Series: DC Super Hero Girls #2
Also in this series: Batgirl at Super Hero High
Published by Random House Children's Books on 7/5/16
Genres: Middle Grade
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: MG (No romance, Some comic book MG violence)
This groundbreaking new middle grade series follows DC Comics' most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains . . . as high schoolers. At Super Hero High, the galaxy's most powerful teens nurture their powers and master the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero.
This book is SO much fun, and it’s perfect for MG and early YA readers. My daughter and I both read this one and both thoroughly enjoyed it. It provides lots of super hero action but also has a sweet message about believing in yourself. I highly recommend this for MG readers!
This is the second book in the DC Super Hero Girls Series, but it can definitely be read alone (neither my daughter nor I had read the first one and we had no problem following any of the storyline). This installment focuses on Kara – AKA Supergirl – who comes to Super Hero high after the destruction of Krypton. New to Earth, Kara discovers she has powers here, but she isn’t very good at controlling them yet. When compared to the seemingly perfect teens at Super Hero High, Kara doesn’t feel like she measures up – and she wonders if she would be better off somewhere out of the spotlight.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Super strength. Kara (AKA Supergirl) is the strongest teen in the universe – when she can keep her powers under control – and there are plenty of demonstrations of that! Not only do we have lots of fun scenes where Kara is learning to be a super hero in high school, but we also get to see her and her classmates save the day when a villain infiltrates the school (bringing along an evil army!). My daughter got a kick out of scenes where Kara was just learning her powers. For example, she started practicing flying by staying close to home – only going a few states away at first. Cute little lines like this made for fun reading!
- Girl power! I loved that the focus of these books is on the girls without having them be at an all-girl school or something. The boys are there, they just aren’t the stars of the super hero show. This is refreshing to see. There are also some great friendships among the girls – Barbara, Kara’s brainy and tech-savvy best friend, is a particular favorite of mine – and very little cattiness (Cheetah does seem a bit jealous of Kara and makes fun of her a bit when she fails, but the focus isn’t on the “mean girls” – it’s more about Kara’s own insecurities).
- Finding your place. At its heart, this story is really about finding your place when you feel like an outsider. Kara comes to the school after her parents die on Krypton, and she feels alone and out of place. To make matters worse, she comes into her powers only a few short months before entering school, and she really doesn’t have any control over them yet. She is at the height of that MG clumsiness – that period where kids are growing into their bodies and haven’t really figured out how to navigate it all – but her experiences are heightened by the fact that she has super powers. So, instead of just tripping over her own two feet (which she does a lot), she manages to do something like crash into a building or send a whole library wall full of books crashing down. Kara lacks confidence, which makes it nearly impossible for her to succeed. And she looks around at the other teens around her and sees a group of put-together super heroes who always know what they’re doing (at least from her skewed perspective) – she feels like she can’t live up. Kara’s journey of self-acceptance is key to the story!
What Left Me Wanting More:
- MG predictable. I found it relatively obvious early on who the super villain was. Though Yee did give us a little time at the beginning to get to know the villain and let us be surprised, once the hints started, it wasn’t hard to figure out. I actually think this is good for books at this MG level because it gives kids a chance to solve the mystery. Also, while issues of loss, loneliness and self-acceptance are explored, this book is definitely written with a light, fun tone – nothing earth-shattering – again, very appropriate for MG level.
Such a fun read! Super Hero High makes me wish I had a superpower or two! I now definitely need to get my hands on the first book, Wonder Woman at Super Hero High. I give this one 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author:
Lisa Yee’s debut novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. With over two million books in print, her other novels for young people include Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, So Totally Emily Ebers, Absolutely Maybe, and a series about a 4th grader,Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) and Bobby the Brave (Sometimes).
Lisa is also the author of American Girl’s Kanani books and Good Luck, Ivy, and this year’s Lea Clark novels. Her novel, Warp Speed, is about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up everyday at school. A Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence, Lisa’s books have been named a NPR Best Summer Read, Sports Illustrated Kids Hot Summer Read, and USA Today Critics’ Top Pick.
The Kidney Hypothetical – Or How To Ruin Your Life In Seven Days is Lisa’s latest novel for teens. Lisa’s 2016 books include the DC Super Hero Girls middle grade novel series and the American Girl, 2016 Girl of the Year books.