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SMASH: Trial by Fire by Chris A. Bolton, illustrated by Kyle Bolton

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Comic Book/Superheroes

Release Date: 9/10/2013

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About the Book: Andrew is obsessed with Defender, the local superhero. But when a blast destroys Defender and somehow transfers superpowers into Andrew, suddenly Andrew is the new hero in town. He can fly, he has super strength, he can stop bad guys-and he has to be home in time for bed. Being a fifth grade superhero is a rough job!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Superheroes are always a fan favorite and Smash pays homage to the superhero genre and comic book format. Smash  feels like a classic superhero tale-from the storyline of a kid getting powers to the fighting of the main jealous bad guy Magus, to the powers and secrets that Andrew now has, this is a great choice for readers looking for a hero tale.

The book is being marketed for middle grade readers and I think the artwork and story will appeal to readers wanting something that is not light and fluffy in the comic world, but instead something that is a bit more real and gritty. There is a lot of action in the book and it's not cartoonish at all, which I think readers will like. There is also a corrupt police chief, a mean bully, a dangerous bad guy, and dangerous weapons. The story is lots of fun, but it's not a sickly sweet tale of a superhero either. It's realistic and true to the comic book hero world without giving into slapstick humor. I would compare Smash to Batman as far as story and tone.

With more to come from Smash, comic book readers are sure to have a new hero root for.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from advanced copy sent by publisher

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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee