Sunday, January 7, 2024

Today's read... Just Like Click by Sandy Grubb

Today's read sounded like a fun adventure, and I'm always ready for that. It has a  superhero aspect, which makes me wonder how far it will go, but nothing's better than a surprise. Right? I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of the cover, but I'm stepping past my superficial silliness and hoping for a diamond of a read. Let's grab our superhero capes (and yes, fuzzy blankets make good ones, too) and see if this is a tale to root for or not.

(Note: after reading this, I'm adding it to my possible favorites of the year list. Yep, already)

by Sandy Grubb
Fitzroy Books
Middle Grade Adventure
188 pages
ages 8 to 12

APRIL 16th!!!

Nick Townley has lived his entire life— all eleven years— at Black Butte Ranch, nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains. While his parents push him to study, practice sports, and make friends, Nick prefers to retreat into his superhero universe and create exciting Adventures of Click comics. When a string of robberies threatens Dad’ s job, forcing them to move across the country, Nick’ s world implodes. He loves his home, and what will he do about the $237,000 in cash under his bed that Great Gramp gave him before he died? Desperate to stop the move, Nick steps off his comic book pages and ventures into the night as Click, an undercover superhero. Catching thieves would be a lot easier if he had actual superpowers. When three new kids discover his identity and want to join him, Nick vows to stay undercover… until he realizes even a superhero needs friends. But can he ask them to put their lives in danger to save his home? What would Click do?


Some people are born to be superheroes even when they answer the calling at eleven-years-old.

Nick can't think of a better place to live than the Black Butte Ranch, where forests surround him and freedom abounds. If it wasn't for his parents constant tug-of-war to mold him into a genius or amazing athlete (neither of which he has the talent for), his life would be great. Oh, and the friends. He has plenty of them, but his parents don't think it's healthy for him to hang around elderly neighbors all day. But then, they don't know his secret. His passed-away grandfather has given him the task to watch out for these friends and even left tons of cash under Nick's bed to aide them in paying the bills. Nick takes his calling to heart and sneaks out at night to secretly help those at the Ranch, animals and humans alike. When thieves ruin his father's job, his parents announce that it's time to move away...which is a catastrophe for Nick. Add that a mysterious girl seems to have discovered his secret 'superhero' alter-ego, and Nick finds himself sinking fast. If only he had real superpowers, he might be able to fix everything, but those only exist in the comics. While he might have a superhero heart, he's knows he's still just Nick.

This book is taking a spot on my possible-favorites-of-the-year list. Nick is such an ordinary kid, who's stuck between his dreams and those his parents have for him. It's hard not to groan and sigh right along with him as they add extra practice sessions or 'help' for things he definitely doesn't want...never with bad intentions. Just ignoring him and his capabilities completely. The frustration comes across well and is easy for readers to connect with. Then, there's the thoughts of his grandfather, which are very warming and inspirational. This is only one of the many amazing relationships in this read. Nick's amazing concern for the elderly neighbors beam with goodness pure. Yet, he's not a perfect person, either. His 'nightly' escapades are not something any of the adults would find good. And it's this that lets readers' own imagination and desires soar. Nick leads a secret life, an exciting one. Better yet, nothing Nick does is impossible. Risky? Definitely. But kids can picture themselves in each situation. Although many will hope never to face some of the deadly situations he does. 

The author has also added a comic sequence at the beginning of each chapter from Nick's comic creations surrounding his imaginary superhero, Click (hence, the title of the book). These slide along in a general theme with the main plot, but add humorous or thoughtful twists along the way. Plus, they are fun. 

Summed up, this is an exciting read, which does a masterful job at weaving imagination, adventure, and heart, while demonstrating that kids can make a huge difference, too. It inspires readers to be superheroes.

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