Sidekicks

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Overview

Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.

But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be, Scott begins to question his role. With the help of a fellow sidekick, once his nemesis, Scott must decide...

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Sidekicks

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Overview

Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.

But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be, Scott begins to question his role. With the help of a fellow sidekick, once his nemesis, Scott must decide if growing up means being loyal or stepping boldly to the center of things. Great for boys, comics fans, and anyone looking for a superhero tale that’s also an insightful look at adolescence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For his sophomore novel, Ferraiolo (The Big Splash) delivers a delightfully clever take on superheroes with this unpredictable adventure. Scott "Bright Boy" Hutchinson has been the youthful sidekick to grim avenger Phantom Justice for most of his life, and he enjoys the nightly fights against evil, especially since it's the only social life he has. When the fiendish and superintelligent Dr. Chaotic escapes from prison, his sidekick (and Scott's nemesis) Monkeywrench returns as well. Business as usual, until Bright Boy and Monkeywrench accidentally learn each other's secret identities. Now, forced to interact in real life, they discover they have more in common than they thought, a connection their respective mentors are none too happy with. But as Scott starts to find a measure of happiness, a series of revelations shatters his worldview. Now the sidekick must decide whose side he's really on. What starts as a tongue-in-cheek sendup of the superhero genre (complete with puberty-related embarrassing moments, costume malfunctions, and purposefully clichéd dialogue) rapidly swerves into new and engaging territory as Ferraiolo reveals the story's true depths. Ages 10–14. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Bright Boy, sidekick of Batman-like superhero Phantom Justice, aka Trent Clancy, rescues a beautiful female hostage from the clutches of evil Rogue Warrior, but is powerless to conceal his erection that is all-too-obvious in his yellow tights—a costume that the live helicopter news feeds show he has clearly outgrown. His humiliation extends even to the kindergartners at his exclusive private Manhattan school and Phantom Justice is inexplicably unsympathetic, telling Bright Boy, aka Scott, to "control it." Their nemesis, Dr. Chaotic, escapes from prison and with his sidekick, Monkeywrench, provokes a confrontation. In the dustup, Monkeywrench is revealed to be a girl—Scott's classmate Allison—but she also discovers his identity. Long story short, they fight and flirt, fall for each other, and soon learn to prefer quiet conversations and kissing to fisticuffs. Two sections of white font on black pages reveal that Phantom Justice is a fraud, in cahoots with his evil counterparts, paid by giant corporations to stage their fights so as to provide them with free publicity—all those live helicopter news feeds. Further, PJ coldly plans to murder the troublesome sidekicks, just as he's disposed of other collaborators he no longer needed. This is a fast-reading, cleverly told, entertaining tale, sort of a graphic novel without the pictures. Although loose ends abound, the fun is in the boy-meets-girl story. Readers will be entertained and will hope for a quick sequel to fill in the gaps.—Joel Shoemaker, formerly at South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
It's not easy being the thirteen-year-old sidekick to a superhero. Worse is when you have to wear bright yellow tights to match your moniker of "Bright Boy." Worse still is when those bright yellow tights reveal a certain kind of below-the-belt reaction to holding a beautiful rescued maiden in your arms—and reveal it on national TV—and when you have to go to middle school the next day as plain old invisible Scott Hutchinson and hear your classmates howling with laughter over "your" public humiliation. Ferraiolo's hilarious premise develops riveting complications when Scott/Bright Boy discovers the identity of his nemesis sidekick Monkeywrench, who happens to be his very own classmate, and when he has to explore deeper questions about the legendary rivalry between his own mentor/hero Phantom Justice and Monkeywrench's mentor/anti-hero Dr. Chaotic. Comic dialogue, action-packed fight scenes, shocking character revelations, and plot twists galore make this a funny, suspenseful, thought-provoking page turner. Bright Boy gets more than just a new costume; he learns what it takes to grow out of the role of sidekick and into the role of hero in his own right. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
ALAN Review - Raef Williams
Scott Hamilton is not the average teenager. When he's not completing his homework or finishing a term paper, Scott is flying across rooftops and halting crime by night as Bright Boy, loyal sidekick to the dynamic crime fighter Phantom Justice. After his latest heroics saving a hostage from the hands of masked villain Rogue Warrior, Bright Boy has a slight wardrobe malfunction and becomes the laughingstock of criminals, fans, and the entire school! What makes matters worse is the discovery that his evil archenemy Monkeywrench is actually the pretty girl who sits in front of him in science class, Allison Mendez. What begins as good old-fashioned hate turns into romance between the two. Scott must make a decision: will he remain loyal to the cause of defending justice, or will he fall for his sworn enemy, whom he must ultimately deliver to the law? Reviewer: Raef Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—By day, he's Scott Hutchinson. By night, he's Bright Boy, Phantom Justice's tight-wearing sidekick. There has only been one criminal who has ever come close to defeating them, Dr. Chaotic and his sidekick, Monkeywrench. When the Dr. escapes from prison, trouble rears its ugly head. As Scott's character becomes a symbol of public ridicule, he starts feeling increasingly uncomfortable around his classmates. Longing to be rid of the school bully and to have a girlfriend, Scott wonders if the superhero life is really for him. To make matters worse, during a fight, Scott discovers Monkeywrench's true identity. His arch nemesis turns out to be none other than Allison Mendez, the girl Scott has had a major crush on forever. As the two start spending more and more time with each other, they realize that the lines of good and evil are a lot more blurred than anyone could've ever imagined. Will Scott continue to be a superhero and fight his crush/arch nemesis, or will he become a lover instead of a fighter? Narrator Ramon de Ocampo does a great job of bringing the characters in Jack D. Ferraiolo's novel (Amulet, 2011) to life. His unique voices truly encompass the characters' personalities. The intermixing of action, humor, and adventure is well-crafted by the author and brought to life by the narrator. Transitions and plot twists are performed smoothly and maintain viewer interest. A great addition to middle and high school collections.—Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT
Kirkus Reviews

The author who made a splash with The Big Splash (2008) takes the "costumed superheroes" genre out for a joyride, and anyone who comes along will never read comics the same way again. Six years as Bright Boy, sidekick to crime-fighting superhero Phantom Justice, has left Scott a teenager with no life, no friends and revealing yellow tights that show the news cameras every bit of the involuntary hard-on he gets after heroically rescuing a beautiful victim. Then another seemingly devastating development: He and arch-nemesis Monkeywrench (Dr. Chaotic's sidekick) both lose their masks in battle, and Monkeywrench turns out to be not only a girl, but one he knows from school. This leads to a giddy, liberating romance, as well as cool costume makeovers and sensational publicity after the cameras catch some of that love action. It also earns them death sentences from their respective employers, who turn out to be very different from their public images and not at all willing to be edged out of the limelight by supporting characters. Scott's present-tense narration keeps pedal to the metal from start to finish, and readers will be quickly won over as the two super-strong, super-fast, super-likable protagonists face both inner conflicts and a Dark Knight–ish villain as deeply psychotic and scary as he is super powerful. Look for more twists than a pretzel factory and a possible sequel. (Superhero fantasy. YA)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419701856
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack D. Ferraiolo is the author of The Big Splash and Sidekicks. As the head of development at a children’s animation production company, he has developed and writes for WordGirl on PBS, for which he won an Emmy Award. He lives in northern Massachusetts. Visit him online at www.jackferraiolo.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Awesome book

    A fast paced action book with romance trust and a good ending.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo

    Scott Hutchinson, aka Bright Boy, is a sidekick to Phantom Justice. When duty calls, he rushes to save the innocent from harm. When the duo's archnemesis, Dr. Chaotic, escapes from prison and rejoins with his own sidekick, Monkeywrench, trouble can only be brewing. To make matters worse, during a battle Scott discovers Monkeywrench is none other than Allison Mendez, the girl he's had a crush on forever. As the two start spending time together, Scott starts wondering how black and white the world of superheroes and villains really is - and whether or not he should continue being one. Can Scott help Phantom Justice stop Dr. Chaotic from taking over the world, get the girl, and still kick his archnemesis' butt? Will he continue being a superhero? SIDEKICKS is a fun, action-filled adventure. The characters are humorous and likable. The plot is well-developed and has a lot of fun twists and turns. Those who like superheroes, realistic fiction, humor, and fantasy/adventure will all enjoy reading this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    luv it

    good i luv it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Love it!!

    It was a fast paced action story. It is a mix of romance, action, and a sprinkle of mystery. I ate this book up!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    Love it!

    I really liked it alot. I really want there to be a secound book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2013

    At first I didn't like it too much and the book ranged from me n

    At first I didn't like it too much and the book ranged from me not liking it to the book being okay. It wasn't until about 100 pages in that I began liking it. After reading the whole book, overall I liked it. For me this book often has more description than action or speech than what I like in this type of book. Part of it is becasue at the beginning the main character/sidekick in the story doesn't really get to do much. And up until the first set of black pages with white lettering I didn't really feel that this book had a point to it and I didn't get any sense of where the story was heading. The first set of black pages is where the story seemed to begin having a point to it and where I really started enjoying it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Appropriate review

    I'd tape my balls to do it with allison

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    Second

    I think there should be a second, i mean so many 'loose ends' are left at the end of the story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Awesome

    I got this book from my school library. I would say it's a love/action story. If you get the chance go out and buy it, i would recommend it to all ages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    ?

    Will there be a second

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews

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