Monday, February 2, 2015

Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford

Captain NobodyNewton and his two friends are in the fourth grade, and no one pays any attention to them. They make plans for amazing Halloween costumes, but Newton's plans get disrupted. His older brother, hero of the high school football team, is knocked into a coma while scoring the winning touchdown. His parents are very worried as his brother won't wake up, so Newton puts on his brother's old clothes to cheer them up. His friends make him a cape and mask, and he becomes Captain Nobody. Kids and adults start to notice him, and he becomes the protector of the little man. The costume gives Newton confidence as he helps others, and his actions lead to great deeds. But, how can they save his brother from his endless sleep?

This book was a 2009 finalist for a Cybils book award, and it was much more than I expected. Kids wearing costumes and pretending to be heroes without any special talents or powers? The brother's injury kept things serious, and the heroic deeds were simple enough to be believable. Newton reluctantly helped people, because the costume allowed him to overcome his fears and insecurities. Perhaps all of us have a hero hiding inside.

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