SUPERFAIL for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

This new book features Marshall, a defective hero who has many super powers although none of them work quite like they should. He narrates the tale in the usual way first person MG books are presented, but his thoughts and many side jokes also come out in comic book style panels on every page.

The story is fast paced and has the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon. I laughed at many of the silly setups and gags. Boys are more likely to pick up the book, but there are also many female characters that will appeal to all young readers.

Don’t expect an intricate plot, but do expect to be entertained with what you read and see. A great start to what I hope will turn out to be a series. With so many sad tales in MG books these days, it’s nice to sit back and smile.


FULL PLOT (From AMAZON) Laser vision isn’t so hot when you’re cross-eyed, and supersonic flight’s a real downer when motion sickness keeps you grounded.

Twelve-year-old Marshall Preston is a Defective–a person with superhuman abilities that are restricted by some very human setbacks. While other kids are recruited to superhero teams, Marshall’s stuck in seventh grade with a kid who can run at super speed but can’t turn a corner, another with a radioactive peanut allergy that turns him into a swollen Hulk, and a telepath who reads everyone’s thoughts out loud.

Defectives like Marshall aren’t exactly superhero material, but when he uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, Marshall and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you’re defective doesn’t mean you can’t save the day.

With full illustrations throughout and a funny, heartwarming story, Superfail is the perfect book for reluctant young readers and the superhero fan.


 SUPERFAIL by Max Brunner

  1. A well thought out group of defective characters. My favorites were Marshall and Debbie, who has a wild group of pet friends.
  2. The illustrations are fun to look at and make the story appeal to visual learners. They’ll become instant fans of the artist and his other works (See below).
  3. We can all be heroes. That’s one lesson so many kids need to hear.
  4. This is a perfect counter to all the superhero movies we get each year where the heroes super powers are always super.
  5. Perfect for preteens, especially those who might not choose reading as their favorite past time.


They say your whole life flashes before your eyes when it’s about to end, but all I could think was that I didn’t want to die dressed like a character from a fast-food restaurant!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR(From Hachette Book Group):

Max Brunner began his professional career as lead writer for David World Press’s popular web comic, Barbiespawn. He’s a hardcore comic book nerd and a debut author. Max lives in Cypress, California.

Dustin Mackay is an animator and story artist for Disney and most recently worked on Planes: Fire & Rescue and Tinkerbell: Legend of the Neverbeast. Dustin lives in Cypress, California.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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4 Responses to SUPERFAIL for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Funny is always good for kids this age. And you are right. It’s important for kids to know that anyone can be a hero. Thanks for telling me about this book.

  2. Love that line you quoted. And I agree with Rosi about funny being good. Sounds like a book that will appeal to boys who don’t like to read.

  3. Like the theme that we can all be heroes. Yes, funny is good! Great story for transitioning readers.

  4. SuperFail appears to be a super fun read for middle graders, especially reluctant ones. I love your favorite line! Great review.

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