- The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow
ISBN 978-1-4197-1271-5 $15.95
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6
When four dramatically different middle-schoolers find they’ve developed weird superpowers (one, for example, can teleport himself four inches to the left) after being in a bus crash, they must work together to unravel the mystery of what happened to them. There are sneaky bad guys, hints of conspiracy, even suggestions of aliens, but the focus is mostly on how the four handle one other, as each represents a distinct social group in a very diverse urban middle school. Black and white spot art, occasionally expanded into a comic-panel spread, is interspersed with the text, continuing the action; the illustrations (sometimes accompanied by speech balloons) add accessibility and break up the longer chapters. In addition, snarky newspaper articles help readers catch subtleties and push them to consider both logical and ridiculous explanations for what happened. There’s plenty here to spark curiosity, and the characters are memorable—it will be interesting to see how their wonky powers can be used in future outings. Fans of the author’s Popularity Papers series will be pleased to see this new outing.