Cover Image: Cape


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Member Reviews

My boys and I loved this story. It was very fast paced and engrossing. Every night my son would ask to continue the story. I was able to get the audiobook for it so we could continue the story while riding in the car. The only thing I wish is that the story had more history embedded in it. Regardless, it did bring up topics and conversations bout history that my seven year old son had. I highly recommend this book to others. Side note: we also loved how comic book panels were embedded in the book.
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Hannigan combines the excitement of superheroes, the complexity of life in wartime, and the inspiring tale of early women in STEM into a fun and easy to follow novel for upper elementary kids. These disparate elements don't seem like they would work together well but Hannigan makes it work. In large part this is because the focus is on everyday life. The focus is on people who are dismissive of these girls because of their gender and/or their age. This allows them to easily maintain the double life necessary for a superhero, not to mention the extra demands placed on people due to the war. On it's own, a plot about superheroes during World War II might not be anything special. By adding in a fair amount of historical information about ENIAC and the role of war on the beginnings of the computer age the modern reader can see the connection between this historical plot and their own life. The character development in this book is perhaps a bit thin but it's the first in a series, so we can expect to see increasing complexity in future volumes.
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The format was all messed up for this book and that was really disappointing because I was enjoying it! It seemed to be a cute middle grade superhero book! I guess it was set in the 1940's? Or an alternate reality? Seemed fun and I'll have to check out the finished copy.
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In World War II era Philadelphia, Josie O'Malley is an Irish immigrant girl who works at a diner to make ends meet while her mother works overtime building battleships and her father is in the Pacific fighting the Japanese. Josie is a fan of the superheroes that have been protecting cities across the world. But just when the superheroes are needed the most, they have disappeared. Josie also loves puzzles, and she wants to use her ability to solve puzzles to help fight the Nazis. So when the opportunity comes up to take tests to do just that, she jumps at the chance. However, the man at the testing center immediately throws away her completed test--along with all of the other girls. However, she and two other girls--African American Mae and Japanese Akiko--gain the attention of the mysterious Ms. B. What are the secrets of Room 12? And what do they have to do with superheroes? The girls are going to find out... and discover their own inner strengths along the way.

Blending traditional prose with superhero comicbook style, "Cape" is a fantastic debut to this series about three girls who fight Nazis, solve mysteries, develop a close friendship, and discover that they have superpowers! Readers of all ages will be delighted with this cast of characters and be fascinated with how the true history of World War II blends with this fictional world, but also feel anger and resentment for the America of the past, and how that World War II might be over but we're still fighting some of the same problems to this day.

I'm looking forward to seeing what adventures lie in-store for Josie, Mae and Akiko!
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Thoroughly enjoyed this historic fantasy story full of superheroes and super powers, but set during WWII. I loved the historic pieces about the real women who worked on the first electronic computer (The Eniac Six). Fascinating author's note in the back about the historically accurate pieces she wove into the story. Great list of resources so readers can learn more about the history of comics, women's roles during WWII, and women in technology as well as other topics. The diverse group of girls who lead this story - one Irish, one African American and one Japanese - introduce a little of the racial issues of the time, too.

The structure of this one is interesting - mostly prose but with 4 sections told in comic book panels/art. The art is a nice visual anchor for some of the superhero action. It's a clever idea that fits the book so well. Don't miss this one!! I'm looking forward to book 2 already.
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I had a great time reading Cape. It was a strong origin story of sorts about three girls who bonded over a love of heroes. When they became ones themselves there was a learning curve to it at first. It took some time to find out just what their powers were and to get used to them. But when a dangerous foe arises it looks like they may be the only ones who can stop them. This is a book I can see most readers really enjoying.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for the review copy of Cape by Kate Hannigan. All opinions are my own. 

This books is described by the publisher as: "Hidden Figures meets Wonder Woman in this action-packed, comic-inspired adventure about a brilliant girl puzzler who discovers she’s part of a superhero team!"

There are so many amazing things about this book that I'm not sure where to start. The first thing I like is the layout of the book. It is a mixture of comics and novel chapters. Most of the key action scenes are depicted in comic book form and the book starts out as a comic. This is perfect for students who are reluctant readers. The comic book style will draw them in and then the plot is so engaging that they'll have to keep reading in order to find out what happens. It's also a perfect style considering the main character's own love of comics. The second thing I really love about this book is the girl power. There are so many positive messages for girls in this book. Several times Josie, Mae, and Akiko are faced with obstacles just because they are girls. For example, Mr. Hissler doesn't even bother to look at their puzzler test solely because they're girls. The three never seem to let this stop them; instead, they keep moving forward and doing their best. Josie even shares what she calls the most powerful words she could think of "I can," which is just an overall positive message for all readers. You can do whatever you put your mind to and you are capable of more than you may believe. Third, I really love that multiple types of heroes were presented throughout the book including the original computer programmers and human computers, code crackers, daring pilots, spies, and the women who worked in the war industry building ships and other necessary items for the war. This book is fast-paced, fun, and full of adventure and excitement. I can't wait to add a copy of this book to my classroom library, so I can share it with my students. 

Cape by Kate Hannigan will be released on August 6, 2019.
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A fun adventure story set during the second World War that brings together three smart and spunky young women.  I highly enjoyed the focus on early women computers and their vital role in fighting the war.  Part prose novel, part graphic novel, it's the perfect read for anyone looking for tales of adventure, friendship, and superheroes!
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this story.  All opinions are my own.
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This new addition to the super hero titles for middle grade truly delivers. It is like a combination of Hidden Figures and Wonder Woman. Josie, Akiko and Mae combine their newly discovered super powers and become the Infinity Trinity. Instead of waiting for someone else to solve a problem, they jump right in. Most of the book is in chapter form with a few graphic chapters inserted. Filled with real life history and the hope inspired by superheroes, this is well-researched and entertaining to read. "Superheroes exist all around us, every day. Only their costuming might not look so obvious." 

Thank you to Simon Schuster/Aladdin and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Many Kids books can be enjoyed equally by adults and children, but I think kids will find more to like in Cape than their elders. This is not because the book lacks interest; on the contrary, the plot moves quickly and, since the characters are as unfamiliar with their newfound powers as the reader is, we are all hooked on finding out what more the girls can do. The problem I had with Cape -- and it was *my* problem, not the book's -- was that its historical setting was so well drawn, the war and its effects on the home front so accurately depicted, and the details (such as the female "computers") so perfectly in place, that when the superhero angle kicked in, it knocked everything out of focus. In the early chapters I had been transported back in time and believed I was in WWII-era America -- and then history was rewritten and I was temporarily jarred from belief to disbelief. However, a child who knows little of WWII should have no difficulty staying absorbed by the story and cheering for the girls to save the day.

Two outstanding things about the novel: First is the way the action scenes are literally "shown" not told through comic panels; and second is the extensive list of resources that follows the text. I always like it when a Kids book not only entertains its targeted audience but also educates it.
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What I could read of this I was very interested in, however I was extremely disappointed that content was just missing entirely from the book. It appeared that all of the graphic novel content was not included, which is baffling since that means entire pieces of the story and dialogue are just NOT THERE. I am aware that this is an “uncorrected proof”, but how can you read and review a story with missing pages? You can’t. I’m just confused as to why this was done this way. I will not be finishing the galley, obviously, but maybe I can get it from the library someday after it comes out, because I found the beginning interesting enough to want to continue. I highly suggest that Netgalley, or the publisher, include ALL of the story if they put the second book in the series up for review. 
Edit: I know this was not a download issue because I re-downloaded it many times on my different devices and it was always the same. I even saw another reviewer mention something similar.
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I picked this up mainly for the cover.  It is bright and makes me think the story inside is going to be exciting.  And it is!

Our story follows Josie O’Malley, an Irish-American (I think she’s an immigrant, but she might be first-generation.)  She spends her time working at a diner to help out with the household expenses, which is a big help since her father is fighting in WWII.  She is also trying to control her temper while trying to fight the injustices she sees in her immediate surroundings, especially around the local bully.  (The bully seems unusually cruel to me, but maybe I’m not used to that kind of useless scum.)  She wonders where the superheroes have gone, like her favorite Zenobia.  The superheroes all disappeared a few years past, and no one seems to know why.

Josie is skipping school to take a very important test. She’s a puzzler, a good one, and wants to help the war effort in any way she can.  But she’s disappointed to see the examiner throw out the tests of all of the girls without even looking at them!  She meets two other girls who are just as clever and just as angry.  Akiko is a Japanese-American with bad allergies whose family is in internment camps because of the war, and Mae is a black girl with impeccable manners from Chicago.  Both girls are used to fighting discrimination not only for their sex, but for their appearance and heritage as well.  Josie doesn’t have as much hate thrown at her directly, but she’s used to seeing it toward the Germans who own the diner where she works.

While the girls quickly bond over the unfairness directed at them, they quickly bond over something else.  They stumble upon an act of awful villany against a real superhero, and to their surprise take on the mantle of superheroes themselves!  It takes them a long time to figure out their new roles, but they learn fast enough to get the job done.  It also takes them a while to figure out how to work as a team, both in costume and in their day-to-day lives. 

They may be the ones with superpowers, but they are not the only heroes by far.  We meet six women (well, a building full of women, but six special ones) who are using math to help the war effort.  These six women actually existed, and they were the human computers and early programmers called the “ENIAC Six” for the computer they were building.  At the end of the book, the author talks about the history of the women and the interviews she had with their families.  In the words of many people in the comment sections of clickbait articles, “Not all heroes wear capes!”

One of the many things I like about this story is the mixture of graphic novel and regular novel.  We have chapters in the graphic novel style (which were in black and white, but it would be really awesome if they are in color in the published version) and we have chapters in prose.  It makes sense - this is a story about superheroes, and superheroes emerged from comics.  The girls in the story read comics about their favorite heroes, and I wonder if in the next books they’ll be featured in comic books themselves!  The next books in the series, Boots and Mask (I think) will hopefully focus on Akiko and Mae.  It’ll be a long wait, but it will be worth it!

I was given a copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a great book for kids that love graphic novels, but are ready to step into longer novels. The story is written in first person, through the eyes of Josie O'Malley.  She is a smart, kind, and loyal girl. She is trying to fight Injustice at home, while hoping to contribute to the larger war effort.  She is also an avid super heros fan.  After meeting up with two other girls her age, with the same goals, super things begin to happen. I love all of the history in this book. I love that the characters are based on real female role models from history. I will definitely be steering my students that only like to read graphic novels towards this book.
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Cape by Kate Hannigan is Book One in The League of Secret Heroes, and what a great debut to this exciting new series. This is a quick, fun read for middle grade readers that intersperses the chapters with graphic novel panels. Alas, because I read an advanced reader copy, the panels weren't included, but that just gives me even more reason to go out and buy the book when it releases on August 6!

Main character Josie O'Malley's father is away fighting against the Nazis in World War II, and Josie wants nothing more than to help support the war effort at home in America, like her beloved superheroes do. Or did, before they all disappeared. 

When Josie learns about a puzzle-cracking tryout, she decides to put her talents to the test — literally! But she's shocked and angry when the man administering the test dumps hers in the garbage without even looking at it because she's a girl. Two other girls suffer the same fate, Akiko and Mae. 

But then a mysterious woman asks if they'd like to be part of a secretive program that will utilize their skills for the war effort. Their first day on the job is full of twists and turns as a sinister shape-shifting baddie wreaks havoc and Jose, Akiko, and Mae suddenly find themselves endowed with super powers! 

But becoming a superhero is harder than it looks and it takes more than a snazzy outfit to make a difference. The girls will have to learn to work together if they're going to thwart the evil Hisser and his henchman, save their city (and possibly the world!), and find the missing superheroes. 

Not only is this a fast-paced, action-packed superhero tale that packs a punch, it was also inspired by real-life women from WWII! Infusing it with superheroes and tons of girl power makes it so much fun, but it's the heart of the story that really shines in the form of real women from history — some of the first "computers" who helped to build the first electronic computer. I hadn't heard about this group of women before, and I loved learning more about them in such a creative way. The end of the book includes an extensive author's note and recommended resources with more information on these real women which was so interesting.

I also appreciate that author Kate Hannigan doesn't shy away from tough issues like racism, sexism, and xenophobia that effect our trio, but she approaches these topics in a way that works for middle grade readers. 

Overall, this was such a fun and inspiring read, and I can't wait to see where Hannigan takes us in Book Two!
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I received an electronic ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing through NetGalley.
Three young girls are brilliant at solving puzzles, etc. They meet by chance at a puzzle solving challenge offered by the government. The administrator rejects them as they're females. This sets up the rest of the storyline for Josie, Akiko and Mae.
In this alternative universe, WWII is raging and the superheroes have disappeared. They see the puzzle administrator (government employee?) disintegrate a superhero and grab his cape, mask and boots. By putting them on, they discover their own powers and unite as a trio of crime fighters.
Hannigan introduces readers to the ENIAC 6 through her plotline and provides real information on these women as background to the new superheroes in training. How they develop as individuals and a team draws the reader in to the story.
The book began at a slow pace but after the characters were developed, the action line was plausible.
Looking forward to book #2.
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Perfect for fans of Wonder Woman, Hidden Figures, and Agent Carter, Cape is a fun and powerful historical, science-fiction middle grade story. The characters, especially Josie, are a blast and I love how diverse they are despite the story being set in the 1940s. Not only does this book address the issues people had during wartime, but it includes takes a stab at racism, sexism, and bullying during this time period as well. The story doesn’t shy away from big problems just because it’s middle grade. The whole premise of becoming real life superheroes and uncovering a Nazi spy master plan was a lot of fun. I love that whenever the girls turn into superheroes, the scenes are told through comics instead of the normal written narrative. Cape also focuses heavily on women who utilized their knowledge of science and math to help the war effort and was inspired by many real life women, which the author makes note of in the back of the book. Fans of middle grade, superheroes, and girl power are sure to love this story. I’m looking forward to the sequel!
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E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In an alternate historical world, World War II is raging, but the superheroes that once saved the day are all gone. Josie O'Malley always put her faith in Zenobia, whose exploits were often written up in comic book format, and wishes that she could be like the superhero instead of just working at a local diner to help out her family. Josie's father is a soldier abroad, and her mother is trying hard to make ends meet for Josie, her two younger brothers, and her cousin, Kate. Josie is hoping to become a puzzler and help the government crack codes, but she and two other girls are thrown out of the test. When they are pulled aside by Mrs. Boudica and taken to Room Twelve, they manifest super powers and save the day. Room Twelve has been attacked, but when they manage to hunt Mrs. Boudica down, they find out that they will be able to help her fight the Nazis, especially Hank Hissler, who has gone over to the Nazi side. Little by little, they find out how their powers work and learn how to use them to defuse situations, such as an attack on the ship yard where Josie's mother works. They also find out that Kate works as a computer on a government project, and this group is being targeted for attacks because they are so important to the war effort. Will the mighty mites find a good superhero name for the newspapers, and will they be able to save the day?

Strengths: Superheroes are always a good topic, and Hannigan puts a great historical twist on this theme while incorporating current social justice concerns into the story. This is one of the few times that diverse characters have been given a reasonable explanation for hanging out together, when in reality, it would have been rare for Akiko, of Japanese descent, and Mae, who is African-American, to have hung out together. It's also rare to have a book talk about the conditions of Irish immigrants and the suspicion with which German Americans were held during WWII. There are periodic chapters in graphic novel format, which adds interest, and Spaziante's illustrations have a nice vintage feel to them. The other interesting part of this was Kate's work with the government on ENIAC. All in all, an intriguing book with a nice mix of history, adventure, and super heroes.

Weaknesses: This is a bit on the long side, and the girls spent a lot of time figuring out their powers; somehow, I just wanted someone to tell them so they could get on with the more exciting part of bringing down giant snake villains!

What I really think: I will probably purchase this, but am a bit concerned about circulation. I loved this author's The Detective's Assistant but can't get anyone to read it, and another super hero/graphic novel mix that I thought would check out, Attack of the Alien Hordes by Robert Venditti  and illustrated by Dusty Higgins gathers dust as well. I hate that I have to think about this, but weeding a book that I bought that has just sat on the shelf unloved for ten years is the worst part of my job. Well, along with finding poop on the floor in the stacks, but that happens FAR less frequently!
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for approving me to read an eARC of this book! 

Cape is set in Philiadelipa during WWII and follows the story of Josie, Akimo and Mae. The girls meet at a puzzler job tryout..where they soon learn about the evil Mr. Hissler and The League of Secret Heroes. The girls get their powers when the put of the boots, mask and cape of a super hero that disappears right in front of them.

So what I really love about this story is all the girl power in it and also how it didn't shy away from some topic. Our main characters are a diverse group of ladies and they do face prejudice because of the time period it is set in. I love how Josie sees how wrong that is.
"And it occurred to me that prejudices were a lot like allergies. They made it hard for us to really see." 

Other things that I loved is how the book has few pages that are written like comic book. I really enjoyed that. I like that the author included the real life history behind the story. Also how some of the characters in the book were real people. She also gave the reader websites and book incases they wanted to learn more. 

Overall I think this is a great middle grade book. It has a Agent Carter/ Wonder Woman feel and it as plenty of action packed scenes! I think that readers (not just kids but adults too) are going to love it! 

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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Josie, Akiko, and Mae love solving puzzles, so they try out to be puzzlers to aid in World War 2. The test didn't go as planned, but something better may be coming their way! I love the women empowerment in this book, from the female superheroes that the girls look up to, to the women mathematicians helping with the war. This is a great action-packed book for middle-grade readers and above.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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