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BOOK REVIEWS, Early/Young Readers, Fantasy, Read-Aloud Suggestions


Tons of Fun!  That’s what the Melvin Beederman Superhero books are!  They are simple chapter books about Melvin Beederman, the top graduate in his Superhero Academy class.  Orphaned when his math-genius father was killed in a speeding train word problem accident, Headmaster Spinner spotted Melvin in the orphanage, recognizes his special abilities and takes him to live at the Superhero Academy.

As we begin the first book in the Melvin Beederman series, Melvin has just accepted his first superhero assignment in Los Angeles, California.  They are in desperate need of a superhero and Melvin gets off to a great start.  Unfortunately, a rescue at a tractor pull causes Melvin to part with his superhero cape temporarily at the same time the McNasty brothers (“bank robbers and all-around bad guys”) break out of jail.

Alas, when Melvin and his cape are reunited things do not work out the way Melvin was expecting.  Melvin knows what his weakness is:  bologna.  What they do NOT teach you at the Academy is how to defeat your weakness.  Melvin’s special gifts–the ones that exceed mere superpowers–are the key to discovering his true strength.

This is a great read-aloud for 1st -3rd graders (1st graders at the END of the school year)!  My 8 and 9 year old and I had a blast reading it as a bedtime story!  Rhode Montijo’s cartoonish superhero illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to a story with a good heart and a little tongue-in-cheek humor that even the kids get!


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