By Author / Illustrator
Nat Luurtsema, Fay Austin
Paperback / softback
Dr Dolittle meets Kid Normal in a hilarious middle grade superhero series from comedian Nat Luurtsema. Perfect for fans of David Baddiel, My Brother is a Superhero and Lightning Girl
10-year-old Opie Jones is Very Ordinary. In fact nothing remarkable has ever happened to her, if you don't count the cat that gives her funny looks from next door (which she doesn't). So she is naturally very surprised when she is recruited to join The Resistance - a team of superheroes who can read minds, and have a dastardly brainwashing villain to defeat.
HOWEVER it turns out Opie can't read human minds, she can read ANIMAL ones. The other members of the Resistance are very disappointed. And a whole world of animal chat and demands is opening up to her. She's still a superhero, just one on her hands and knees in the mud, chatting to a pedantic worm.
But when the brainwashing villain is out to get Opie and her friends, it might just be that listening to all the creatures great and small is what makes Opie Jones the right person to save the world.
Opie Jones is a 'normal' ten-year-old, living with her parents who are actors. Priding herself on her normal life and trying to navigate school, friendships and academics, Opie is surprised when she is approached to join The Resistance. They are a team of superheroes who can read minds. With a brainwashing villain on the loose, The Resistance need all the help they can get. Opie, however, discovers that she cannot read human minds, only those of animals. Her new friends are disappointed but when the villain tries to take over Opie's school, she realises that listening to all the animals around her will be the biggest help of all.
Opie is an excellent protagonist. Academic, caring and determined; many will relate to her. She can struggle to navigate friendships and the social dynamics of school and isn't afraid to take risks, make mistakes and put herself 'out there'. Opie is supported by a likeable group of friends who support her and help her. The animals are interspersed in between chapters on black pages and are central to the story.
Many children wish they could talk to animals and Opie offers them an insight into what they are really thinking. Nat Luurtsema brings humour and warmth to her writing and the overall plot. Fay Austin's brilliant illustrations bring Opie and her band of animal friends to life, adding to the fun and humour.
A great book for lower key stage two and up. This would work as a super read-aloud or chapter book for newly fluent readers.
288 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Bryony Davies, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+