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Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities
     

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

5.0 4
by Mike Jung, Mike Maihack (Illustrator)
 

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Can knowing the most superhero trivia in the whole school be considered a superpower?

If so, Vincent Wu is invincible.

If not (and let's face it, it's "not"), then Vincent and his pals Max and George don't get any props for being the leaders (and, well, sole members) of the (unofficial) Captain Stupendous Fan Club.

But what happens when the Captain is hurt

Overview


Can knowing the most superhero trivia in the whole school be considered a superpower?

If so, Vincent Wu is invincible.

If not (and let's face it, it's "not"), then Vincent and his pals Max and George don't get any props for being the leaders (and, well, sole members) of the (unofficial) Captain Stupendous Fan Club.

But what happens when the Captain is hurt in an incident involving BOTH Professor Mayhem and his giant indestructible robot AND (mortifyingly) Polly Winnicott-Lee, the girl Vincent totally has a crush on?

The entire city is in danger, Vincent's parents and his friends aren't safe, the art teacher has disappeared, and talking to Polly is REALLY, REALLY AWKWARD.

Only Vincent Wu has what it takes to save the Captain, overcome Professor Mayhem, rally his friends, and figure out what to say to Polly. But will anyone take him seriously? Seriously. Anyone??

Find out in this action-packed super comedy debut.

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.)
From the Publisher

“[A] genuinely new sort of superhero story.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“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)…Superhero fans also will appreciate the sly nod to Clark Kent/Superman when the book jacket is removed.” -- Publishers Weekly

“With snappy and authentic dialogue, layered plotting, full-on science, and sweet preteen romance, Jung's boisterous debut is a winner. Here's hoping we haven't seen the last of this bunch.” -- Booklist

“There is plenty of page-turning action, plenty of snappy dialogue and action sound effects, plenty of middle school drama (and a little romance), plenty of grossness, and plenty of kid superiority over adults. Superhero fans and comic book fans will be eager readers.” -- Library Media Connection, Recommended

“This classic fanboy fantasy hits all the right notes as Vincent uses his wits to overcome some pretty formidable odds…. The dialogue is witty, the plotting clever, and the sentiments are right on target for the age group; fans of Cody's Powerless and readers who enjoy stories about superheroes, underdogs, and friendship skirmishes will all find something to like here.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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

ISBN-13:
9780545335485
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,291,470
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Mike Jung is the author of Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities and contributed to the anthologies Dear Teen Me, Break These Rules, and 59 Reasons to Write. He is a library professional by day, a writer by night, and a semi-competent ukulele player during all the times in between. Mike is proud to be a founding member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two young children. Find Mike at www.mikejung.com.

Mike Maihack is the creator of the Cleopatra in Space series. Book One: Target Practice, won a Florida Book Award and was a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. He is also the creator of the popular webcomic Cow & Buffalo and has contributed to books like Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman; Parable; Jim Henson’s The Storyteller; Cow Boy; Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities; and Comic Book Tattoo. Mike lives with his wife, two sons, and Siamese cat in Lutz, Florida. Visit him online at www.mikemaihack.com and follow him on Twitter at @mikemaihack.

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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
WHYD YOU TOUCH GO BACK AND READ OF REREAD FOR YOUR PUNISHMENT
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.