Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Secret Super Powers of Marco

I will be interviewing author and teacher Meredith Sue Willis for my blog in the near future. She has written fifteen adult and children’s books, including several books on the craft of writing. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here is a review of two of my favorite children’s books of hers.

The Secret Super Powers of Marco (Montemayor Press, 2001; HarperCollins, 1994)

Marco believes he has secret powers ever since the night he was out twanging car antennas and one broke off and spiraled so high into the sky that it seemed to turn into a star. He’s not sure what his powers are exactly, but it’s nice to know he can fall back on them if ever his regular abilities are lacking. His powers give him the confidence to befriend Tyrone, the class bully, and retrieve his kidnapped dog from the scary homeless man on the next street. When Tyrone gets in trouble, Marco uses his Mental Sight power (he can see two possible futures in any situation) and prompts the best outcome to happen.

Marco is an eminently likable character who will charm young readers and demonstrate they have the power to act in the world, even in a tough neighborhood.

In the sequel, Marco’s Monster (Montemayor Press, 2001; HarperCollins, 1996) Marco doesn’t get the starring role, the Main Monster, in his fourth grade play—his best friend Tyrone does. Marco, chosen to be the Narrator, is disappointed and not a little bit mad. Then he creates an unusual scene for the narrator that makes it all worthwhile. Now his big task is to make sure Tyrone doesn’t get “three strikes and out”—of the play, including when Tyrone leaves school to help Marco find his missing little sister.

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