Powerless by Matthew Cody
April 25, 2011 in Book Club Possibility, Cody Matthew, Elementary Educators, Middle Grade Novel, Reading Skills, six traits of writing Tags: 6 +1 traits of writing, books for boys, middle grade fantasy books
*Middle-grade novel, contemporary fantasy
*12-year-old boy as main character
*Rating: Powerless by Matthew Cody is perfect for superhero fans. If you have a reluctant reader that loves comic books, have them try Powerless–they may find a book they like!
Short, short summary: Daniel moves to Noble’s Green, and soon realizes that the kids aren’t exactly like kids in other cities. They have super powers! Just like superheroes. Once the kids know that Daniel realizes there’s something special going on, they let him in on their secret. But the worst part of all is that these kids lose their superhero powers when they turn 13. Not only do they lose these powers, but they also lose all memory of them. They’ve been trying to figure out why, but no one has been able to yet. The super kids think Daniel can help them, and he is soon thrown against a dangerous villain.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. With the 6 + 1 traits of writing, looking at beginnings is the trait of organization. This book has an interesting beginning that will catch readers’ attention and make them wonder what is going to happen for the rest of the story. Talk with students about using this type of beginning (the prologue) and how it is effective (or maybe they think it’s not.) Challenge them to write a prologue to a story. You can also discuss another way Matthew Cody could have started Powerless.
2. As your students/children read Powerless, ask them to predict and hypothesize what is stealing the super kids’ powers before Daniel figures it out. Are there clues in the story that give students an idea before they are told? Students can guess ANYTHING as long as they can support it with facts from the story.
3. An interesting journal entry to do with this book is to ask students: What super power would you want if you could have one and why? Students answer in their reading response journals and share with classmates.