Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
October 06, 2020
Months after saving suburbia from destruction, our heroes are back to their old lives of dungeon delving and magical quests. All except the wizard Albiorix, who has given up adventuring and uses his time trying (unsuccessfully) to create his own board game.
When the party finds their old friend June Westray’s smartphone for sale in a Bríandalörian bazaar, however, they fear the Realm of Suburbia is under threat.
Thus, the five young adventurers must travel back into Homerooms & Hall Passes, a role-playing game where they assume the characters of average American kids. This time they’re at Level 9 and will face a whole new set of challenges: their freshman year of high school!
There are different cliques, different rules, and higher stakes. And if that wasn’t stressful enough, the heroes must track down an evil spellbook, defeat a sinister foe, and figure out how to get back home . . .
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
From an illustration at the very beginning that lists a characters skills as including knowledge of British sketch comedies, to the lyrics of their song in the battle of the bands competition ("Chocolate and podcasts and cool carabiners, antibiotics and backyard bird feeders"), Heroes Level Up is every bit a worthy snerk fest sequel to Homeroom and Hall Passes. The writing is unbelievably clever and quotable. I loved the reason they had to go back into the game, the details of how to win the game, and their opponents from both Bríandalör and Suburbia. There were twists and turns and deliciously quotable lines like Thromdurr's "Water is for the weak. If I grow thirsty, I shall slurp the blood of my enemies!" which I need made into a Cross Country t shirt! I want to be best friends with Sorrowshade, the gloom elf, who says "The thought of being on a team of any sort makes me want to crawl out of my skin and then turn around and throw up into the empty skin I just vacated." I worry about June and Morton's relationship, and how Albiorix will handle it. Most of all, I desperately want to read the group's adventures in The Sophomore Year of Self-Consciousness and Sorrow.
The first book, Homerooms and Hall Passes (which was shortlisted for the 2019 middle grade speculative fiction Cybils award), has been hugely popular with my students who play D&D or who love medieval fantasy books. There is also some talk about a movie being made, so this is a title to have on your radar!
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