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Eighth-Grade Superzero

By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Middle school meets the Brooklyn streets in this funny, inspiring debut.

8:08 am.

I'm like a boxer before the title fight. Except I'm not in the ring, I'm in the auditorium. About to be front and center stage. Again.

I will not lose my breakfast.
I will not lose my breakfast.

Joe C. and Ruthie are right behind me - they've got my back no matter what. Charlie's in the audience, probably so excited he can't stay in his seat. And Mialonie Davis, the most beautiful girl in the world . . .

I got this. Right?

I know Donovan is out there too, hating me more than ever. But what matters now is the Olive Branch Shelter, and Clarke Junior School here in Brooklyn, and getting through this speech alive.

I will not lose my breakfast.

This all started with George at the Olive Branch. Or in homeroom with the election announcement. Or maybe back when I got my nickname, right here on this very stage.

Maybe I should just tell you the whole story...

Reviews and Awards

⋆ “Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a masterful debut, telling a layered middle-school tale filled with characters who are delightfully flawed and, more importantly, striving to overcome those flaws. Reggie McKnight has been saddled with the nickname “Pukey” thanks to a disastrous incident on the first day of school. Attempting to get through the rest of the year unnoticed, he spends his time with his best friends, political activist Ruthie (who shares Reggie’s Jamaican background) and aspiring rapper Joe C. While working on a project at a homeless shelter with his church’s youth group, he becomes increasingly interested and involved in the community, leading to his participation in his school’s presidential race, first as an adviser to a classmate, eventually as a candidate. Rhuday-Perkovich doesn’t take shortcuts, forcing Reggie to deal with a world in which he doesn’t always get the answers or successes he wants, and the book shines as a result. Messages of social justice - whether through church projects, parental discussions, or recognition of racial biases among his friends - complement the story and characters, rather than upstage them.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[Rhuday-Perkovich] manages to bring both passion and compassion to a story that has its moments of humor and genuine emotion, and will be highly useful for classroom discussion.” - Booklist

“The novel takes on a number of weighty issues including religion, homelessness, and getting involved without the heavy language and situations that are often a part of urban fiction.... [A] good one to recommend to readers who are looking for realistic fiction with a focus on social responsibility.” School Library Journal 

Purchase Options
Scholastic • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Spring 2010
Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 0-545-09676-6
Price: $16.99/$21.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 336
Foreign Rights: Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Translation Rights: Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Rights Available? yes