Ignatow turns on its head the classic middle school good kids–vs.–the populars/bullies trope.
Four students, a teacher, a bus driver, and an Amish teen are involved in a bus accident that leaves each of them with bizarre superpowers. Cookie, the only black teen in the school and a powerful popular kid, finds she is now able to read minds, but only when someone is thinking about directions. Nerdy, overweight, white Nick (who likes to hang out with his funny but overbearing BFF in the safety of the Understeps) can teleport, but only 4 inches to the left. Iranian-American Farshad, systematically shunned once he was marked with the moniker Terror Boy, has amazing strength in his thumbs. Martina, a white girl nearly invisible to all who draws the graphic novel panels that accompany this romp (in which she depicts herself as having horns), now has eyes that keep changing color—and can see the bus driver, who is suddenly invisible. The teacher uncontrollably lights fires, and Amish Abe can resist those fires (and as an added bonus, his horse has developed superspeed). Thrown together by their new powers, the group must learn to navigate their unexpectedly evolving, eye-opening relationships. Even with plenty of near-farcical action—and a cliffhanger—this engaging read is effectively character-driven.
Hilarious and revealing, this series opener is a must-have. (Fantasy. 10-14)