The Ultra Violets by Sophie Bell, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Ultra Violets
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The Ultra Violets

4.7 15
by Sophie Bell

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A smart superhero book for girls with plenty of glitter—perfect for fans of The Powerpuff Girls.

It all started with the mysterious purple goo . . .

What happens when four best friends find themselves splattered with a bubbling, genetically altering substance during a seemingly innocent sleepover in a secret, see-through, high-tech,


A smart superhero book for girls with plenty of glitter—perfect for fans of The Powerpuff Girls.

It all started with the mysterious purple goo . . .

What happens when four best friends find themselves splattered with a bubbling, genetically altering substance during a seemingly innocent sleepover in a secret, see-through, high-tech, futuristic lab? They develop superpowers, that's what! Iris, Cheri, Scarlet, and Opaline are destined to become . . .


IRIS: Visionary, artist, leader—the glitter glue that holds the group together!

CHERI: A girly girl on platform rollerskates who's never met a rescue puppy or a nail polish she didn’t immediately-and-madly love. 

SCARLET: Short enough that you won’t see her sneaking up behind you. Freckled enough that you might mistake her for innocent. But look out!

OPALINE: Loveable, huggable, supershy, sweet as pie . . . or is she?


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In futuristic Sync City, seven-year-old best friends Cheri, Scarlet, Iris and Opaline are having a sleepover in the laboratory where their mothers work (taking Bring Your Daughter to Work Day to another level), when they accidentally get drenched in the "liquefied post-atomic hybrid particle" Heliotropium, "capable of altering any bio-organism on earth." Fast-forward four years, and the friends, who had drifted apart, reunite and discover that three of them have gained super powers. Mild-mannered Opal, the odd girl out, battles a growing resentment of the others, especially when Cheri accidentally attracts her crush. Meanwhile at the bio-cosmetic company where Opal's mother now works, mysterious mutants are multiplying. Soon the girls must graduate from stopping school bullies to facing down this threat. Appropriately, the story is printed in purple ink, and Battle's cartoon spot art has a definite Powerpuff Girls flair (Battle worked on that show and other Cartoon Network standbys). This lively first book in a planned series is an undeniably fun ride, but the giddily breathless narration may prove too hyperbolic for some, and many jokes and references are likely to fly over readers' heads. Ages 8–up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Enid J. Portnoy
Here come the Ultra Violets-four best friends who underwent a bubbly squirting of a gene substance on them, in a high-tech futuristic laboratory. This altered their appearance in a most colorful manner, and helped them develop superpowers. It began one night at a sleepover they had in the spooky science lab where their moms worked. Their sudden lilac coloring is shown in cartoon like characters illustrated in the book's pages. Needless to say, they are not all thrilled with their appearance, or the unusual events they have to experience. This lasts four years and is the beginning of unimaginable adventures. They struggle being in school and then out of school, meeting weird creatures, mutant bullies, caged animals and seeing their own purple hair! However, they realize they can handle anything with their ultraviolet powers. Wandering around Sync City skylines they discover fantastic events and strange experiments, even in their moms' laboratory. What does this all mean? How can the girls talk about the odd adventures with their school chums? They try experiments on their friends but through all these "Viomazing Adventures," the girls remain loyal and helpful to one another. Go, Violets! And readers, be on the lookout for Book two of this series, "Power to the Purple!" Sophie Bell, the author, wishes she had superpowers like the characters she creates, to deal with the freak weather she has experienced living in New York. Battle, the illustrator has success working on Cartoon Network shows and comic films. After readers finish the 22 chapters, they may feel like these sixth graders who think violet, and see purple all the time. It's really "VIOMAZING" to read about such an imaginative leap into the future. Reviewer: Enid J. Portnoy
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—While on a sleepover at a supersecret lab, four second-grade friends are accidentally splashed with an experimental chemical. At the time, it doesn't seem too important. But, four years later, when the girls reunite in middle school, the "heliotropium" exposure is producing astonishing changes. Iris has developed purple hair and the corresponding ability to affect colors around her. Scarlet has gained phenomenal dancing talents, and Cheri has extraordinary math powers and can communicate with animals. Only Opal seems to have been left out-and she's increasingly bitter about it. The other girls assure her that they are all still "besties," but then Opal mistakenly assumes that Cheri is using superskills to steal the boy whom she wants. Opal breaks with the group just as her own terrifying storm-creating powers manifest. Meanwhile, SyncCity is being invaded by weird human-animal mutants, and the source seems to be experimental beauty lab BeauTek in the shuttered Mall of No Returns. Opal arranges a class field trip to BeauTek, where she assumes control of the mutant forces. Can the remaining Ultra Violets rescue their friend from the dark side in time to save the city? Readers may be attracted to the anime-style illustrations, flashy cover art, and purple-inked text, but the episodic plot is often a challenge to follow, especially as the author frequently breaks page in mid-action to insert side comments. Many plot threads are left unresolved, indicating a planned sequel. The self-consciously "girlie" dialogue is replete with text-message acronyms and cutesy pop-culture references. There is room in the superhero pantheon for an all-girl team, but the Ultra Violets spend more time licking lollipops and humiliating cafeteria bullies than seeking justice.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
The tongue-in-cheek origin story of hypersparkly, girl-power superheroes. In a rather extended prologue, second-graders Iris, Cheri, Scarlet and Opaline's sleepover party at the laboratory their mothers work at goes awry when they are splashed by a volatile, mysterious chemical. Shortly after, the foursome is broken apart by parental moves and new schools. Four years later, the group reunites just in time for the chemical's alterations to their DNA to be made manifest. Artistic Iris has grown purple hair and has the ability to change things' colors; Cheri has super math powers and can telepathically communicate with her beloved animals; tough tomboy Scarlet gains super dance powers. But while her friends bond over trying out their new superpowers, shy Opal feels left out, as her abilities are slow to develop. Meanwhile strange, mutated creatures are attacking the town, and they're connected to the mysterious "bio-cosmetic" company BeauTek. BeauTek is located in the vacant Mall of No Returns, whose storefronts parody chain stores and feature labs, not merchandise, run by a six-inch-stiletto–wearing madwoman. The main storyline meanders past subplot after subplot, taking far too long to get started. The chatty, pun-filled narration will engage readers but only partially makes up for the padded length. Battle's illustrations give a cartoony, Powerpuff Girls vibe that meshes perfectly with the voice. Girls will overlook its flaws to find a superhero story written for them. (Adventure. 8-12)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Ultra Violets Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.78(h) x 1.10(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

If Sophie Bell could have just one superpower, it would be to control the frizzies come rain, snow, tornado, or monsoon. Either that or invisible-flying. Like the Ultra Violets, she once had purple hair, and it came at a terrible cost—about fifteen dollars per extension. She lives with many inappropriate shoes in Brooklyn, New York.

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