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Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite
What a fun read! I just finished Epic Zero: Tales of a Not-So-Super 6th Grader by author R.L. Ullman, and I have to say, I loved it! The story follows young Elliot Harkness, whose entire family belongs to the Freedom Force, the world’s greatest superhero team. His entire family, that is, except for him. Much to his chagrin, Elliot does not possess any of the eight Meta-powers: energy manipulation, super speed, super strength, magic, flight, super intelligence, morphing, or psychic abilities. In his community of superheroes, that makes him a Meta: 0, or powerless. To himself, that makes him an Epic Zero. But when the mysterious girl, K’ami Solarr, appears one day, and seems to believe that there’s more to Elliot than meets the eye, well, that’s when things start to change.
I knew this was a great children’s/young adult book when my 11-year-old son kept trying to read it over my shoulder. The writing is perfect for kids, the pace is brisk, and storyline is exciting. I immediately drew connections from this book to the wonderful movie, The Incredibles, as the idea of superhero-ing families is the basis of both stories. But Epic Zero: Tales of a Not-So-Super 6th Grader is so much more. I loved Elliot, the main character, and his strong desire to be a hero. I loved the message of the book, that sometimes even those who don’t appear to be special on the surface may have deep talent that just needs to be discovered. I loved the illustrations that start each chapter; I just plain loved this book. This is a delightful read for children and tweens, even for children like my son who don’t always enjoy reading. I am so happy I got a chance to recommend R.L. Ullman’s newest work, and I look forward to reading more from him in the future!