Thursday, February 04, 2010

POWERLESS by Matthew Cody

I am trying to spend a tiny bit more time reading books that aren't usually my type. As a K-5 librarian, I have to have books to recommend to all readers and I have discovered that some readers make it easier for me. We have the same tastes. So, I know that in order to do my job well, I need to expand my reading a bit. When I was in the classroom, I had lots of fantasy and sci-fi readers and I could recommend books and series but I didn't feel like I had to know as many as I do now. I only had to know books to recommend to the 26+ kids in my class. If I knew them well, it was easy to read books with them in mind.

Since this is the 2nd year in this school, I am just starting to know many of the kids as readers. I've noticed that there are lots of books that kids are reading that I just can't talk about. The 5th graders can't get enough of The Percy Jackson Series. I am not always a huge fantasy fan and this book didn't look like one I'd like. So, I put it off. But, I realized a few weeks ago, that I really needed to see what all the hype was. I read THE LIGHTNING THIEF and LOVED it. I so understand the excitement and I can't wait to see the movie.

Tony at Learn Me Sumthin' has been reviewing books on his blog that I wouldn't normally pick up. But after I so loved LIGHTNING THIEF that I had so adamantly avoided, I decided to give a few others a try.

I finished POWERLESS by Matthew Cody (recommended by Tony) last weekend. It is about a boy who moves into a new neighborhood. Many of the kids in the neighborhood have super powers. Some can fly. Others are strong, etc. He is the only one of his friends without a power. But there is a little mystery in the town. Kids lose their powers (and the memories of those powers) on their 13th birthdays. No one can figure out why but they decide they need to.

POWERLESS is a fun story. It has the elements of a superhero comic book but is a good story with a pretty apparent theme. The whole concept of the story is fun and I found myself wanting to continue reading to see what happened. This is a longer book--close to 300 pages. I think it would be a great fun read for 4th and 5th graders and I have a few 5th grade boys I'll recommend it to this week.

I am learning to stretch myself a bit as a reader in this new job and I'm glad that I am. I have discovered some great books that I wouldn't have otherwise discovered.


  1. I've been meaning to pick this one up myself, to see if it might be a good one for my own fourth grader. Thanks for the reveiw--I've snagged the list for my middle grade science fiction/fantasy round-up this Sunday.

  2. Franki, I agree 100%. Over the December break, a bunch of kids gave me books from their own bookshelves for me to read. One was The Princess Academy and the other Flawed Dogs. My first reaction (in my head) was, "Ugh. I don't like princess books nor books about dogs." Well, of course, I loved them both. Best part was that my experience became a powerful teaching point when we all met after the break--how we all can stretch ourselves are readers.

    Thanks, always, to the two of you, for being a part of the literacy conversation.


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