Oct 2, 2011

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon
Illustrated by Jake Parker

     Awesome Man can fly, shoot positronic rays out of his eyes, smash all sorts of things, and has a trademark Awesome Power Grip.  He's "just basically awesome."  As with most super heroes, he has a secret identity which he uses to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies like Professor Von Evil.  When his enemies are able to get away, Awesome Man gets really angry (he might even kick a building down when that happens) and the one thing he can do to calm down is to sit on his Awesome bed and give himself a "ginormous Awesome Power Grip."  After a busy day defeating his nemesis, nothing makes Awesome Man happier than heading back to the Fortress of Awesome, and enjoying one of his mom's home cooked meals.  "I'm so happy to see her, I throw a power grip around her, too."
     Awesome Man will capture the imagination of super hero obsessed boys.  Awesome Man sounds like them, gets angry like them...it's them.  There are many clues along the way for readers to figure out that Awesome Man is really just a boy: there's the language he uses, but also a point when we can see him as a boy hiding from Professor Von Evil (though the illustrations cleverly make it look as if it is an grown man), or when he's defeating Flaming Eyeball and his shadow is a kid's shadow (there's a nice detail later on when the boy walks into his mother's kitchen and his shadow is now Awesome Man's).   The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is a great book for super hero fans.

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