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Description

Product Description

For fans of Stuart Gibbs comes a hilarious, illustrated middle-grade adventure debut about a superhero with no superpowers.

“Should appeal to readers who enjoy the Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kid series.” - School Library Connection

When Murph Cooper begins his new school several weeks into the year, he can''t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it''s not because he''s worried about where to sit, making friends, and fitting in. It''s because his mom has accidentally enrolled him at a school for superheroes. And unlike his fellow students, who can control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever.

But Murph''s totally normal abilities might just be what the world needs. Because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans . . . and when he comes after the best and the brightest, it’s up to Murph to be the real hero.

With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Review

"Should appeal to readers who enjoy the Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kid series." - School Library Connection

"Packed with dry wit . . . Salcedo’s playfully frenetic illustrations complement James and Smith’s silly adventure and its good-natured sense of wonder." - Publishers Weekly

"James and Smith show how an unassuming boy can save the day: with equal parts heart and oddball jokes." - Kirkus Reviews

"The Super Zeroes . . . spring into action and, through teamwork, demonstrate that leadership ability, selfless courage, and people skills are as ‘super’ as any other powers." - Booklist

"A great choice for chunking into family or classroom readalouds." - BCCB

About the Author

Greg James is a familiar voice and face on UK radio and TV. He’s the host of UK BBC Radio 1’s award-winning Drivetime show and Official Chart music broadcast. On screen, Greg has hosted a variety of shows, including the recent special BBC Children in Need, and in 2016 he raised over a million dollars for the charity Sport Relief by completing five triathlons in five cities in five days. He has no superpowers. In his spare time he enjoys the idea of having hobbies, but always tends to turn those hobbies into work.

Chris Smith is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who delivers the news to millions of people every day as the presenter of Newsbeat on the UK’s BBC Radio 1. Chris enjoyed a previous, glittering, literary career as the winner of the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition 1981 (under-ten category). Chris has no superpowers either, although he enjoys pretending his cat Mabel can fly by picking her up and running around.

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
834 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Jolene Tollett
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So much FUN!
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2020
My 7-yr-old daughter and I have had such a wonderful time listening to this book while stuck in traffic. I laughed more than she did. The following books are just as funny, captivating and heartfelt. You do not have to be "special" to be a hero!
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Eduardo Porto Ribeiro
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Loved this book!
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020
Read to my kids! Now all they want is to hear the second one! Lets continue this adventure ! Go kid normal!
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Pop Bop
5.0 out of 5 stars
Smart and Sly
Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2018
I was very much taken by this book, mostly because, while the premise seems a bit tired at first, the authors do a magnificent job of creating appealing characters, writing witty dialogue, and telling their tale with style. Our hero, Murph, ends up accidentally... See more
I was very much taken by this book, mostly because, while the premise seems a bit tired at first, the authors do a magnificent job of creating appealing characters, writing witty dialogue, and telling their tale with style.

Our hero, Murph, ends up accidentally enrolled at a secret school for kids with special, super capabilities, (capes). Murph has no special cape and ends up with the dismissive nickname "Kid Normal". Here''s where the book takes a huge zag. SPOILER, BUT A SMALL ONE - usually in books like this every other kid has a super duper cape and the hero is left alone, with maybe one unexpected friend. Not so here. In this book most of the kids have silly or useless capes, (one''s teeth make noises, one can conjure two miniature horses, one can inflate a body part, and so on). Most of the kids are there in order to learn how to hide their worthless capes so they don''t give away the secret that capes exist. What you end up with, then, is a strict pecking order with a few potential heroes at the top but everyone else trying to make the best with the cards they''ve been dealt.

You see where this can go. Murph, who has nothing, befriends lots of kids who have just a little bit more than nothing. You know that by the end Murph and his crew of zeroes will have a shot at being heroes. This is just so much more clever and fun than having Murph being the odd-man out loner. It allows for a wide range of characters to play big roles in the book, and it invites the reader to get invested in the progress and heroics of many different appealing kids. It''s a group effort and all the kids in the group have their parts to play and bits about themselves to reveal.

All of this only works, though, if the authors can keep it all in the air, and these two do. As is often the case, there is a chatty, arch and sometimes silly narrator who tells the story in an engaging, but sometimes ironic, manner that is particularly inviting for a young reader. A lot of sly humor gets tucked into the narration, and adults, older readers, and quick studies will probably appreciate that. Murph is the classic deadpan hero who keeps his composure no matter how oddly things are falling apart around him. His dry and deadpan responses to the nuttiness put the whole story into relief and add a reliable and amiable frame. The rest of the zeroes are a fine mix of kid types, and each one gets some good lines.

On top of this the action bits are first rate and rather suspenseful for a silly book. The villains are in the dumb, oblivious mold, but that works for this sort of story. In that reliable Dahl/Walliams style, adults are either idiots or possessed of hearts of gold, and as you might imagine that''s also just right for this book. Finally, the illustrations are crisp, amusing, and likely to aid younger readers in appreciating what''s going on, which is a nice touch.

So, for me, this was just top drawer across the board and most entertaining. This is a huge recommend.

(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
3 people found this helpful
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J. DieterleTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
4.0 out of 5 stars
A fun, quirky superhero story.
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2018
[I received an electronic review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.] A quirky superhero story. I loved the core group of kids. And the illustrations are fantastic - really added to the story. Some pretty typical... See more
[I received an electronic review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

A quirky superhero story. I loved the core group of kids. And the illustrations are fantastic - really added to the story. Some pretty typical features for a hero school - kids using powers to bully, teachers using position to belittle, weird villains created in science experiments gone wrong. There are some nice twists to the formula with the brains behind the villain and a potential traitor. Great message that anyone can be a hero. My only complaint is that it felt like the authors were trying too hard to be funny. Some techniques were more annoying than amusing to me. Most kids will roll with it, though, and probably think it''s perfect.
One person found this helpful
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mayasbooks
5.0 out of 5 stars
Humor, super powers, bravery, and friendship
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2018
This is the funniest book I''ve read in a long time. My 8 year old daughter loved it! It''s a great story, told with so many laughs. Many jokes are specifically written with the idea that a parent might read it out loud at bedtime.

Get this immediately.
2 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars
Super read for kids and parents
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2017
We are big fans of the Greg James that''s what he said podcast from BBC Radio 1, so we were predisposed to love this book. It honestly exceeded our (high) expectations. Greg and Chris Smith are as good at writing as they are funny on the podcast. This is appropriate for a 10... See more
We are big fans of the Greg James that''s what he said podcast from BBC Radio 1, so we were predisposed to love this book. It honestly exceeded our (high) expectations. Greg and Chris Smith are as good at writing as they are funny on the podcast. This is appropriate for a 10 year old reader.
One person found this helpful
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bdgillespie
5.0 out of 5 stars
My students love books that make them laugh
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2018
My students love books that make them laugh, and this one hit the mark. The jokes are middle school appropriate and had me laughing out loud. I will definitely be adding this to the library collection!
One person found this helpful
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John Sprehe
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hilarious
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2019
This book is just fun for all ages. Hilarious! You''ll want to read the sequelz.
One person found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Bo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lockdown Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2020
I live on my own and decided I needed to have something else to focus on apart from work bring a FE Lecturer of mathematics supporting students while working from home. I chose this book to read to a family during 2020 Covid 19 lockdown. I used to teach two of the five...See more
I live on my own and decided I needed to have something else to focus on apart from work bring a FE Lecturer of mathematics supporting students while working from home. I chose this book to read to a family during 2020 Covid 19 lockdown. I used to teach two of the five children. I started by reading them my favourite book by Enid Blyton , The Faraway Tree. Then I needed to look for something that would be enjoyed from a five year old to twelve, two boys and three girls. I read two chapters a day and they were disappointed when I finished each day as they wanted to know what happened next. They loved the illustrations and were keen to get round the phone to see. They really enjoyed the book and kept them from worrying about their Dad who had the virus but thankfully came through ok. We''re all looking forward to the next book and with more after should keep us going until the end of lockdown.
12 people found this helpful
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Megan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love this book so much!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2018
I loved this book so much- it has it all. Comedy, action and most of all Kid Normal has a fantastic twist at the end. I would recommend this book to children 8/9+ because they might understand the humour a bit more (it is also a quite large chapter book but with bigish...See more
I loved this book so much- it has it all. Comedy, action and most of all Kid Normal has a fantastic twist at the end. I would recommend this book to children 8/9+ because they might understand the humour a bit more (it is also a quite large chapter book but with bigish writing) Overall, I really enjoyed reading Kid Normal and had a good laugh at some points so that is why I rate it 5 stars🌟
13 people found this helpful
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Nicole
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2019
My 10 year old son loves the Kid Normal Books. He loves Tom Gates and David Walliams too so it was great to find something new to add to his book collection
4 people found this helpful
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Matt Loxley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lovely present
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2017
I bought it for my partner who is a big fan of Greg James, she likes the story of it and hopes to keep it safe for our son to read when he is older. He is about 16months now, so still has a couple of years to wait. Thanks to Chris Smith with the news and Greg James for...See more
I bought it for my partner who is a big fan of Greg James, she likes the story of it and hopes to keep it safe for our son to read when he is older. He is about 16months now, so still has a couple of years to wait. Thanks to Chris Smith with the news and Greg James for coming out with this.
6 people found this helpful
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Frances Jones
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2017
I''m reading this with a group of 8/9 year olds and they all love it. It is sometimes hard to get a group of children to read a set book and have them all enjoy it but this has grabbed the imagination of all eight of them who can''t wait to read the second one in the series.
7 people found this helpful
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