Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith
Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408884539
(Age: 10+) Kid normal is the first book in a series by Greg James and Chris Smith. The story follows lead character Murph Cooper through the frightening task of moving house, leaving friends and changing schools part way through the term. When all the closest schools are full, Murph ends up in the unlikely situation of being a regular kid in a school for super heroes!
Every child who has gone through this will be able to sympathise with him and I think this will help them to believe in the character and in the story.
Murph joins a gang of kids called 'The Super Zeroes' who are those without superpowers and therefore unlike everyone else. Unfortunately they get picked on by the kids with superpowers - but this gives them the desire to fight back and use what they know to fight the bad guy Nektar.
This is a really funny book with quirky, silly illustrations that will appeal to most people who have a sense of humour. The book is however too long in my opinion. At 384 pages long, there are parts of the story that are too drawn out and this makes it inaccessible for readers who are not particularly confident or intimidated by the look of a very thick novel. It is not difficult to read but I think younger readers will potentially drift away half way through the book due to its length. In saying that - this book is written to be read out loud! A class of children will giggle and laugh all the way through if the teacher (or parent) read this book with voices, movement and flair.
I really enjoyed the messages that came with this story, and think they are a great conversation starter for children around 8 years old and above. There are undertones of school hierarchy, and of course good versus evil, but also that everyone is special in their own way and that superpowers are not necessary to win the fight against evil villains!
Suitable for children from 8 years old but more so for 10+ due to the book length. Also for lovers of David Walliams and David Wallace.