Dull Boy [NOOK Book]

Overview

What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you're fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you're a former jock turned freak, you can't afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they're more than just freaks?together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful ...
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Dull Boy

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Overview

What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you're fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you're a former jock turned freak, you can't afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they're more than just freaks?together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful wouldbe mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price.




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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In her engrossing first novel, Cross introduces Avery Pirzwick, a misunderstood teenager with mysterious superpowers he keeps secret. Avery tries to use his super-strength and flying ability to help others, but mostly they just cause him grief ("the only 'super' I've been to my friends lately is super lame"). He quit the wrestling team after accidentally breaking another wrestler's arm, and after additional mishaps his parents send him to an alternative school. There, he meets other misfit kids with secret abilities, like Sophie, who can stick to walls, and Catherine, who has razor-sharp claws (and a temper). Unfortunately, Avery is also being dogged by Cherchette, a superpowered adult who aims to recruit Avery and his friends for her own purposes. Like the best superhero stories, Cross's novel has crisp action sequences and a good sense of humor, but also gets deep into the fears and struggles of teenagers who simply don't fit in. "Every single one of us has secrets," Avery reflects as the group grows more close-knit. "Only now we have them together." Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - K. Meghan Robertson
This work of easy-to-read fiction follows the anything-but-dull life of a pubescent boy named Avery. When he injures his friend Henry and discovers his seemingly endless strength, Avery feels like a freak. He distances himself from his family and friends. Although he claims to be doing homework, he really wanders around his community looking for people he can use his strength to help. One such attempt becomes the last straw for his parents, who enroll Avery in an alternative school because they believe he is a danger to himself and those around him. In the meantime, Avery discovers he has the capacity to fly (as if his superhuman strength were not enough). A visit from ice queen Churchette helps Avery on his journey, causing him to realize there are others out there like him—but where? His senses are keen as he takes in the characteristics of others, finally finding a group of teens with whom he can relate. Follow this group, whose powers include being a matter-consuming vortex, stickiness, catlike dexterity, dropping temperatures to arctic conditions, and being a robot scientist (the brains of the operation), as they work on honing their powers, overthrowing evil and saving the world. Reviewer: K. Meghan Robertson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Avery Pirzwick is not at all dull. He pretends to be, since being different can be dangerous. He keeps his superpowers (he is incredibly strong and able to fly) secret from everyone, even his parents. Convinced that with great power comes great responsibility, he patrols his town, trying to right wrongs. After a few "strength malfunctions," he's sent to an alternative school for troubled youth and eventually meets some other teens who are equally extraordinary (e.g., Darla is a super genius, Catherine has razor-sharp fingernails, and Nicholas has a dangerous vortex raging in his chest). Together, Avery and his pals realize that they are not freaks; they even become heroes when they catch a mugger and rescue a lost scout troop. Meanwhile, the icy, mysterious Cherchette—an adult with superpowers—promises to help them reach their full potential if they will live with her. The kids eventually learn the truth about her nefarious plans, and a sequel is obvious at the book's end. Avery's narration, generously peppered with swear words, is hip, witty, funny, and sarcastic. His voice is the major strength of the novel. The secondary characters are less well drawn. Teens who enjoy science fiction/fantasy will chuckle over Avery and also be attracted to the characters' unique abilities.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Teenager Avery Pirzwick flies around town each night looking for crimes to stop and people to help with his super strength. He wants to do good with these secret powers that have so messed up his life. He's had to quit wrestling to keep from hurting his opponents, and his parents' checkbook has taken a hit for damages incurred. When Cherchette Morozov, an odd European woman with powers of her own, offers to help, Avery wonders if she's his savior. That's thrown into doubt when he befriends Darla, Sophie and Nicholas, who have their own secrets, and super-intelligent Darla is certain Cherchette is no Charles Xavier of X-Men fame. Soul searching, teen angst and super-battles (with humor) ensue. Cross's first is a funny teen-super-team origin story . . . without an awful lot of action. Avery's sarcastic, self-deprecating narration is a highlight, as is the strange array of superpowers. The characters' normal, goofy interactions are the focus until the page-turning finale. A good bet for all teen sections-just not all superhero fans. (Fantasy. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101024805
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/14/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 743,995
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 386 KB

Meet the Author

Sarah Cross used to spend all her babysitting money on comics, but because she couldn't draw very well, she decided as an adult that she'd write a superhero story in novel form. This is her first book. Sarah lives in New York, and you can visit her website and blog at www.sarahcross.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 10, 2009

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    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Avery lives for the darkness. Not for any deviant reason, but because he is less likely to be seen when he is flying around town. You see, Avery isn't like other kids. He has super-strength and can fly.

    Since these powers developed, his life has totally changed. His normal friends are pulling further and further away because he is spending less time with them. They're upset that he quit the wrestling team, but he really didn't have a choice. His strength was too hard to control during practices and matches.

    By trying to be a nice guy and save the day by using his powers for good, Avery sends his parents over the edge. They are already forking over a lot of money for his other unintentional damages and feel he is out of control. So his parents decide to send him to a special school for troubled kids.

    On his first day at the new school, Avery meets a strange girl. She ends up shedding a lot of light on the world for him. He discovers that he isn't the only one with special abilities and finds himself becoming part of another "family." One that understands him and his desire to help the world and not just waste his powers on frivolous thrills and ways to get into the spotlight.

    But, in any superhero story, there has to be an evil mastermind. In DULL BOY that evil mastermind is Cherchette, and she wants to gather all the kids with super-powers together. Why, you might ask? You'll have to read the book to find out.

    DULL BOY has it all - humor, friendship, family issues, a little romance, super-powers. What more could you ask for? As a reader, I completely fell in love with Avery. Sarah Cross leaves the reader completely satisfied, even though it is clear there will be a sequel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect Origin Story

    With great power comes great responsibility, and with a deft and talented hand, Sarah Cross pulls her cast of young super heroes out of the realm of comics and into the world of YA novels.

    Forced into a school for delinquents after an incident involving a jewelry store and the frosty, mysterious Cherchette, Avery finds it hard to settle into a <I>dull boy</I> routine- and soon he discovers he's not the only teen in town who's hiding special abilities.

    This charming origins story captures the dynamic motion of graphic novels with a witty, conversational prose that often left me laughing or nodding along in rueful recognition. Cross has a gift for combining the right amounts of absurdity and realism, creating a world where detention and mecha battles are equally at home.

    As a long time comic geek, I also enjoyed the little sparkles of fan service in a book that is still utterly accessible superhero first-timers. I really enjoyed this, and I hope it becomes the first of many.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Bla

    &hearts

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

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    An Entertaining Superhero Adventure

    Dull Boy was a fun adventure into the world of superhero's and teenage angst. The whole book is told from first-person perspective- Avery. About a year ago Avery saved a little boys life by lifting a car off the boy's leg. That is when he first found out that he was "different". He is super-strong and can fly, but he can't tell anyone, so inevitably he feels different and not as close to his friends. Avery wants to make a difference in the world, like a real superhero, he wants to help people. After an accident with a fellow wrestler at a match, Avery is determined to be careful around people, to be helpful and not destructive. So every night he patrols his neighborhood hoping to get a chance to use his powers for good. When he meets Nicholas, Darla, Sophie, Catherine, and Jaques and finds out that Darla is a genius (literally), Sophie is like human tape, Nicholas can open a vortex in his chest, Jaques is an iceboy, and Catherine is cat-like, he feels relieved that he is not alone. Very quickly Darla, Avery, Sophie and Nicholas become good friends (Jaques is another story). Catherine grudgingly becomes friends with Sophie and Darla but her and Avery bond very early on, in a weird way (you have to read the book to understand). Together the friends form a team of crime fighting, patroling their neighborhoods and woods, hunting down injustice and coving it in glitter! But things start to go downhill when a woman named Cherchette tries to get them to come live with her so she can help them control their powers. But the friends are uneasy about this woman, and later finds out why, and how they came to have super powers. This was a page turner, hilarious (I loved Avery and Darla) and great fun. I hope the author writes a sequel because the ending is a cliff hanger!

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  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Dull Boy

    Most teenagers think they are pretty special but Avery knows there's no one else just like him. And actually, he's right. Not only can he bench-press his mother's car (sometimes resulting in a little body damage) but Avery can actually fly - which of course he can't even tell a soul about since it would most likely result in a massive government investigation. Hey, I'd be worried about becoming a science experiment too. Feeling rather confused and alone, his parents send him to a reform school in hopes of curing his 'troublesome' behaviors, which only leads to more encounters with Big Dawg the bully and the Mary Janes (watch out, those girls will cut you for a Diet Coke). Fortunately, Avery meets up with some other not-so-average kids including a super-genius ready to conquer the world with robots, a super tough (and super grumpy) Catwoman, the Iceman, and Sticky Girl - who happens to also be Awfully Cute Girl. Together, these misfit teens decide to take the law into their own hands by tracking down muggers, rescuing lost boy scouts - while still making it home in time for curfew. If only they can continue to outwit the super creepy Cherchette [insert evil laugh here] who wants to take them and use them for her own nefarious purposes. Mwahaa!

    Avery is such a likable kid with his constant sarcasm and desire to 'use his powers for good.' He's just so dang lovable! He's just a teen trying to figure out things but once he gets matched up with the kooky Darla and her gang of merry misfits, he goes from loner to having some pretty funny adventures in a hurry. Usually the hilarity is due to some unfortunate accident or other while the gang tries to help some hapless victim while trying out some of Darla's prototype weapons. What other teenager has a boomerang that will cover someone in sparkles while simultaneously disabling them?

    Even if Dull Boy became somewhat predictable at times, Sarah Cross has effectively created a light and fun hero vs. villain adventure full of adventure and friendship. I quickly became attached to Avery and was totally cheering when he found some kindred spirits in Darla, Catherine, and Nicholas. Full of geektastic references (anyone else love X-Men and Batman?), Dull Boy strikes a nice balance between humor and action. Loved it.
    http://seemichelleread.blogspot.com

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    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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