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Cover image for Kid Normal / Greg James & Chris Smith ; illustrated by Erica Salcedo.
Kid Normal / Greg James & Chris Smith ; illustrated by Erica Salcedo.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2018.
Physical Description:
386 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Murph Cooper, eleven, is out of his depth when his mother unknowingly enrolls him in a school for superheroes, but his normalcy may be just what is needed to defeat King Nektar.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
JAM Book Junior Collection
JAM Book Junior Collection

On Order



A hilarious, illustrated middle-grade adventure 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.

Author Notes

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 hobbiesinto 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.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this tongue-in-cheek middle grade adventure, a kid without superpowers nevertheless discovers his true calling when he's accidentally enrolled in a secret school for superhumans. Eleven-year-old Murph Cooper doesn't have high hopes for the school, his fifth one in as many years thanks to his mother's many work-related moves. It doesn't help when he's the only normal human in a place where people can fly, control weather, move at super-speed, and summon tiny horses (not every power, or Capability-"Cape" for short-is a winner). Murph unexpectedly makes friends with some of the school's other misfits, which comes in handy when a bizarre villain attacks the school and captures everyone else. Now only Murph and his friends can save the day. This lighthearted caper from BBC radio stars James and Smith is packed with dry wit, snarky narrative asides, and an unabashed eschewing of subtlety (the school's headmaster, a former superhero, is Mr. Souperman). Salcedo's playfully frenetic illustrations complement James and Smith's silly adventure and its good-natured sense of wonder. Ages 8-12. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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