Powerless by Matthew Cody

Something strange is going on in the town of Noble’s Green.  It is the safest town on earth, but that is because its children are hiding a secret.  Some of the children, anyway, have superpowers.  Eric and Mollie can fly.  Rohan can hear and see and sense things beyond the normal range.  Simon can control electricity.  Rose can turn invisible.  Louisa can walk through solid objects.  Clay is super strong and Bud is super smelly.  They keep their town safe while following four rules.

Then Daniel moves to town.  Even though is is perfectly ordinary, he discovers their secret.  But something is wrong.  When each superhero turns thirteen, something saps their powers.  They are left without both their powers and their memories.  What is stealing their powers–a supervillain?  Daniel may be the only one who can sift through the clues found in a World War II comic book, old photographs, and a hidden cave to find the answer before it is too late.

I enjoyed reading Matthew Cody’s Powerless (Scholastic 2009), and I can already think of several students who will love it.  It brought back memories of summer afternoons and weekends when my brother and I would entertain ourselves by pretending we were superheroes.  The story weaves together a tribute to comic books and Sherlock Holmes.  Daniel is a fan of the British detective.  He shares Holmes’ attention to detail, and the answer to defeating the evil Shroud comes from the details.  I just have one question that never got answered.  What happened to Johnny Noble?  Why is he hanging around but not helping the children?

If you, too, have ever dreamed of having superpowers, you will enjoy Powerless.  You might also like Savvy and Scumbled by Ingrid Law or The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester.

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