Superhero Books: From the Extraordinary to the Everyday

February 2, 2013

By Luisa LaFleur

The concept of a superhero—someone who has special powers to fight evil and protect humanity from dange to most all children and to most all adults. Following is a handy guide to all the classic superheroes and a few new ones.

Cover of "The Superhero Book", showing a range of superhero and their symbols.

The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Heroes

By Gina Misiroglu

Reading level: Pre-teens and up

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: Visible Ink Press

What to expect: Everything you ever wanted to know about superheroes

For the most part, we know where Superman came from and what Batman’s motivation is but as my kids get me all kinds of questions. Like, “What is the Hulk’s weakness?” And my eloquent response was, “Um, let’s ask This is the book that I’ve been searching for to answer all those pesky questions and set little minds at ease. It information on origin, skills, powers and weaknesses, to name just a few. Loaded with photos and illustrations looking at their favorite superheroes while the reader fills them in on all the details.

Cover of "The Girl Who Could Fly." it shows a young girl flying over the mountains with a lady in a suit grabbing onto her ankle.

The Girl Who Could Fly

By Victoria Forester

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Paperback: 328 pages

Publisher: Square Fish

What to expect: Coping with being different, making friends through adversity

Piper McCloud has a gift. She can fly. But that wouldn’t go over very well in her tow give her the best and most normal life, decide to send her off to a top-secret school like herself. Her new classmates have all kinds of powers: they can control the weather, see through walls. Piper makes fast friends with them, and this ability comes in handy when things start to get weird. The Girl Who Could Fly is a fast-paced and action-packed superhero story but it also imparts lots of wisdom about friends, facing adversity an own abilities, whatever they may be.

Image of "Joshua Dread" cover, showing a boy surrounded by monsters.

Joshua Dread

By Lee Bacon

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 272 pages

What to expect: Middle school, bullies, villains and superheroes

Joshua Dread is just another kid in middle school, facing ordinary bullies and everyd Except for a few complications–his parents are a pair of evil villains that are bent on new friend Sophie, is the daughter of Captain Justice, the superhero that is intent on saving the world and ca Middle school just got a lot more interesting. This well-told story will hold even the most reluctant reader’s a paced and full of adventure.

Cover of "The Purim Superhero." A boy stands on a stage wearing a red cape and a blue shirt with a "P" on it. His hands are on his hips.

The Purim Superhero Book

By Elisabeth Kushner; Illustrated by Mike Byrne

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing

What to expect: Jewish history told for children, superheroes, non-traditional families

Young Nate has to decide what to dress up as for Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates Queen Esther and people. He wants to be an alien but his friends are all going to be superheroes and he can’t decide what to do. and being true to himself. He asks one of his fathers for advice and in explaining the Purim story, Nate’s father yourself makes you stronger. Nate ends up with a completely original costume and friends that praise him for.