We can all be superheroes...

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Excitement was high in our office recently with the release of the new Spiderman film... after all who doesn't love a superhero? But it got us to thinking about all the unconventional superheroes that exist both in fiction and in real life. They have no capes to identify them, nor do they drive a batmobile. Their web spinning skills are rusty and they probably cannot fly without checking into an aiport and boarding a plane. But what they do have that marks them out as superheroes is courage in the face of adversity. They make brave decisions, they inspire and they stand up for what they believe in. Yes they get scared but they do it anyway. We've delved into our collection to find some of these superheroes; maybe they'll inspire you to find your courage and bravery some day. And maybe you'll even realise that superheroes are in fact everywhere... maybe you even know one!

For Key Stage 1 and 2:

 

Superdad’s Day Off

by Phil Earle (KS1/2)

Stanley is a normal little boy, whose dad just happens to be the greatest superhero on the planet. Six days a week, Dad saves the world from disasters, aliens, and bad guys. Friday is his day off and he always spends it with Stan. But one Friday, Dad and Stan meet a series of people desperately in need of Dad's help. Soon Stan finds himself saving a lion stuck up a tree, rescuing a monster truck from a ditch and taking on shark-infested floodwaters. That's right: Stan is a chip off the old (superhero) block!

Archie Hero in Training

by Sam Hay (KS1/2)

Archie the puppy has been given a very special and important task. He has been picked to become a guide dog - helping a partially sighted child or grown-up to gain their independence and live a fuller life. But the training is tough and not all puppies will make the grade. Archie is determined to become a guide dog, but will he succeed?

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

by Elena Favilli andFrancesco Cavallo (KS2/3)

A collection of stories featuring one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.

The Danger Gang

by Tom Fletcher (KS2)

Franky can't wait to move to his new town - although he wishes he didn't have to leave his best friend, Dani, behind. But everything changes after the storm, when strange green lightning and powerful thunder crash down on the town. From that night on, the kids who live on Franky's street start to change. One by one, they become a little odd. A little unusual. A little...magical. Franky's always wanted to be part of an amazing gang - just like his hero, super-spy Zack Danger! And soon, he realises that there's real danger in store for himself and his new friends. And so the Danger Gang is born....

The Day I Got Zapped by Superpowers

by Tom McLaughlin (KS2)

When a dastardly villain’s attempt to steal a laser machine goes spectacularly wrong, nine-year-old Zack gets zapped with super powers.This would be awesome, other than Zack is a teeny tiny bit afraid of …everything! Now, the most undeserving superhero of all time must fashion a costume, save the day and work out how to reverse the laser’s effect before he gets stuck with super powers forever!

Fierce, Fearless and Free

by Lari Don (KS2)

Once upon a time, there were strong, fierce women who plotted, schemed, took action, showed kindness, used magic and trickery, and made their own destiny. Lari Don presents a brilliant, inclusive collection of traditional tales from around the world featuring amazing women and girls -heroine stories that don't leave girls sitting around waiting to be saved by the handsome prince.

Image shows a selection of book covers

For Key Stage 3 and 4:

Anne Frank’s Story

by Carol Ann Lee (KS3)

Anne Frank's name is known throughout the world as the author of a famous wartime diary. This is the story of Anne's life before and after writing the diary.

Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls

by Miscellaneous (KS3)

This feisty collection of poems is a celebration of the achievements of women and girls throughout history. It includes poems about Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, Margaret Hamilton, Ada Lovelace, Helen Keller, Mary Shelley, Edith Cavell and many more.

Lightning Mary

by Anthea Simmons (KS3)

One stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is a baby - Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her. Growing up poor but proud on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows after her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by waves and landslips. Ignoring other people's taunts, Mary faces danger to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family. Mary must depend upon her unique courage and knowledge to fulfil her dream of becoming a scientist in a time when girls have no opportunities for such ambitions. What will happen when she makes her greatest discovery of all...? With a factual section about Mary Anning, her life, and the discoveries she made.

The Diary of A Young Girl

by Anne Frank (KS4)

In July 1942, thirteen year old Anne Frank and her family fled from the horrors of Nazi occupation, and went into hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse. Over the next two years Anne vividly describes in her diary the frustration of living in such confined quarters.

Jemima Small Versus the Universe

by Tamsin Winter (KS3)

Jemima Small finds it hard to measure up. Especially because she's the very opposite of her name. And being forced to join a healthy eating group at school means no one will let her forget that. But if there’s one big thing she has going for her it’s her attitude – and she’s determined to prove that Jemima Small is a Big Deal. Jemima also knows that the biggest stars in the universe are the brightest. And maybe it's her time to shine...

International Velvet

by Brian Forbes (KS4)

Sarah Brown, niece of Velvet, the heroine of National Velvet, comes to England to live with her aunt after she is orphaned in a car accident. She discovers a talent for riding and, with her aunt’s encouragement, sets out to fulfil her ambition to ride for England in the Olympics and win gold.

Nelson Mandela

by Benjamin Pogrund (KS3/4)

Life story of the man who fought for freedom from apartheid and became South Africa's first black leader.

Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

by Sophia Thakur (KS4)

From acclaimed performance poet Sophia Thakur comes a powerful new collection of poems exploring issues of identity, difference, perseverance, relationships, fear, loss and joy. The poems draw on the author’s experience as a young mixed-race young woman trying to make sense of a lonely and complicated world, that will resonate with all young people, whatever their background, and whatever their dreams.

Collections:

Percy Jackson books

by Rick Riordan (KS3)

Percy Jackson was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. Until he accidentally vaporized his maths teacher. Now he spends his time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.

Alex Rider

by Anthony Horowitz (KS2/3)

Venture into the secret undercover world of teen super spy Alex Rider.

Skulduggery Books

by Derek Landy (KS2/3)

Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there's his sidekick, Stephanie. She's… well, she's a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…

Kid Normal

by Chris Smith and Greg James (KS2)

When Murph Cooper rocks up to his new school, he can't help but feel a bit out of his depth, because his mum has enrolled him at a school for superheroes by mistake. And unlike his fellow students Murph has no special abilities whatsoever. But just because you don't have superpowers, it doesn't mean you can't save the day…

Playground to the Pitch - Football Hero series

by Matt Oldfield and Tom Oldfield (KS2/3):

Read the stories of some of your favourite players with books on Aguero, Carragher, Gerrard, Mane, Salah, Sterling and Van Dijk.

Artemis Fowl books

by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl, the 12 year old boy genius and criminal mastermind. Although debatably a villain, he's also a hero to many.

Image shows a selection of book covers