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Not Your Sidekick

by C. B. Lee

Published by Interlude Press, 2016
283 pages
ISBN: 978-1-945053-03-0

12 and older

Jess Tran, 16 and daughter of C-Class superheroes Smasher and Shockwave (mild-mannered real estate agents in their daily lives), has shown no sign of developing meta-abilities. To distract herself from this disappointment, Jess gets an internship at a robotics company and discovers her secret crush, Abby Jones, also works there. More startling, the company is run by the Mischiefs, her town’s C-Class villains. Jess’s supervisor, M, wears the Mischief suit to maintain authority while the Mischiefs are away. M is so easy to talk to that Jess reveals her crush on Abby, who is, conveniently—or is that mysteriously?— always working elsewhere. Abby, of course, is M. She is also the daughter of the Mischiefs. The attraction between Jess and Abby is mutual, but then Abby reveals her parents have disappeared and she’s certain Captain Orion of the Heroes League of Superheroes, whom Jess has always adored, is behind it. An entertaining story set in 22nd-century North America following chemical warfare that activated latent human superpowers is fresh, funny, and original. It’s also to be continued. Chinese-Vietnamese Jess, daughter of immigrants, is bisexual in a future where a spectrum of sexuality and gender is accepted, while signs of xenophobia suggest a far-from-perfect world, one in which heroes and villains are not always easily defined. (Age 12 and older)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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