Smash: Trial By Fire (Candlewick, Sept. 10, 2013) is a great superhero graphic novel for kids, created by two brothers, Chris A. Bolton and Kyle Bolton (Chris did the words, Kyle did the pictures).
Andrew is a huge fan of the superhero Defender, a larger-than-life crime fighter who's constantly thwarting the plans of the evil Magus. Andrew himself dreams of being the Defender's sidekick, but in reality he's constantly on the thwarted side of things--fifth-grade is full of bullies, his big brother isn't being exactly nurturing, and his Defender costume for Halloween was made by his mom (and looks that way).
But one day everything changes. The Magus defeats the Defender...but the Defender's superpowers miraculously are transferred to Andrew. Andrew's ready and willing to take up the fight against evil. But the learning curve for superpowers is a heck of a lot steeper than he'd anticipated....and the bad guys are a lot tougher than he'd thought they'd be.
Packed with action and excitement, with larger than life heroes and villains in classic superhero comic book style, this is pretty much non-stop adventure, full of Excitement! Desperate Escapes! Minions! Robots! and the problems of homemade costumes, a steeper learning curve for flying than expected, and a police force who don't exactly welcome a fifth-grade defender with open arms...
In short, great fun for the superhero loving kid who dreams big.
It's my pleasure today to feature a Special Guest Post from the brothers Bolton, in which they share the story of their collaboration (click to enlarge).
Thanks, Chris and Kyle! I will share this with my own boys, and perhaps they will follow in your footstep!
disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher