by Matthew Cody
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Powerless by Matthew Cody

Superheroes soar in this promising debut—and they’re kids!

Twelve-year-old Daniel, the new kid in town, soon learns the truth about his nice—but odd—new friends: one can fly, another can turn invisible, yet another controls electricity. Incredible. The superkids use their powers to secretly do good in the town, but they’re haunted by the fact that the moment they turn thirteen, their abilities will disappear—along with any memory that they ever had them. Is a memory-stealing supervillain sapping their powers?

The answers lie in a long-ago meteor strike, a World War II–era comic book (Fantastic Futures, starring the first superhero, Johnny Noble), the green-flamed Witch Fire, a hidden Shroud cave, and—possibly, unbelievably—“powerless” regular-kid Daniel himself.

Superhero kids meet comic book mystery in this action-filled debut about the true meaning of a hero.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375844898
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 79,172
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Matthew Cody divides his time between writing and teaching college English. He lives with his wife and young son in New York City, where he is at work on his next novel for Knopf.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The New Kid

Welcome to Noble's Green, Pennsylvania—
The Safest Town on Earth!

The safest town on earth? thought Daniel. Couldn't sound lamer.

Daniel Corrigan and his family saw the sign from their car just a few miles outside town. When it came into view, Daniel's father honked the horn of their minivan as his mother clapped her hands. Of course Daniel's baby brother, Georgie, had to join in, squealing with delight while kicking his plump legs against his car seat. Georgie was only two years old and he always just assumed that everyone was clapping for him, which was usually the case. Daniel's parents clapped when Georgie smiled or spoke or even burped.

Instead of joining in the applause, Daniel just buried his nose deeper in his book. His mom warned him over and over again that reading in the car would make him sick, but he did it anyway. The Sherlock Holmes mystery The Hound of the Baskervilles was one of his favorites. Daniel had a thing for detective stories, and Sherlock Holmes was the best detective ever. Period. While Daniel was completely aware that a middle-aged, pipe-smoking British sleuth was not the typical hero of the average twelve-year-old boy, peer pressure meant little to him. He liked spending his time amidst the gaslit streets and horse-drawn carriages, the dangerous arch-criminals and, of course, trusty sidekick Dr. Watson.

Daniel sometimes wished for a trusty sidekick. All he had was Georgie, who was too young to be of much help in anything. With a sidekick like Georgie, not even Holmes would have solved many crimes, thought Daniel. He would have been too busy clapping all the time.

Besides, Daniel understood something that Georgie didn't--that his parents were clapping to get their minds off why they were moving in the first place. They were moving to Noble's Green because that was where Gram lived, and she was very, very sick. For Daniel, the best way to escape that sad fact was to disappear between the covers of a well-read book.

The moving truck was waiting for them by the time the family minivan turned onto Elm Lane, the Corrigan family's new address. The truck was backed into the driveway as far as it could reach--it was one of those big tractor-trailer types and the front cab stuck out into the street. He didn't understand why they would need all that stuff, even if they were going to be here for a long time. The thought of their old apartment sitting empty back in Philadelphia filled Daniel with a strange sadness.
When they pulled up, the movers were already unloading the truck.

"C'mon, Daniel," said his dad. "We'll let your mom go in and tell your gram that we're here. I'll give you the grand tour."

"Watch yourself getting out of the car, honey," said his mom as she unbuckled Georgie from his car seat. "The oncoming traffic can't see you with that big truck in the way."

His dad smiled as he gestured to the giant wraparound porch. "Pretty cool, huh?"
Gram's house was two stories tall, three if you counted the attic, and the whole thing was painted a sort of pale blue, with white doors and window frames.

"You'll get the attic bedroom--it's got a great view of the mountain--and Georgie will sleep in the one next to ours."

Daniel didn't say anything; he just focused on not looking impressed.
They ended their tour at the back of the house, next to a set of double doors. They were closed, but Daniel could hear the sound of laughter on the other side.
Daniel's father knocked very gently, and a small voice answered from the other side, "Come on in!"

His father put his hand on Daniel's shoulder and gave him a reassuring squeeze, then opened the door.

The master bedroom was bright and airy. Floor-to-ceiling windows covered two of the walls, and the light filtered down through the trees, shining in beams along the dark wood floor. A large four-poster bed sat in the middle, and there was a soft sofa against one of the windows. Daniel's mother was holding Georgie in her lap while a woman in a nurse's uniform perched on a stool, reading a women's magazine. And there, seated on the edge of the bed, was Gram. She looked thinner than he remembered and her hair seemed whiter, even though it had only been a few months since she had last visited them in Philadelphia. A small plastic hose extended from her nostrils to a tank around her waist, but she was smiling.

His father leaned down and whispered, "It's okay. Why don't you go and give your gram a hug?"

"I know. I look like something out of a movie, hooked up to all these contraptions. Robo-Gram," she said.

Daniel's initial trepidation melted away when he saw Gram wink in his direction. She might not look as strong as he remembered, but she sounded just like her old self.
He walked over and wrapped his arms around her. His gram used to smell of stale perfume and hair spray, but now she smelled of something he didn't recognize, something mediciney. Daniel could feel the bones of her rib cage through her shirt.
She must have read Daniel's mind. "Yeah, I'm as skinny as a bird, aren't I? It's the food they've got me on. No one around here understands the healing power of fat and grease! But together, maybe we can convince them. What do you say to some burgers and fries?"

Daniel smiled as she patted his cheek. "You bet!" he answered. "Milkshakes?"
"Well, of course! Milkshakes go without saying."

They went on like that for a while, with Gram teasing and making Daniel laugh. It wasn't until Georgie started to get restless that Daniel's mother decided to break up the fun.

"Daniel, why don't you take your little brother outside for a bit? Let us talk for a while."

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Powerless 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 119 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing. It was such a cool book to read, especially the superheroes. It's a definite page turner. Surprises are everywhere. Sydney, age 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Powerless is an awesone thrilling book about kids that have super powers but the second they they turn 13they lose there powers.I hope that whoever that has not read this book read it the second you see the reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a awesome book. You should deffinatley try it out sometime. The book was so good to me that I read it over five times. It it is full of mystery and life when you read this book it automatically takes you into the book and it is like you are watching the story like a really good movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best it has alot of suspense it is awesome u should get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally love the action, and suspense, and the great vibes it gives off!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly awesomley fantastic!!! Thats all I got to say. YOU BETTER READ IT!! WHY ARE YOU WAITING!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book. It is so good! When it ended I was so sad that it over. It is totally worth the money! I luv it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes me long for a sequel, good good book,
Santana10 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! You should totally read it!;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher read it to about 1 to 2chapters a day we never wanted her to stop i lovved a least get the sample
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a book i couldnt put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book very entertaining
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way too good for words!!! TOTALLY WORTH THE $$$!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ive read like 20 pages and it already one of my favorites
library_booker More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic book, I couldn't even put it down. Has a great mystery and tons of action. Read this book!
Kathy Brown More than 1 year ago
I looved this book! It was a great book, and always left you wondering!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book!! Its so good!!! ReAD IT TODAY!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was amazing i could not put it down if you are still thinking about reading it read the sample once again great suspense
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definately on my top 5 fav books ever!!!! I cant wait for the sequel to come out. Go Matthew Cody!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt stop reading this book. every moment i had at school i pulled out my nook and read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is soooo amazing! I really want to buy it... but i dont know how much is in my account & my parents have me a limit :( but im adding it to my wish list so i can buy it w/ my own money... CANT WAIT TO BUY IT!!!