The Adventures of Blue Avenger

 
Quirky book's mature content is best for teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Blue's brother, Josh, is sometimes bratty.

Violence

A past murder is referred to. Both main characters have lost their fathers, through accident and desertion.

Sex

References to sex and condom use, and a brief make-out session.

Language

Occasional, including several pages of classroom dissection of a four-letter word.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some sexual content and language make this best for teens.

What's the story?

Secret champion of the underdog, modest seeker of truth, fearless innovator of the unknown! When teenager David dons a blue vest and headdress and changes his name to Blue Avenger, he becomes the unlikely hero of his high school. This witty tale of teen eccentricity, unlikely coincidences, and thoughtful musings keeps readers chuckling and wondering.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Part comedy, part adventure, and part witty discourse on free will vs. determinism, this delightfully oddball romp is a breath of fresh air. Thought-provoking yet lighthearted, poignant, and at times hilarious, the story deliberately stretches credulity to show that there are no coincidences. The author takes the reader backstage, behind the scenes of Blue's life -- and of life in general. Skirting the edge of off-color humor (the book's knockout opening pages discuss the moment of Blue's conception in comically clinical terms), Norma Howe hooks the reader into a raucous philosophical dialogue in which events are traced backward to their unlikely -- and usually unknown -- causes, until all of life's events begin to seem like the most farfetched coincidences.

A book like this may get even the most reticent adolescent thinking and talking. This happily quirky way of looking at life is a tonic, renewing the reader's faith in the wonder and joy of our own little lives.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the book's questions about free will. To what extent do you believe in free will? What about coincidence? How do you think the young hero of the story would be received if he showed up at your school dressed up as a super hero?

Book details

Author:Norma Howe
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:January 1, 1999
Number of pages:230
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 14

This review of The Adventures of Blue Avenger was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written bydmoney3425 March 23, 2009
age 17+
 
Adult Written bymmar April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Who doesn't like lemon meringue?

Clean humor, and a fun read, for readers of all ages. What little boy didn't dream of being a super hero? I'd have to say this book does an even better job at depicting the possibilities of an individual to accomplish what he desires, even better than the classic batman character. I can't remember the last time a read such a refreshing book that I wasn't hestitant to share with anyone that I came across looking for something to read. Highly recommended, short and fast to read. Go and get it.. you wont regret it.
Teen, 16 years old Written bymovieman09 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Great read.

This book is witty, exciting, and hilarious. I recomend it to anyone in high school or that can read.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass