Age Range
Release Date
June 01, 2021
Buy This Book
Most people think superhero work is awesome and fulfilling. Pizazz knows better. Whenever she’s in the middle of a movie or having fun with her friends, she has to dash off the save the world. And she’s always in the same outfit, including an embarrassing glittery cape, and the wedgies are unreal. Plus, being the good guy all the time is so not easy. Superheroes have bad days like everybody else, but Pizazz always has to be cheerful and noble and brave. More than anything, she just wants to be normal.

Editor review

1 review
Accept yourself as you are.
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Presenting a young, unhappy superhero is a novel idea, as Pizazz finds the cons far outweigh the pros. Even her name isn’t as cool as her sister’s name of Red Dragon. Pizazz’s situation worsens when her parents decide to move, forcing her to adjust to a new school and the loneliness of having no friends. Many young readers will be able to make this connection. All of the members of Pizazz’s family are born superheroes and have unique abilities. However, Pizazz has an embarrassing superpower that she’s reluctant to share with readers and rarely wants to use. The author teases readers throughout most of the book before finally revealing her deplorable ability. I must admit, it’s pretty embarrassing.
While this book is not a graphic novel, it contains a lot of pictures that contribute to the story. They depict scenes from the plot that help to visualize what’s happening. Pizazz’s family is summoned to save the world every few chapters, and those missions are presented in a manner more like graphic novels. Pages display panels of illustrations with captions that quickly recount the planet-saving battles. This strategy is very effective since Pizazz’s problems are the focus of the book, not her family’s fights with nasty villains that twerk, shoot goo, and projectile vomit.
The book appears to be about superheroes, but the essence of the story centers on Pizazz’s self-image. She wants a cooler name, a superpower that’s more impressive and less annoying, and a costume that’s more comfortable and stylish. She even hates that her little sister Red Dragon is too happy and positive. Pizazz is awkward around new classmates, so she becomes the school’s eco monitor to meet new people. She’s not quite sure what to do, but the annoyed former eco monitor named Ivy gives her an idea for an important community issue. The duo team up to stop big business from destroying the park next to the school, and it may take Pizazz’s embarrassing superpower to get it done.
What didn’t work as well:
The early part of the book shares Pizazz’s likes and dislikes of being a superhero, but the overall conflict starts murky. Her whiny venting about being a superhero is humorous, but it takes a few chapters for a focus to develop. The plot emerges into a young heroine trying to accept herself, fit in with normal people, and save the world in the process.
The Final Verdict:
The book is most appropriate for upper elementary readers and is reminiscent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The author’s voice is easy to follow, and the humor and illustrations will appeal to young readers. The plot shares important issues of having a positive self-image and protecting nature from big corporations. I recommend you give it a shot.
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