower so that he too can battle his clan's nemeses, Rafter Bailey is devastated when, instead of being able to fly or something else cool, he acquires the "power" to strike a match on soft polyester. But when hated classmate Juanita Johnson turns up newly endowed with a similarly bogus power and, against all family tradition, they compare notes, it becomes clear that something fishy is going on. Both families regard themselves as the heroes and their rivals as the villains. Someone has been inciting them to fight each other. Worse yet, that someone has apparently developed a device that turns real superpowers into silly ones. Teaching themselves on the fly how to get past their prejudice and work together, Rafter, his little brother, Benny, and Juanita follow a well-laid-out chain of clues and deductions to the climactic discovery of a third, genuinely nefarious family, the Joneses, and a fiendishly clever scheme to dispose of all the Baileys and Johnsons at once. Can they carry the day? A solid debut: fluent, funny and eminently sequel-worthy. (Adventure. 10-12)
“Packed with action and humor, this is a superhero tale in the spirit of The Incredibles. Jensen’s wit and light tone give the story a playful quality while still managing to incorporate suspense. Family dynamics and teamwork drive a plot that has, above all, a super amount of heart.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Marion Jensen lives in Farmington, Utah. He is one mile away from a large amusement park, two miles away from the Great Salt Lake, and three miles away from thousands of acres of national forest. But he stays indoors all day so he can write books that people will laugh at.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Almost Super 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
It was funny abd cool i was at the edge of my seat while i read this book is SO %$*%&# COOL!!!!!! I even looked up and made my own baley and jenson costume!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whats it about
booklover0017 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.  I am so glad there is a sequel. I actually couldn't stop reading this.  I wanted to find out what would happen next.  
JABennett More than 1 year ago
This book was really cute! The ideas for the superpowers were creative, and there were so many hilarious lines that was perfect for middle grade fiction. The story was compelling too, and it left it open enough that I'm interested to see what happens in the next book. However, there were three or four times when I was really lost. I had no idea where all the characters were or how they were doing the things they were doing. It dulled the actions scenes a little becasue I had to re-read to figure out what was going on. I'm not sure if it was too many characters, or just not a good enough set up, but it took away from the book. The most important thing is the story though, and this one was super!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Every February 29th, members of the Bailey family (if you are legally part of the family (adopted, marriage, etc.), it counts too!) 12-years-old and older go through an amazing transformation. This year, at exactly 4:23PM (as always) on February 29th 13-year-old Rafter Bailey and his little brother, 12-year-old Benny Bailey will get their SUPER POWERS! You see the Baileys are a family of superheros. Rafter and Benny are excited to see what super powers they get. Will they fly like their dad? Be super-strong like grandpa? Have fire powers?!? When the time finally comes they receive AWESOME super powers! Well… not awesome… more like… umm, well, the powers are lame and pretty much useless. Rafter can light matches on polyester and Benny can turn his innie belly button to an outie. How are Rafter and Benny supposed to help their family save the world from the evil family of supervillains, the Johnsons, with these pathetic powers?!? When things look the worst, the boys find an unlikely ally and realize that together they really are heroes. Books like this make me think I should change the rating system from number of stars to rating it as the number of times I get in trouble for reading the book when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I got yelled at, well, at least 6 times because I couldn’t put this book down. :) I actually ended up hiding under the covers in my bed (when I was supposed to be asleep) using my alarm clock for light (my parents confiscated all my flashlights a while ago because of me reading way past my bedtime) to finish reading the book. It was that awesome. Mr. Jensen has written a fun superhero story that has a different twist. The book is packed with lots of humor and written in a style that all ages can enjoy, especially fans of comics and superheroes. It is a great choice for young advanced readers who are looking for something more than a chapter book. Rafter is a great guy. You really understand how he feels. He’s surrounded by totally super family – his great-aunt (whose power is way less than it was when she was younger) has a stronger power than he does! Benny is a character you just hope succeeds. He’s the really nice guy and he keeps trying and trying. I ended up cheering for Benny. :) The story also has a good message – Don’t draw conclusions based on rumors/gossip or what other people are telling you. People aren’t always what other people tell you they are. I really hope there is a book two, even though the story ended well. But, it’s sort of a cliff-hanger. Sort of. *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.