This was awesome! I have a lot of students asking for super hero/villain books, and the brilliant part about Anderson's writing is that he drops you right into the well-constructed world of New Liberty without apology AND he totally gets middle school boys. The friendship between Michael and Zach is wonderfully warm, but in a hit-you-on-the-shoulder-instead-of-hug-you way, and Michael's appreciation of Viola is pitch perfect. I really liked the depiction of his father, which shows that you don't have to be perfect to be a parent, you just have to be present and concerned. The cover also gets the perfect middle school balance between goofy and serious. I'd sort of like to know more about Michael, but the fact that Anderson's books are also (somewhat related) stand alones-- just right.
The only weakness that I found is that I completely forgot how this ties in with the first book, but I'm sure my students could remind me!