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Sidekicked Hardcover – June 25, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062133144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062133144
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–With his less-than-spectacular superpowers and a partner who never shows up, Andrew finds that his life as a crime-fighting sidekick called “the Sensationalist” is fairly tame. When a mysterious villain captures most of the city's top “Supers,” though, the 13-year-old has to find a way to thwart the evil plot and save the day. Andrew's self-deprecating, occasionally sarcastic narration lightly mocks superhero conventions with some fun and insight. Insecurity about his role neatly mixes in with typical middle school headaches, including teasing, romance, and school lunches. While Andrew's self-analysis drags on a bit at times, there are plenty of funny observations about the challenges superheroes face, including financial worries and outgrowing their spandex. The boy's relationships with other sidekicks, his teacher, and the retired Super who rejects him work fairly well to set up some tough personal and moral decisions. They also impact the gradually developing heroes-versus-villains plot, which includes a couple of slightly predictable twists and ends with a battle in which the sidekicks prove their worth. The action scenes are not especially involving, but the clever humor, coupled with some thoughtful exploration into the nature of friendship, courage, and heroism, makes this a solid addition to the field of superhero novels.–Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The community of Justicia may seem like Anywhere, USA, but it’s home to an abundance of superheroes—or “Supers” as they are known locally—and Highview Middle School has a secret training class for superhero sidekicks. Andrew “Drew” Bean, one of the six sidekicks-in-training, is not only saddled with the usual middle-school angst but a problematic Super as well. With most of the Supers absent, a crime wave commences and a supervillain threatens. This draws heavily on the beloved superhero genre, and features plenty of hair-raising action and characters knocked about and annihilated. But it is the sarcastic middle-school humor that sets the tone. Drew’s take on his teenage problems are well balanced with the unique situations arising from being part of an elite (and somewhat nerdy) team. Big action sequences notwithstanding, this is more about small moments and dealing with less-than-perfect people and circumstances. Those who like their fantasy grounded firmly in the real world will enjoy this one. Grades 4-7. --Randall Enos

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
81%
4 star
13%
3 star
6%
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See all 31 customer reviews
I love the characters and the humor in this book.
F. Costa
I would recommend this book to anyone my age looking for good literature! :-)
Jarrod
What most impressed me with Sidekicked though was actually the plot.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Sidekicked had me at superheroes. I can't get enough of them, at least so far, and the superhero books I've read thus far have yet to seriously let me down. Sidekicked is a great read, full of action and humor, like all the best superhero stories. Full of twists, turns, and middle school awkwardness, Sidekicked is a delightful addition to superhero fiction.

Like most superhero stories, Sidekicked takes place in a fictional city, the home to the most famous of all superheroes, Justicia. In Justicia, seeing superheroes saving the day is commonplace, much like in Kurt Busiek's Astro City. Cops and EMTs wait for superheroes to arrive on the scene of any crime involving a villain, because they're both outclassed and used to the aid of the heroes. These heroes are actually possessed of powers, not just rich kids with toys, though they are mostly wealthy since being a superhero is a costly venture - secret lairs aren't free, you know.

Andrew Bean's middle school has a secret program, one that allows him to skip gym: the Highview Environmental Revitalization Organization (They keep the trash off the streets!). Also known as H.E.R.O. Drew is one of only six kids in this special club, all of them special and all in training to one day be superheroes. Each one gets paired up as a sidekick to a hero, who can teach them the tricks of the trade, unless they refuse to meet with you like Drew's does.

Drew's alias is The Sensationalist, because he has super senses. All of his senses are greatly enhanced, except for touch, which is a blessing. Though these powers are fairly useful, he feels out of place with even the rest of the sidekicks, who have super strength or speed or can walk through objects.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cecelia Larsen on August 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading slumps seem to hit randomly, with no regard for things I've promised publicists and fellow bloggers, or time off, or anything, really. One snuck up on me at the end of July and has been firmly sitting on my chest for this first bit of August, too. It caught me midway through John David Anderson's middle grade superhero novel Sidekicked. Luckily, that's also the book that eventually broke me out of the slump. Something special about the superheroes and sidekicks of Anderson's tale kicked my reading apathy right out of the area.

Andrew Bean, or Drew for short, is not a normal middle schooler. Oh, he's been picked on, he can't stand school lunches, and his mom still manages to worry over him to the point of embarrassment fairly often. But Drew is hiding half of his identity - during 4th period science class three days a week he's not just a kid - he's a sidekick. To a superhero. He's training to save the world. But mostly, the Sensationalist (aka Drew) is just trying to survive the year. It won't be easy to act normal with a new supervillain in town...

Drew is that relatable, introspective, verging-on-worrywart kid that we all were or knew in middle school. He has typical problems (avoiding bullying, being terrible at organized sports, trying to figure out if his best friend `like' likes him), but he is also pulled out of his teenage self-absorption by his talent and the code he's striving to live by. The continued absence of his superhero doesn't make it easier, but he's keeping his head above water until true danger rolls into town.

The best thing about Drew is his voice. Anderson has written a sarcastic, smart and perceptive Drew, and it makes the whole story click.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erikka Goff on July 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book reminded me of watching Pixar's 'The Incredibles.' Funny, witty, and not your typical Superhero story.
Andrew Bean is a sidekick in training but also has to deal with regular adolescent problems like any other kid. There's plenty of stuff middle school students can relate to (bad cafeteria food, acne, surprise math tests) but adults will enjoy the story too (and be glad that their middle school days are long behind them).
When a supervillain comes to town, the plot twists keep coming, and Andrew (and the reader) doesn't know whose side anyone is on. He begins to doubt the people he trusts the most and finds it difficult to distinguish the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys.'
Whether you are a sidekick in training or just like to pretend to have superpowers, I highly recommend this enjoyable book for people of all ages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Superheroes have all the fun and glory. Or do they? What about retired superheroes or reluctant ones? What about superheroes-in-training and what about their sidekicks? Andrew "Drew" Bean isn't having much fun or glory in the world of Supers at all. Drew is affected by a rare syndrome called hypersensatia which means his senses are hyper-sensitive. He can smell, taste, hear, see and feel better than most people. Because of this, he was recently recruited for the H.E.R.O. program at his middle school and has begun training as a sidekick to one of the most powerful superheroes ever to protect the city of Justicia, the Titan. It seems Drew is living the life most kids dream about. But as it turns out, the life of a sidekick is more dangerous, more difficult and lonelier than Drew would ever have imagined.

Drew, also known as the Sensationalist, is the charming and interesting protagonist (hero, really) of John David Anderson's latest children's novel, SIDEKICKED. Not only is he navigating the perilous world of crime fighting, but he is navigating the perilous world of middle school as well.

The Titan, the superhero Drew is assigned to, has never held up his end of the commitment; he is supposed to get to know Drew, help train him, and perhaps most importantly, protect him in moments of danger. With the dastardly gang led by the Dealer back in Justicia, Drew and his fellow sidekicks are in imminent danger. The Dealer may be gunning for the Titan in particular, but even after Drew (or the Sensationalist) is kidnapped and almost killed, the hulking superhero never shows up to rescue him. Drew and his best friend Jenna, a sidekick known as the Silver Lynx, are saved instead by Justicia's current Superhero star, the Fox.
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More About the Author

John David Anderson was born a long time ago to parents who loved him deeply and pretended to understand him sometimes. In 1983 he won the prestigious third place trophy in Little League and improved his handwriting grade from a D to a C. He is the author of critically acclaimed books for young people. He enjoys both writing and reading as a means of escape, though he's not always sure what he's running from (bills? feelings of inadequacy?). He attempts to use the Force on a daily basis, mostly to get his son to eat.

As yet he is unsuccessful.

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