by Jack D. Ferraiolo

Bright Boy (Scott Hutchinson) is the sidekick of superhero Phantom Justice (his guardian,... read more

Bright Boy (Scott Hutchinson) is the sidekick of superhero Phantom Justice (his guardian, Trent Clancy). Now a middle schooler, Scott bristles at the Bright Boy image that Trent won’t let him change: The yellow tights and red cape were cute when he was six, but now they make Bright Boy a laughingstock (an erection while rescuing a beautiful woman is his most recent mortification). At school, Scott flies under the radar: No one knows he’s Bright Boy, and few people know his name. One night Bright Boy vents his frustration by attacking Monkeywrench—sidekick to Doctor Chaotic, Phantom’s most recent arch enemy. Monkeywrench’s mask comes off, and Scott recognizes Allison Mendes, one of the most popular girls at school. He and Allison strike up a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. Their relationship challenges them to think about their ideas of justice, and gives Scott the courage to stand up to Trent on the costume front. What Scott doesn’t know is that Phantom Justice is motivated by greed rather than goodness. And in his latest scheme, Bright Boy is wholly expendable. In fact, that’s part of the plan. A terrifically entertaining novel features a strong and funny first-person voice, delightful banter among the characters, and more than a few surprising twists and turns. (Ages 11–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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