I was very privileged and excited to get my hands on an early copy of ‘Superhero Street’ by Phil Earle because I was a huge fan of the first book in the ‘Storey Street’ series ‘Demolition Dad.’ Not only was it one of my Top 10 books of 2015 it has received the most fantastic responses from all the children I have recommended it to at school and in the library. The problem when you love a book so much is you really, really hope the next book is equally as marvellous so let me reassure you that ‘Superhero Street’ is a worthy follow on from the mighty ‘Demolition Dad’.
In ‘Superhero Street’ we meet Michael J Mouse whose life has gone steadily downhill since the birth of his twin brothers swiftly followed by triplet brothers. Virtually ignored by his parents, misunderstood and overlooked by his friends and the target of the school bullies it seems that Mouse is doomed for a life of misery. His only source of comfort is his dream to be a superhero and he carries his dream with him hiding a cape under his clothes. Living in sleepy Storey Street provides little opportunities for Superheroes so instead he lives out his fantasies of daring escapades and adventures by drawing them on his bedroom wall. He surrounds himself with reminders such as cunningly choosing superhero alter-ego names for his triplets brothers meet Bruce, Peter and Clark otherwise known as Batman, Spiderman and Superman.
But Mouse’s luck takes a dramatic shift for the better when his Mum unwittingly foils a diamond robbery and they find themselves thrust into the limelight finally giving him the opportunity to take centre stage and be a hero. Suddenly Mouse and his Mum are an inspiration to other everyday heroes who have been secretly hiding their ambitions under their imaginary capes. And so a cast of unlikely Superheroes is assembled each with their own unique power ‘Dan Druff’, ‘Cyclots’ and ‘Skidmark’ unite to form the Z -list. Just when Mouse thinks he is living his dream his bravery is tested to the limit when he comes face to face with a truly dastardly super-villain. Will Mouse be able to summon his bravery and prove himself when pushed to the limit?
‘Superhero Street’ is an absolute joy to read Phil manages to create a story which is brilliantly humorous but full of heart and emotion. He has assembled this genuinely likeable cast of characters. inevitably you will get caught up in the highs and lows of Mouse’s story as it unfolds and will struggle to put the book down. Whilst some of the humour is obvious who could resist a farting lullaby, crisps delicately flavoured with dandruff. It is the subtle witty observations captured by narrator’s voice which win me over every time. They give this book a real warmth and depth that I found truly delightful. I really can’t recommend it enough. I felt like it offers the reader the hope that even by doing the smallest, seemly insignificant acts we can all be a Superhero in someone eyes.
A huge shout out also has to go to Sara Ogilvie who superbly illustrates this book. Her illustrations portray wonderfully the gauntlet of emotions that Mouse goes through from sadness to elation and finally the fear he feels when he faces a true villian. The attention to detail highlights the chaos of Mouse’s existence versus the solace that he creates in his bedroom surrounded by his imaginary adventures which he has painstakingly drawn. I particularly love the Top Trump style depictions of each of the Superheroes which Phil has been gradually revealing in the run up to the release of this book.
A big thank you to the lovely and talented Mr Phil Earle Booktrust Writer in Residence for sending me a copy of this book.
To find out more about Phil you can:
Visit his website http://www.philearle.com/
Like his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PhilEarleAuthor/?ref=br_rs
Or follow him on Twitter @philearle