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by Greg Trine ; illustrated by Frank W. Dormer

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-80797-3
Publisher: Harcourt

Fourth-grade girl superhero Jo Schmo faces three revenge-hungry villains.

While Jo masters new techniques—the Tasmanian Chop and invisibility (useful for sneaking into movies, not so useful for avoiding being sat on by fat people)—Dr. Dastardly and Numb Skull bond in prison over their mutual hatred of her. Their jailbreak uses exploding macaroni and a giant slingshot made from underwear elastic. Meanwhile, a crew of time-traveling pirates led by Pinkbeard (he was Blackbeard until he drank too much pink lemonade) travels to the future to see if modern times offer more money, better-tasting grog and cuter women. They find it all at a wine tasting/fashion show before being trounced by Jo. Pinkbeard, the only pirate to escape, encounters Dr. Dastardly and Numb Skull as they plot revenge on Jo and joins them. After Googling Jo Schmo’s vulnerabilities (three boys she has crushes on and her dog, Raymond), the terrible trio abduct the boys and Raymond in a plot that includes “an enormous piece of bacon dancing in the moonlight.” Sometimes, especially early on, chattiness and repetition threaten to bog things down, but the lively action and illustrations propel the story forward to a drool-filled fight on a pirate ship.

Packed with warped logic, twisted common sense and silly hijinks—offbeat fun. (Adventure. 6-9)