Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Shadow Hero

Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Shadow Hero

Article excerpt

Yang, Gene Luen, and Sonny Liew. The Shadow Hero. First Second, 2014. 176p. $17.99. 978-1-59643-697-8. Grades 5 and up. Hank's mother has only ever been disappointed in him, and believe it or not, Hank has grown to find the disappointment comfortable. She's disappointed that all he wants is to be a grocer like his father. She's disappointed with her husband. And most of all, she's disappointed with America, which doesn't measure up to the glittering dreams she brought from China. But when she has a brief encounter with the Anchor of Justice, the city's gleaming-skinned superhero, she can do nothing but dream of the hero that Hank could become. And she won't let the fact that he has no powers--or interest--get in her way.

Writing a new character in the superhero genre is hard work. It's a genre with very strict rules, and fans want a hero who obeys those rules ... but is also fresh. It's a tall order, but Yang--whose major works have been religious, historical, and philosophical--turns in a complete success here, and with a Chinese-American leading man, no less. …

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