To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
Author: Pitchford, Dean
When ten-year-old Newton dresses up as an unusual superhero for Halloween, he decides to keep wearing the costume after the holiday to help save townspeople and eventually his injured brother.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 131362
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 47761
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/09)
School Library Journal (09/01/09)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (10/09)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2009 Ten-year-old Newt is accustomed to living in the shadow of his older brother Chris, the local high-school football hero. When the Big Game ends with Chris in a coma, Newt begins to emerge from his usual anonymity. In the days that follow, he wears the cape and mask of his made-up Halloween persona, Captain Nobody, and he seems to magically grow into the heroic role: foiling a jewelry store robbery, clearing a landing path for a plane in distress, and climbing a water tower to save another boy. Readers will enjoy watching this Everyboy protagonist cast off his customary timidity and try on a different approach to problems. Though Newt’s heroic achievements are as improbable as the story’s outcome is predictable, he is a sympathetic character and his wry, first-person narrative shows that he doesn’t take his newfound renown too seriously. The intriguing jacket art will draw readers. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2009 Gr 3–6— Ten-year-old Newt Newman is used to fading into the background: his parents are workaholics; his brother, Chris, is a high school football star; and he and his best buddies, JJ and Cecil, are ignored at school. Determined to get noticed this Halloween, the three friends vow to come up with original costumes. But then Chris takes a hit and is knocked into a coma during the Big Game. Worried about his brother, and with his parent camped out at the hospital, Newt has no interest in creating a costume. When JJ and Cecil arrive at his house for trick-or-treating, they help him transform an assortment of Chris's outgrown clothes into a get-up for a new superhero: Captain Nobody! Enjoying the newfound confidence he experiences behind his mask, Newt continues to wear the costume, and opportunities start cropping up for him to save the day—whether helping a confused old man find his way home or stopping a jewelry store robbery, Captain Nobody gets the job done. But when it comes to his brother's coma, even Captain Nobody is powerless…or is he? Newt is a likable individual, albeit quite mature for 10. Secondary characters are somewhat stereotypical, but they don't get in the way of the story's fast pace and charm. Pitchford's screenwriting background is apparent: the book reads like a summertime feel-good movie. Kids who have longed for their own superhero powers will eat this up.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2009 Despite the fact that ten-year-old Newt Newman practically runs the household for his busy, distracted parents and his football superstar brother, the most anyone ever says about him outside his home is “I didn’t know Chris Newman had a little brother!” A few days before Halloween, Chris suffers injury in the Big Game, and, even though there are no signs of significant damage, he ends up in a coma. With his parents constantly at the hospital leaving Newt home alone to worry, Newt forgets about the holiday, but his friends don’t; they piece together a costume from some of Chris’s hand-me-downs. When Newt pulls on the mask made from a sweatband with Chris’s initials on it, he feels strangely powerful, and his heroic adventures as Captain Nobody begin. Pitchford, whose inspired pen brought the world the lyrics to such feel-good songs as “Fame,” “Footloose,” and “Holding Out for a Hero,” displays a canny talent for drafting dreams with universal appeal; his keen sensibility produces an absolutely credible and thoroughly likable ten-year-old living in a big shadow. Newt isn’t bitter about his supporting-role status, just a little lost amidst the giants he lives with. His adventures as Captain Nobody are hilarious in a cover-your-eyes sort of way, but nobody else is actually harmed, and Newt himself suffers only mild injuries, just enough to deflect media attention away from his brother and onto the other hero in the Newman family. Readers who’ve ever felt a little left out (and who hasn’t?) will enjoy Newt’s triumph and may even fashion masks of their own in order to find the hero within. KC - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.