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Powerless (Supers of Noble's Green) Hardcover – October 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–7—When Daniel Corrigan and his family move to Noble's Green, he notices that some of the kids there seem rather odd. After one of them miraculously saves his life, they admit that they have superpowers, but that they come with a price. They will lose them, and all memory of ever having them, when they turn 13. Because Daniel is the only one without these talents who knows about them, it becomes clear that he must find out who or what is sapping his friends' unusual abilities. Eric, their leader, believes that the secret lies in a series of old comics about a superhero named Johnny Noble, but Daniel's investigation reveals a far more sinister and dangerous villain, and the children must somehow defeat this monster. This book is a loving tribute to comic books and superhero stories. It starts out slow, but gradually gains a momentum that leads to a genuinely affecting conclusion. This is definitely a good pick for reluctant readers.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"In a wholly satisfying debut, Cody tackles themes of heroism, sacrifice and coming-of-age, as played out in a comic book-inspired good vs. evil scenario. . . . It all comes together in a tightly woven narrative characterized by a persuasive premise, memorable characters, a bit of intrigue and a sense of wonder." --Publishers Weekly

"A mystery and adventure treat for middle-school boys, who will clamor for a sequel." --Booklist

"Cody's debut novel pays homage to the great Golden Age comics at every turn . . . the mystery surrounding the origins of the superpowers adds a bit of intrigue, giving this satisfying and genre-blending read a broad appeal." --The Bulletin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Supers of Noble's Green
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375855955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375855955
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I was born and raised just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. I was the baby of the family and when I wasn't dodging the tortures of three older siblings, I was making up stories to try and entertain whoever else would listen to me.

After graduating high school a solidly average student, I studied theater and creative writing in college and went on to get a graduate degree where I focused on Shakespeare. I came to New York in 1999 and for several years worked in theaters there and around the country. When I wasn't working on plays, I tried my hand at short stories and even a few comic book scripts.

I began teaching English in 2004 and started work on my first novel, Powerless, around the same time. As a life-long fan of comic books and pulp stories, those influences began to pop up in my work more and more.

To this day I can be found in my local comic book shop every Wednesday (that's the day the new comics come out, for those of you not in-the-know!) and the bookshelves in our house are stuffed with the works of old-time adventure writers like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber and Clarke Ashton Smith. If you haven't already, I recommend you head over to the library and check them out. It's great stuff!

My wife Alisha and I are still here in New York, with our young son Willem. I'm currently hard at work on my next novel for Knopf, which is has yet to get a title (but for a hint as to what it's about, just take another peek at that list of writers in the above paragraph!) Most days I divide my time between writing and teaching and being a generally nice family man.

If you see me in the comic shop, say hi.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on November 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever played a game where you choose which super power you'd like to possess? Have you ever imagined what it might be like to fly at the speed of sound, walk through walls, lift up cars, or create electricity with your bare hands? What would you do if you woke up one morning and were actually able to do one or more of those things? And what would you do if you had always had those powers and woke up one morning without them?

That's kind of what happens to the kids of Noble's Green, Pennsylvania, the self-proclaimed "Safest Town on Earth." Part of why Noble's Green is so famously safe is that all of its residents under the age of 13 have one or more super powers. Some are terrifically strong or fast, several can fly, others can disappear, and still others have superhuman senses. When a house starts on fire or a car drives off a bridge, the kids are on the scene, ready to save the day however they can.

Having super powers is a blast: flying is a total thrill, and the games of hide-and-seek are taken to a whole new level. So it's especially sad that, on the night of each young superhero's 13th birthday, his or her powers --- and memories of ever having them --- are sucked away forever. Why do the kids of Noble's Green have these powers? And why do they disappear faster than a speeding bullet? These are mysteries that are beyond even the powers of the super kids.

Help comes from the unexpected source of decidedly un-super Daniel Corrigan. Daniel and his family move to Noble's Green to be with his grandmother while she's dying from cancer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kelton on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because I had seen some raves about it on [...]. So my expectations were high. Did "Powerless" let me down? NOT AT ALL. So much fun, so clever. And I am not a comic book person but this book was so truly entertaining, it didn't matter. I am planning to read it a second time this weekend--something I almost never do.

I hope this author keeps churning them out. Can't wait for his next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Daniel can't help noticing some of the kids in his new town are a little... unusual. The girl across the street sometimes moves faster than he can see. The school bully can throw kids twelve feet in the air. And his classmate, Eric, always seems to know where there's trouble.

After a near fatal fall, Daniel's friends let him in on their secret - they have superpowers. It's been happening in the town for generations, a fact carefully kept secret thanks to a series of rules, including the one that none of them likes to think about: it ends at thirteen. When the superkids reach their thirteenth birthdays, the next morning they have lost their powers, and forgotten they ever had them.

Daniel can't help but feel something isn't right about this. But his investigations into the mystery of the superpowers will put both him and his friends in danger, and uncover a history he never could have imagined.

POWERLESS is a fun, fast-paced read, with a courageous and likable main character in Daniel. It's refreshing to read a story in which the protagonist isn't the super-special one, and Daniel proves that you don't need superpowers to be a hero. The supporting characters are quirky, but have depth as well, and the villain is effectively creepy. The twists along the way will keep readers guessing right up until the end. The end itself is satisfying, but leaves a few questions unanswered.

This reviewer hopes there is a sequel in Daniel's future! Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Pingo on March 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matthew Cody has crafted a world that will appeal to young and old readers alike. As I was reading it (I enjoyed it so much I finished the book in one night)I was reminded of how the first Harry Potter book really hooked me by drawing me back to the bygone days of my youth. Who wouldn't have enjoyed growing up in magical world of wizards, witches, and monsters, or in Cody's equally interesting world of mysterious glowing meteorites, multiple secret generations of kid superheroes, and a diabolical supervillain?If you or your children enjoyed the Harry Potter books, I highly recommend Powerless. Powerless is a great stand alone story but Cody leaves ample hooks that could be developed into a very engaging series of stories over time. If you are younger and enjoy superheroes (or even older but still look back fondly on the days of running around the backyard with a towel cape tied to your neck)give this book a read. I doubt you will be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The following is a review from my son who is 10.

Never thought I'd see a chapter book inspired with the concept of superheroes. Superheroes, for gosh sakes! I don't usually find a superhero chapter book in a store that often. Anyways, this book exceeded my expectations by 110%. Mr. Cody has included great characters in this book, great plot, great storyline, great everything! I've never actually read a book like this (I.E. one that involves superheroes as children), but basically, this book impressed me. Definitely sequel-worthy in my book. Recommendations are for ages 8 and up.
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