Mascot to the Rescue! [NOOK Book]


Josh Miller, sixth grader at Demarest Elementary School, has a secret. Everything that happens to Mascot, the superhero sidekick in the Captain Major comic books, also happens to Josh. So when Josh finds out that Mascot is slated to die in the next Captain Major adventure, he knows he has to do something—and fast! A budding comics artist and writer himself, Josh and his new friend, Kelsey (aka Large Lass), take off to find Stan Kirby, the creator of the Captain Major series, so ...

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Mascot to the Rescue!

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Josh Miller, sixth grader at Demarest Elementary School, has a secret. Everything that happens to Mascot, the superhero sidekick in the Captain Major comic books, also happens to Josh. So when Josh finds out that Mascot is slated to die in the next Captain Major adventure, he knows he has to do something—and fast! A budding comics artist and writer himself, Josh and his new friend, Kelsey (aka Large Lass), take off to find Stan Kirby, the creator of the Captain Major series, so they can save Mascot—and Josh's life.

Comic-book legend Peter David teams up with the renowned comics artist Colleen Doran in their first book for young readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Kelsey Markus is new in school and about to abandon hope. Being rescued by a superhero is the last thing she expects, so she is surprised when one arrives in the form of sixth grader Josh Miller, accompanied by a reedy voice and a face mask drawn on with magic marker. Kelsey, however, is much more attracted to the secret identities of superheroes than the heroic alter egos, but she lends a more or less sympathetic ear when Josh reveals what he has discovered. It turns out that everything that happens to comic book hero Captain Major's sidekick Mascot, is also happening to Josh. Naturally, when readers callously decide in an online poll that Mascot should die, it becomes imperative to save him before Josh meets the same fate. Equal parts humor and heart, the story rollicks into full gear as the friends join with an honest but unorthodox mailroom employee, and the three embark on a search for Stan Kirby (anyone catch the nod to Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee?) reclusive creator of Captain Major, before the next issue can hit the press. Lively narrative blends with full-spread preview pages from the dreaded forthcoming issue, and the story skips nimbly from the heroic team to their hapless single parents (one each and therein lies a tale) and back again. The story draws neighbors, teachers, cops, and a determined social services employee into its net. Appropriately enough, the effect is of comic book characters speeding through a quirky, whimsical landscape, as in the climax on the bridge when reality meets fiction with a twist of friendship. In this work, David takes the archetypal superhero, sticks him in a tree, and scales him down to middle grade size. Rules are bent and trafficstopped for an employee of Wonder Comics, and fiction is drawn from real life, or at least from a virtual view of it. Josh is a charming sidekick who proves capable of drawing himself a satisfying role in his own life. There is an air of the magical about the way all problems tumble nicely toward resolution. Delightfully, not a beat of it feels unearned. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

Sixth-grader Josh may be taking his love of the Captain Major comic books too far, or so the adults in his life believe. He is convinced that everything that happens to Captain Major's sidekick, Mascot, also happens to him. So when Josh discovers that the comic book's creator plans to kill off Mascot, Josh believes he could die as well. Enlisting the help of his friend Kelsey, aka "Large Lass," he embarks on an adventure that helps him cope with his father's disappearance and realize that people will like him even if he isn't a real-life superhero. David clearly understands the prepubescent male experience and successfully brings to life a character whom boys will relate to. Likewise, female comics fans will enjoy the way Josh casts "Large Lass" into a superhero's role. Additionally, David uses a voice-over technique for the moments when Josh imagines that he is actually Mascot, which is very funny. Josh and Kelsey do find themselves in slightly implausible situations but, given the superhero premise of the story, it's easy to suspend belief. Doran's comic-strip illustrations are action packed and dynamic, but there are too few of them. Is this great literature? Hardly. Will boys read it? Definitely. This is perfect for comic-book fans who are ready (or being pushed by adults) to move on to novels.-Laura Lutz, Queens Borough Public Library, NY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061957383
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Peter David is a prolific author whose career spans nearly two decades. His recent novels include Tigerheart: A Tale of the Anyplace and Darkness of the Light. He is also renowned for his work as a comic-book writer, including the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and the Fallen Angel. He is the cocreator and author of the bestselling Star Trek: New Frontier series for Pocket Books.

Colleen Doran has been a comic-book artist since she was fifteen years old. Her credits include Spider-Man, Captain America, Wonder Woman, the Legion of Superheroes, and the Teen Titans, among others. She has worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, and film conceptual artist and has illustrated the works of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Warren Ellis, and Anne Rice.

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Read an Excerpt

Mascot to the Rescue! EPB

Chapter One

The New Kid In School

Kelsey Markus didn't know Mascot was going to rescue her that bright Monday afternoon. She was much too busy abandoning hope that things were going to be different at Demarest Elementary School to recognize a rescuer when she saw one. But as the first kid snickered at her, and then another and a third, she realized bitterly that she should have known nothing would change. It was going to be just like it was when she'd gone to Essex Elementary. She was starting over. She was "the new kid" again.

"Move it, lard butt," said one boy, shoving past her to get out onto the playground during recess. She staggered to one side, and then a crowd of boys came in from that side, pushing her the other way. "Beach ball!" called out one of them, generating even more laughter. The teachers tried to restore order, but the damage had been done.

Kelsey was fat. She knew that. They had mirrors around her house. She didn't make excuses for being overweight. She loved to eat. It wasn't much more complicated than that. Some girls loved to eat and they never gained a pound, and no one made fun of them. So obviously (she reasoned) the whole eating thing wasn't really the problem. It was the gaining part, and that was simply bad luck.

She didn't know how much she weighed. She'd stopped using a scale back in third grade. Instead Kelsey tried to focus on the important things: Her father and grandparents and family all loved her. And she knew she was a good person. She was certain of it. So why should anything else matter?

Still . . . it was tough being the new kid in school, especially since theywere already well into the school year and she'd just moved into town. She wasn't stupid. She knew the harsh truth of things-a fat girl got made fun of, and no one wanted to be friends with someone who got made fun of-but she had been hoping that Demarest would be different somehow.

But no: same old, same old.

Kickball, tetherball, even an impromptu game of tag-she tried to join in but wasn't welcome. She could complain to the teachers, but what would be the point of that? Telling on other kids would squash any remote chance of making friends.

She would have loved it if once, just once, someone had needed her for a team.

"You goin' to the bake sale?"

She was sitting on the bottom rung of the jungle gym, her heels rocking back and forth on the ground. She looked up, and up, at the large boy who had addressed her. He looked short, but his chest and arms seemed pretty muscular.

Kelsey stopped rocking and studied the boy warily. She suspected he already knew the answer to the question; his asking it was simply a formality, part of an endless ritual of bullying with which she had become all too familiar. "Why?" she said guardedly.

"That means yes," the boy said smugly. He put out his hand. "Gimme the money y'got for it."

Automatically her hand went to her right hip pocket, tipping him to precisely where she carried her money. The boy, whose name was Fred, saw the gesture and smiled the sort of cruel smile that only boys named Fred who are about to steal money could smile.

"Come on," he said. "It's not like skipping a meal is gonna kill you."

Several of Fred's pals came up behind him to watch the fun. They wanted to see the fat girl cry.

Kelsey closed her hand tightly on her pocket, trying to send Fred a clear signal that she was not going to be as easy as all that, and perhaps it would be best for him to back off. Strands of her thick, curly brown hair fell in front of her eyes and she pushed them aside, not wanting to break eye contact.

If he received the signal, he gave no sign. Instead, quickly glancing around-presumably to make certain no teachers were heading their way-Fred abruptly lunged for Kelsey, grabbing at her pocket.

Kelsey's weight actually gave her some advantage-she thrust forward and sent Fred staggering off balance. But she was at a bad angle, perched as she was on a rung of the jungle gym, and Fred had enough leverage to press his advantage.

That was when things suddenly became very strange.

"Get your hands off her!" came a loud, reedy cry.

Everybody looked up.

There on the branch of a large oak tree just above the jungle gym, perched like an eagle about to swoop, was a very thin boy. He had a shock of blond hair, a round face, and freckles. Most curiously, he had a domino mask drawn on his face across his eyes. Apparently he had used a black Magic Marker. He was sporting a blue Windbreaker and was gripping either side, stretching it out so he looked as if he had wings.

"I said get your hands off her!"

"Make me!"

The boy obliged, shouting, "Justiiiiice!" as he leaped into battle.

What Kelsey, Fred, and the assorted boys saw was a crudely masked boy in a tree, who was barking orders-or perhaps simply barking mad.

Mascot to the Rescue! EPB. Copyright (c) by Peter David . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    David, P. (2008). Mascot to the Rescue. New York: Laura Geringer Books.


    Mascot goes beyond lighthearted imaginative superhero play to blurring the line between Josh having imaginative fun and psychological need to help deal with his parents' recent divorce. After trying to save a new girl, Kelsey, from some bullies, Josh learns that his favorite character, the sidekick Mascot, is going to be killed-off from the comic book series. Having such a strong connection with Mascot, Josh fears for his own life as well as the character's and takes his new friend Kelsey on a quest to the comic book's publisher to save Mascot and himself.

    More so, Mascot explores the experience of young outsiders, developing friendships and psychological support.

    While it's clear that Peter David loves comics, the overall writing of Mascot to the Rescue! is mediocre, often telling in place of showing. The story follows multiple perspectives, including those of adults. But even when in the heads of Josh or Kelsey, the narrative doesn't quite manage to feel as though it is in a child's voice. This could, in part, be because of the emphasis on psychological well-being.

    The story also includes moments in italics when Josh falls back on pretending to be Mascot.

    Activities to do with the book:

    As with other superhero narratives, students could create their own superhero narratives in response, creating their own heroes, challenges and illustrations.

    This book could open up discussion on how to deal with parents' divorce, or how while imagination may be a key to dealing with all matter of issues, it still must be balanced with other outlets or therapies.

    A teacher could touch on the power that literature has to influence people's or discuss where authors get ideas for their stories.

    Favorite Quotes

    "What's so wonderful about the real world anyway? So many terrible things happen. At least he's reading! At least he's spending his time doing something other than hanging out on the internet" (p. 17).

    "And the way I figure it," he said, holding up the latest issue, "if Mascot can get through all the stuff that he has to deal with.then I can get through all of mine" (p. 31).

    "Well, we've got to find out."
    "On the internet. That's how you find out everything" (p. 44).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Comics Come to Life!

    My Review of Mascot to the Rescue! By Peter David: At Demarest Elementary School, Kelsey Markus, new to sixth grade, meets Josh Miller in a rather amazing way. She doesn¿t know at first that Josh has a secret but it doesn¿t take her long to suspect something! Comic book hero Captain Major¿s sidekick, Mascot, is really Josh Miller, or so Josh thinks. But what else would one think when everything that happens to Captain Major¿s sidekick Mascot, begins to happen to Josh? Kelsey doesn¿t think her new school experience will be much different from her last school as she is a bit overweight and often teased about it, and yet on her first day, she is defended by Mascot--Josh! When some boys begin to pick on her on the playground, Mascot jumps down from a tree to rescue her. A squabble begins and suddenly the coach appears and hauls Josh off to the principal, Mrs. Farber, or Misstermind as she is known to Mascot! Kelsey and Josh become friends and although Kelsey finds the Magic Marker drawn masked Mascot interesting, she tells Josh she is more interested in the secret identities of superheroes. But, Kelsey is kind and listens like a good friend when Josh reveals his secret to her about how everything that happens to Mascot in the comic books with Captain Major, happens to him. However, when the readers of this popular comic take an online survey and decide that Mascot should die in the upcoming issue to be released, Josh realizes he must save Mascot, and himself! Josh and Kelsey, or Large Lass which is now Kelsey¿s alter-ego, set out to find Stan Kirby who is the creator of Captain Major so that they can get him to change the outcome in the next edition before it is printed and something happens to Josh. The story draws from reality with the teachers, police, single parents, and even social services workers and blends them with the comic book characters as the story comes to a fun and frantic climax as the two parts, fact and fiction, meet! The story itself alternates through the narrative from Josh and Kelsey to Mascot and Large Lass. The reader has to accept the story for what it is, a bit of magic mixed with the real story and then will find it a satisfying read. Recommended for ages 9-11 and especially for comic book fans. The drawings give the book the real comic book feel and will be enticing to young readers of this genre. Submitted by Karen Haney, August, 2008

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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