Book Review: The Madrona Heroes Register by Hillel Cooperman

18670060Title: The Madrona Heroes Register

Author: Hillel Cooperman

Genre: YA Superhero Fantasy

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Someone in ten-year-old Binny Jordan’s family has a super power – and it’s not her. Binny’s seven-year-old sister Cassie can turn herself invisible and now a strange man is keenly interested in what Cassie can do. Binny’s parents seem more distracted than ever, and her older brother Zach is hiding something of his own. Binny needs to find a way to protect her sister, but she’s never felt more alone.

The Madrona Heroes Register was a fun, quirky adventure featuring three kids: ten-year-old Binny (what an awesome name, by the way), seven-year-old Cassie, and twelve-year-old Zach. They’re siblings, which means that they don’t always get along great, but in the end, they always look out for each other. Their interactions ranged from arguing to standing up for each other, and it was great to see their sibling relationship develop. Cassie was definitely the cutest, while Zach was the most intelligent one, and Binny brought them all together.

The story starts with Cassie stealing Binny’s mirror – well, the mirror she stole from her mom, anyway. Binny chases Cassie down the road, but then Cassie vanishes. She thinks nothing of it, but one of their neighbors saw Cassie disappear. When Binny finds Cassie talking to a stranger with a dog later on, she doesn’t trust the stranger – who happens to be the neighbor who saw her disappear – at all. But when she tries to warn her parents and Zach, they have more urgent matters on their mind, as usual. Binny feels ignored yet again, but she can’t shake the feeling something is wrong.

She befriends a new neighborhood girl, Penny, who has the ability to destroy things she touches. It’s more of a hassle than anything else, as far as Penny is concerned, but Binny thinks it’s pretty cool. When Cassie disappears one night, Binny, Zach and Penny go investigate and find her at the strange neighbor’s house. They overhear a conversation and figure out the neighbor works for a strange corporation, and he knows all about Cassie’s ability to disappear into thin air.

With everyone hiding more secrets than she can count, and Cassie in danger, Binny has to come up with a plan to save her sister, while trying to survive the secrets that come crumbling down upon her.

I loved Binny. She was my favorite character, because as the middle kid, she always felt a little left out, and the target of both Cassie and Zach’s frustration at times. Kids will probably be able to relate to her well. The book was full of quirky humor, and the kids really behaved like kids. There were a lot of interesting secondary characters, and while it was obviously fantasy, it wasn’t over the top, and felt very real.

The writing was solid too. As an adult, there are some clues you notice early on (like, what’s going on with their parents) but I don’t think kids will know that right away. The plot was great, and I liked how the kids had to rely on their intelligence to get out of tough situations.

A great read for middle graders and young adults, and even for adults in the mood for some light superhero fantasy.

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