Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FABOULOUS FINISH: The Astounding Broccoli Boy

The Astounding Broccoli Boy
by Frank Cotrell Boyce
Walden Pond Press, 2015, Fiction. 370 p

Rory, your typical middle school wimp, suddenly turns bright green. Since all the famous characters who are green happen to be superheros, Rory assumes that his new color comes with superpowers. He is taken to a research hospital and put in a room with the only other kid who has recently turned green, Tommy Lee, who happens to be the school bully. Forced to face daily blood tests, urine samples and other indignities together, the boys start to form a tentative friendship. When Tommy Lee manages to sneak out of the facility at night, and Rory comes along, the fun and excitement of being green and (maybe) having superpowers begins.

Although Rory and Tommy Lee are stereotypical middle-grade-reader characters, Boyce adds enough quirky personality traits to make them endearing and interesting. Throughout the book, the reader isn't completely sure whether the boys have superpowers or not, which adds a fun element. The boys' adventures are pretty wacky, and Boyce uses the story to poke fun at media coverage and how it can effect public opinion. This is a great new addition to the "kid superhero" genre for fans of Public School Superhero or School for Sidekicks.

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