Monday, December 3, 2012
Plot Summary: In a world where superheroes reign but few new ones every appear, the Villains need some help. So The Vindico, in preparation for a comeback, kidnap five teens with various abilities to train them as their new villainous protégés. James will train with The Torturer to become bigger and stronger. Lana will train with Avaria to become an unstoppable fighter. Hayden will train with Leni to perfect his mind control and telekinesis powers. Emily trains with Roco to create new technical devices and hack systems. Finally, Sam trains with Silver to work on the ability to infiltrate minds. At first interested in the prospect of powers, the teens soon realize that they don’t want to be the bad guys even if people try to hurt them first. So when it is time to side with the bad or the good, the teens decide to rebel against their captors.
Critical Evaluation: The Vindico is an interesting story (with an eye catching cover). It’s pretty fast-paced (the the final battle does drag a bit) and it will appeal to action fans and guys for sure. It reminds me of Michael Carroll’s Super Human series but not as good. Each character is pretty individual but Hayden’s and Sam’s mind abilities are too similar it sometimes gets confusing. The part I enjoyed the best was the history of the war between the superheroes and the villains. The bad guys aren’t totally black and white—they are all shades of gray. The ending leaves room for a sequel (which was announced for June 2013 – The Feros).
Reader's Annotation: Imagine discovering that you have superpowers . . . but the only reason you discovered this is because you have been kidnapped with four other teens by the Vindico—the league of supervillains! They are planning to use you and your new powers to create new apprentices to evil!
Author Information: After discovering that his first career choice—Jedi—was somewhat impractical (for now), he moved on to my second option of a fiction author. While he lives in suburban Oshawa, Ontario, he spends most of his time in the imagined universes of super-powered children, dying stars, and dystopian fantasy realms. His debut novel, The Vindico, follows five ordinary teenagers who are taken on as protégés by the world’s most dangerous Super Villains. The sequel, The Feros, will be published in 2013 (Wesley, n.d.).
Curriculum Ties: N/A
Booktalking Ideas: An action scene from when the teens first get to use their powers.
Reading Level/Interest Age: 13+
Challenge Issues: Mild comic book like violence
Challenge Defense: If this book were challenged, I would make sure the library has a Challenge Defense File ready for such a situation. Inside the Challenge Defense File, librarians and the public could find:
· A copy of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill)
· A copy of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/statementspols/ftrstatement/freedomreadstatement)
· A copy of the library’s own selection policy (my library, the La Vista Public Library, has a policy but it is not online so I can’t link to it as an example).
· A copy of the library’s citizen’s complaint/reconsideration form (my library, the La Vista Public Library’s, form is called the City of La Vista Service Request form).
· Copies of reviews—both good and bad—from reputable library and publishing services to justify why a book was selected for inclusion in the collection. These include not only reviews from such journals as School Library Journal, VOYA, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, but also any mention of books on YALSA lists and other copies of articles about any awards or nominations such books may have received.
· Include a short rationale file for other coworkers so if the librarian in charge of selecting materials is not available when a challenge occurs the other staff members have some information to go by (the rational would include such information as a short summary, what could be challenged, reviews, awards and nominations, etc.)
· Include for staff members a copy of “Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials,” a document written by the American Library Association. Make sure that staff reviews this document periodically so they are prepared and know how to face such situations. (Can be found and printed from ALA’s website at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/challengeslibrarymaterials/copingwithchallenges/strategiestips)
Reason for Inclusion: A great action/superhero book that appeals to guys looking for action stories and also great for reluctant readers. If the first book is popular, purchase the sequel when it is released.
Wesley King. (n.d.). Goodreads author profile. Retrieved from http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1666468.Wesley_King