How to Save a Superhero

How to Save a Superhero
Age Range
Release Date
October 19, 2021
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Ten-year-old Addie knows that Superheroes aren't real, and that they certainly don't hide out in retirement communities, but she may just have to change her mind.

Addie and her mom never stay in one place too long. They've been up and down and all around the country. When her mom, Tish, gets a new job at Happy Valley Village Retirement Community in Pennsylvania, Addie believes they'll be on the road again in a month. But this time, something is different--make that, someone. Mr. Norris, a grumpy resident of Happy Valley and. . .a former superhero?

Well, that's what Marwa, whose mom also works at Happy Valley, would try and have Addie believe. Addie and her friend Dickson know better even if there are things they can't explain. Like the time Mr. Norris was about to get hit by a car and was suddenly on the other side of the road or the way his stare seems to take root in Addie's stomach.

When a man starts prowling the Happy Valley grounds, claiming to be the great-nephew of a resident, Addie, Marwa, and Dickson soon stumble into a grand conspiracy involving the Manhattan Project, a shady weapons company, and the fate of the human race, in this smart, funny middle grade novel.

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1 review
charming middle grade contemporary/mystery
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HOW TO SAVE A SUPERHERO is a cute middle grade read about family, community, and everyday magic. Addie and her mother, Tish, have always moved around a lot, and Tish's latest job at the Happy Valley Village Retirement Community does not seem like it would stick, even though Addie hopes it will. On her mother's first day, she heads over there to hang out while she finishes up, and meets a boy about her age who is waiting for his own mother, Dickson, and they start a friendship.

Soon, Addie is meeting the residents, including the mysterious Mr. Norris, who seems like he might actually be a superhero. As things begin happening at the retirement community that could mean another move for Addie and Tish, it seems like Mr. Norris is luckily on their side. As Addie deals with her feelings about family and life, she is also intrigued by the possibility of Mr. Norris's superhero status.

With a charming cast of characters and a compelling heroine, HOW TO SAVE A SUPERHERO is a really great middle grade contemporary. I particularly appreciated the moments of community, belonging, and family that Addie begins to find, as well as her stories with her Granny Lu, who helped give her a love of maps. The magic and connection with the elderly population really makes this book shine, in addition to themes around Addie coming into her own and finding her own place. It's also really great to hear her and her mother's story (her mother was 17 when she had Addie), which is a great rep for a middle grade read that is not often seen.

Definitely recommend picking this one up for middle grade readers of all ages who appreciate stories with a bit of mystery, community, and maybe even a superhero.
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