FICTION

Cape

S. & S./Aladdin. (League of Secret Heroes: Bk. 1). Aug. 2019. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534439115.
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Gr 4-7–Hannigan soars with a rich new adventure series inspired by real women programmers from World War II. Philadelphia has not seen caped crusaders in years, yet seventh-grader Josie O’Malley loves reading comic books about female superheroes and solving math and word games. When she notices an ad in the paper seeking puzzle solvers to help crack ciphers, Josie knows that this is her dream job. She’ll do anything to help her family while her father is away fighting Germany’s Nazis. Josie is alarmed when she, Akiko, and Mae are all cut from the puzzler tryouts because they are girls. The girls join forces as caped crusaders themseves, with advanced powers and teamwork to foil a cloak-and-dagger evildoer and crack the clandestine code just in time to find superheroes who went missing in action. Mae, who is African American, and Akiko, who is Japanese- American, are nuanced characters whose experiences with racism accurately reflect the time period. Hannigan takes on history, prejudice, friendship, and bravery with aplomb.
VERDICT Fans of fast-paced action adventures, computer science, and confident main characters will enjoy this series debut that is sure to fly off the shelves

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