Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

5.0 4
by Mike Jung

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A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut!

Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous's No. 1 Fan, but even he has to admit that Captain Stupendous has been a little off lately. During Professor Mayhem's latest attack, Captain Stupendous barely made it out alive - although he did manage to save Vincent from a giant monster robot. It's Vincent's dream come true... until


A SUPER funny, SUPER fast-paced, SUPER debut!

Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous's No. 1 Fan, but even he has to admit that Captain Stupendous has been a little off lately. During Professor Mayhem's latest attack, Captain Stupendous barely made it out alive - although he did manage to save Vincent from a giant monster robot. It's Vincent's dream come true... until he finds out Captain Stupendous's secret identity: It's Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent happens to have a crush on.

Captain Stupendous's powers were recently transferred to Polly in a fluke accident, and so while she has all of his super strength and super speed, she doesn't know how to use them, and she definitely doesn't know all the strengths and weaknesses of his many nemeses. But Vincent and his friends are just the right fan club to train up their favorite superhero before he (she?) has to face Professor Mayhem again. And if they make it through this battle for the safety of Copperplate City, Vincent might just get up the courage to ask Polly on a date.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Kirkus Reviews
This is a superhero story for people who've read too many superhero stories. When Captain Stupendous flies through Copperplate City, every cellphone starts to ring. An emergency text might appear: "STUPENDOUS ALERT: GIANT ROBOT. 24TH & BYRNE." There will be an announcement over the nearest loudspeaker: "LOCKDOWN PROCEDURES ARE IN EFFECT IMMEDIATELY!" Drivers will abandon their cars. Grown-ups will cram into doorways. Kids will be chanting, "STU-PEN-DOUS, STU-PEN-DOUS." The students at King Kirby Middle School have grown up hearing supervillains shout, "FLEE IF YOU MUST!" and, "YOU FACE PROFESSOR MAYHEM, DOLT!" To readers, these lines will be clichés--especially if they're comic-book fans--and in fact, the book is full of clichés: Vincent Wu is a dork, obsessed with superhero trivia and longing after the cutest girl in school. Some people will put down the book after 50 pages, thinking they know what's coming, but there is a giant surprise on page 58, one that is too big to give away here. Two hints: Captain Stupendous may not survive every battle. And almost everyone in Copperplate City has a secret identity. Don't we all? The book never completely escapes cliché. Every chapter has lines like "SOON EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHO I AM, CAPTAIN STUPENDOUS!" But this is a genuinely new sort of superhero story, and it will surprise even people who are tired of sound effects and capital letters. (Fantasy. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4�6—Vincent Wu knows everything there is to know about Copperplate City's most beloved superhero, Captain Stupendous. He talks about him at dinner. He does reports on him at school. He is even a founding member of the Captain Stupendous Fan Club. When the hero takes a bad hit rescuing Vincent's not-so-secret crush, Polly Winnicott-Lee, he returns slightly different. He no longer has the skills he once had, and he is nearly pulverized in a rematch with the giant automaton he's bested before. In a last-ditch effort to save Vincent from being crushed, and to escape the battle, Stupendous takes off with the boy in his grasp. There is a revelatory moment when Stupendous unveils his secret identity: Polly. During the last battle Stupendous died and passed his abilities to her. It is now up to Vincent to train her and convince her that what he thinks of as the best gift ever is worth keeping. Jung has created an interesting city with a diverse population, reliant on and in love with superheroes (it has four Captain Stupendous fan clubs). The characters experience a good bit of growth, and kids will get a kick out of a teenage girl transforming into a muscle-bound man when performing herculean feats. The plot, funny and exciting, follows a lot of generic superhero themes. There are occasional mild swear words, which are jarring in a text so otherwise perfectly suited to this audience. For those trying to find some accessible adventure stories with a hint of romance, this is a good additional purchase.—Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mike Jung is an active blogger, parent, SCBWI member, and library professional. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two young children. This is his first novel.

Mike Maihack is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design. He lives in Tampa, Florida. Find him online at

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Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
The Whole Family Loved This Book! I read this with my boys and loved it for a million reasons, but I thought I'd let the real fans speak for themselves... The 11 year old: "I liked it because the characters felt like real people--good books are usually like that. It was very interesting how every thing was connected--the super heroes, the people and the aliens." The 9 year old: "I really like the illustrations because I want to be a cartoonist and the story was great because it was so funny." The 7 year old: "I like that the author put in so much detail. My favorite character was Bobby because he was funny and cool to kids." The 42 year old: "I loved Polly and I want to tell you why, but I don't want to give any spoilers. Let's just say she was fabulous in a variety of ways. But I also loved Vincent and his friends and of course, Bobby who's an adult who listens and respects kids. YAY! This was a fabulous and fun read with deceptive depth--so much to be found within the pages. I had a bast reading it with my boys and can't wait for Jung's next book."
CJOmololu More than 1 year ago
My son is not a reader, so when I handed him a copy of GEEKS, GIRLS and SECRET IDENTITIES, my hopes weren't very high despite the awesome cover. To my shock and awe, he read it every night and brought it to school for his individual reading. When he finished it the other night, he told me that it was the best book he'd read in forever and that he really wanted to BE the main character. This morning, he told me how sad he was that the book was over, and that he might have to start it again. High praise from a reluctant reader, and a book that has really stuck with him! Mr. Jung definitely has a hit on his hands.