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From the Adventures of Jo Schmo series, volume 1

by Greg Trine & illustrated by Frank W. Dormer

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-76341-5
Publisher: Harcourt

The wacky origin story of a fourth-grade girl superhero from the author of the Melvin Beederman, Superhero series.

Jo Schmo's normal life of skateboards and crushes is cast aside with the arrival of a mysterious package from her Uncle George (who is actually her mother's second cousin, once removed on account of being stinky). Ready to retire from his life as a superhero, Uncle George bequeaths his cape to Jo so that she may take up the calling. But she's a little girl, and the cape is too long—the piece Grandpa Joe cuts off makes a perfect cape for her loyal dog and now sidekick, Raymond. The cape gives the duo superpowers—strength for Jo and heroic amounts of drool for Raymond. Luckily, Jo has a capable mentor in Grandpa Joe, a retired sheriff. But soon they must face the mad scientist, super-villain Dr. Dastardly, and his latest invention for evil: the Re-animator Laminator. The zany writing wavers between slapstick and tongue-in-cheek. The edge is taking off the fighting part of crime-fighting through silly attack names like "Russian Toe Hold" and "Siberian Ear Tweak." Dormer's movement-oriented illustrations complement the fast pace of the story and suit the comical tone, as well.

Lighter-than-air superhero fun. (Adventure. 6-9)