by Dean Pitchford
Published: July 9th 2009
Genres: Childrens, Fiction
Format: Hardcover (208 pages)
Growing up in the shadow of his football star brother, Chris, Newt Newman has never felt particularly special. When Chris is knocked into a coma, Newt?s two best friends decide that taking him out for Halloween is the best way to cheer him up. Using some of Chris?s old, oversized clothes, Newt creates his best costume ever?Captain Nobody! Newt feels so strong and confident in his new getup that he keeps wearing it after Halloween is over. In no time, Newt assumes the role of a hero in a string of exploits that include foiling a robbery and saving a planeload of passengers. But will Captain Nobody be able to save the one person he cares about most?
With Captain Nobody, the acclaimed author of The Big One-Oh, Dean Pitchford, has skillfully crafted a heartfelt blend of action, humor, and family drama.
I read this book out loud to my kids and they loved it. I didn’t expect that I would love it too! It was a lot of fun to read out loud becuase it was full of clever dialogue. I maybe got a little carried away with the voices but my kids seemed to like it (or not hate it enough to make a comment). The thing my kids loved the most about Captain Nobody was the superhero notebook that the main character Newt has. Newt makes up characters with cool names and unique powers. A few days into reading, I found these pieces of art in my son’s room.
And I just beamed with pride! I was so touched that the things we read together inspire him. He also drew pictures after reading Harold and The Purple Crayon together. I asked him what Hornit’s powers were (because I can’t read his cute handwriting) and he said he didn’t know. Dang. Any guesses? Stinging probably? Copy Man can copy ANYTHING! I think it’s a really cool hero actually.
Even though this was such an entertaining book that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a lovely message. It’s about how kids can be heroes everyday by doing small things. Newt’s brother goes into a coma. Because Newt misses his brother, he makes up a Halloween costume from random clothes in his brother’s room. He keeps wearing the costume after Halloween and everyone indulges him because they want to cheer him up about his brother’s situation. His friends indulge him the most and treat him like an actual superhero by asking him to do small things (like get something out of the dumpster) that actually turn into heroic things (he finds an older neighbor with Alzheimer’s near the dumpster who is lost and he takes him home). The plot kept us turning the pages. After all the heroic things that Newt does, we were dying to know if he could save his brother too! We all looked forward to reading it every night.
My favorite part as an adult was relating to Newt’s struggle to find a costume. This is a quote where Newt can’t fall asleep because he’s desperately trying to think of a Halloween costume.
Instead of counting sheep, I ticked off heroic names and occupations in my head. ‘Fireman? Who’m I kidding? Christopher Columbus? Wasn’t he fat? Astronaut? Ha-ha.’
-Dean Pitchford, Captain Nobody pg 38-39
This! Every year this. I would rack my brain trying to think of a cool, unique costume. One year I decided last minute to be Princess Leia. I wore white winter gear like she does in Episode V on the planet Hoth. Every one thought I was a skiier. Ugh. At least I was warm. Halloween can be brutally cold in Utah.
Did you ever struggle with deciding what to be for Halloween?
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