Mia Mayhem Series by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez: Black History Month Spotlight

February 16, 2021 Black History Month, Reviews 1 ★★★★

Since this month is Black History Month, I’m putting a little extra spotlight on some recent books featuring Black main characters. This is the second feature: a review of the latest three books in the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!


Mia Mayhem Series by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez: Black History Month SpotlightMia Mayhem Steals the Show! by Kara West
Illustrator: Leeza Hernandez
Series: Mia Mayhem #8
Published by Little Simon on 6/23/20
Genres: Chapter Book, Superheroes
Pages: 128
Source: The Publisher
My rating:
4 Stars

Mia plays a superhero in a school play in this eighth adventure of the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!

Mia finds out that her regular school will be putting on a play about superheroes! As soon as the casting call goes out, Mia’s sure that the main character role was made just for her. Because after all, who better to play the part than a real-life superhero? But when show day comes around and nerves are running high, will Mia be able to take the stage and be herself without revealing her super-secret?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Mia Mayhem chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

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My Take copy3

The Mia Mayhem chapter book series is super cute and shows kids that anyone can be a superhero! I love the diversity in this series. Not only is the main character Black, but other kids in her superhero school have various differences (which could be seen as disabilities, but I hate to even call them that because they don’t hold the characters back in any way shape or form). Better yet, I’m not sure if it was addressed in earlier books, but these differences aren’t really addressed at all in the books I read, except to be casually mentioned in circumspect. It’s not seen as a big deal—it’s just who they are.

The books are very illustration-heavy, making them a great starting point for kids who don’t feel 100% confident in their reading yet. I think it will appeal to pretty much any kid ready to make the jump into chapter books because the stories have a little bit of something for everyone: the adventure of superhero school combined with the everyday trials and tribulations of regular school.

As far as the storyline goes for this particular book in the series, it’s quite sweet. Mia wants the lead in her school’s superhero play (I mean, come on, she is a superhero), but she flubs her audition and gets the part of a tree instead. But she ends up working hard to be the best tree she can be, and she learns all the parts in the play, plus she’s able to help the lead get over her fear of heights. Of course, you can tell by the cover that Mia does get her chance to play a superhero on stage, but she learns that the spotlight isn’t as important as being a part of the team. 

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


Mia Mayhem Series by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez: Black History Month SpotlightMia Mayhem and the Super Family Field Day by Kara West
Illustrator: Leeza Hernandez
Series: Mia Mayhem #9
Published by Little Simon on September 15, 2020
Genres: Chapter Book, Superheroes
Pages: 128
Source: The Publisher
My rating:
4 Stars

It’s family field day in this ninth adventure of the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!

Mia and friends get ready for family field day at the PITS! Potato sack races, tug of war, and the hula hoop ring toss reach dangerous limits when a group of the most skilled and talented superheroes go head to head. Will Mia and her parents be able to come out on top or will the whole day end up in a major family fiasco?

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My Take copy3

In this installment in the series, Mia gets to bring her parents to superhero school for a very special field day. This is the first book in the series where Mia sees her parents actually showing off their own super abilities. Of course, she wants her family to win (and she really doesn’t want her rival’s family to win), but she eventually realizes that the experience of teaming up with her parents is rewarding, with or without a trophy at the end!

Once again, the story is fun and the diversity of our characters gets to shine. (We see all of Mia’s superhero friends in action! And as an added bonus, one of her friends’ two dads join him for field day.)

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


Mia Mayhem Series by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez: Black History Month SpotlightMia Mayhem and the Super Switcheroo by Kara West
Illustrator: Leeza Hernandez
Series: Mia Mayhem #10
Published by Little Simon on January 12, 2021
Genres: Chapter Book, Superheroes
Pages: 128
Source: The Publisher
My rating:
4 Stars

Mia’s best friend, Eddie, becomes SUPER in this tenth adventure of the Mia Mayhem chapter book series!

One day, Mia wakes up to find that none of her superpowers work. She can’t fly, she doesn’t have superspeed, and she definitely can’t lift an elephant anymore. Not only that, it turns out that her best friend, Eddie, who’s always been just a regular kid, wakes up to be totally SUPER! With Mia and Eddie now in each other’s shoes, will they be able to work together to get through this super switcheroo?

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My Take copy3

Book ten of the series sees Mia and her best friend Eddie switching places during a freak thunderstorm. Mia takes the switch completely in stride (okay, I’ll admit I found this somewhat unbelievable, but these books are aimed at very young children) and decides to do for Eddie what he’s always done for her: be a super-supportive best friend. She takes him to the Superhero school and teaches him to use his powers. In the end, their powers switch back, but they’re left with the mystery of why the lightning caused the switch… perhaps they’ll discover the answer in a future book?

This book doesn’t have much in the way of stakes, but it’s still a cute story. Mia not only gets to practice being a great friend, but she realizes that her powers aren’t what actually make her super.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


About the Author and Illustrator

Kara West would love to be a superhero, mostly so she can ask squirrels what they’re so nervous about. She lives in Chicago with her own cats, who, unlike Chaos, spend more time sleeping than causing trouble. Thank goodness.

Author Links:
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Leeza Hernandez, an award-winning illustrator and now children’s book author, hails from the south of England, but has been living in New Jersey since 1999. She works as an art director at a local magazine and in her spare time, creatively noodles with new ideas for books in her art studio. She loves to experiment with printmaking, pen and ink, digital collage, and painting.

Illustrator Links:

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