In June, 2013 John David Anderson introduced us to the world of Sidekicked. Filled with superheroes, villains, and sidekicks, Sidekicked took us on quite an adventure. Check out my review here. Now John David Anderson returns to the world of superheroes he created in Sidekicked with an entirely new cast of characters in Minion, a funny and emotional companion to his first breakout tween novel—perfect for superhero fans who also love the work of bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Louis Sachar, and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
About Minion: Michael Morn might be a villain, but he’s really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—which they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they’d never betray each other.
But then a Super comes to town, and Michael’s world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they’ve made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel.
When I was twelve years old, give or take, my father strapped a bomb to my chest and drove me to the First National Bank and Trust so we could steal $27,500. I know what you’re thinking: if you’re going to go through all the trouble of rigging your son with explosives and send him to rob a bank, you should set loftier goals, but my father has a policy that he only steals what he needs at the time, and at the time he needed $27,500 to finish one of his projects and to buy groceries. We were out of frozen waffles.
Dad parked outside the BP across the street to distract himself by playing Angry Birds and eating cashews while I walked through the bulletproof doors of the gray-bricked building. Me, a pale, wispy-banged preteen, green eyed and skinny, wearing a dark-brown overcoat and an impertinent expression, walking into a bank all by myself. There was no guard at the door, but there were plenty of little black globes hanging from the ceiling. Security cameras. My heart caught in my throat, but I forced it down—Dad had told me not to worry about the cameras. They were taken care of. He had my back.
I approached the first teller—a young woman in a navy blazer with her hair pulled into a stern bun and too much makeup masking a potentially pretty face—and opened my jacket, showing her the bomb. I could tell she was impressed by her platter-sized eyes and the choked-down, quietly-pee-your-pants scream, which came out all muffled, like a dog’s squeak toy under a couch cushion. I gave her the speech. The one I had recited at least a dozen times the night before and three more on the way over while finishing off a bag of Skittles for breakfast.
“There’s a horrible man outside,” I said, nodding back toward the glass. “You can’t see him, but he can see you, and he says if you don’t fill this”—produce Transformers backpack, old-school cartoon, not those overstuffed Michael Bay movies—“with twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, he will hit the detonator and you and me will both be carried out of here in Ziploc bags.” It was a speech prepared by my father, at least most of it. I added the Ziploc bags part myself.
And it probably would have worked. The bomb. The speech. The Ziploc line. It would have, if I had even tried, if I had bothered to get into character. Someone in my position, a kid picked up off the street, three pounds of explosives taped under his chin, a juvenile IED about to commit his first felony—you’d expect I’d be snot faced and crying, shaking uncontrollably, begging the woman to hurry or to call the police. But I just couldn’t make myself do it. I came off flat, I’m sure, as if I couldn’t care less.
As if I wasn’t worried at all.
Don’t get me wrong. I was. A little. I just knew more than I was letting on.
About the author, in his own words: John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. Besides Minion, he is the author of Sidekicked, and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate. Those aren’t his real teeth. To find out more: www.johndavidanderson.org
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour:
June 23 Maria’s Melange
June 24 The Library Fanatic
June 25 The Next Best Book
June 26 Jean Book Nerd
June 27 Book Egg
June 28 Word Spelunking Book Blog
June 30 Ms. Yingling Reads
July 1 The Book Monsters
July 2 The Book Monsters
July 3 Read Now, Sleep Later
July 6 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 7 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 8 Candace’s Book Blog
July 9 Middle Grade Mafioso
July10 Librarian’s Quest
July 11 Unleashing Readers
July 12 Mindjacked
July 14 This Kid Reviews Books
July 16 Charlotte’s Library
July 17 Literacy Toolbox
July 18 Small Review
Thank you to Debbie and Danielle at Walden Pond Press hosting this blog tour and for providing a copy of Minion for giveaway!