By: Richard Roberts
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
GoodReads Summary: Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She’s got superhero parents. She’s got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets even she doesn’t understand. She has two super powered best friends. In middle school, the line between good and evil looks clear.
In real life, nothing is that clear. All it takes is one hero’s sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process, Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She’s good at it.
Criminal masterminds, heroes in power armor, bottles of dragon blood, alien war drones, shape shifters and ghosts, no matter what the super powered world throws at her, Penny and her friends come out on top. They have to. If she can keep winning, maybe she can clear her name before her mom and dad find out.
I discovered Richard Roberts by happening across a free copy of Quite Contrary, a middle grade book that seemed to have widely controversial list of reviews. Some loved it, some hated it, some were so completely offended by the first chapter, they put it aside.
I’m on the “loved it,” team.
I also figured, Mr. Roberts would be one of those authors who I’d have to parse out my enjoyment. So, instead of jumping into the purchase of every single book he’s published, I sat back to enjoy delayed gratification.
All I can say, is while I still won’t be buying all of his works all at once, I am such a fan that I will eventually own the full collection. I am actually glad I waited. His books are hitting Audible and that’s how I get most of my reading done lately. Even though I’ve already read it, I’ve got the Audible version of Quite Contrary on my wish list.
Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillian, is not what I expected. I thought it would be about a character who reveled in villainy. While she does enjoy quite a bit of that aspect, Penny’s first instinct is not to commit crime. So throughout the book, the conflict is internal, how can she be a superhero when her superpower fits so well in the other side?
Interestingly enough, this one isn’t quite as controversial, not even getting less than three stars on three sites. I expected that. People who are reading this are those of us who are superhero nerds pondering over the idea that this isn’t a graphic novel. Of course, there are those who’s enjoyment comes from poking holes in the premise (i.e. how does Superman fly?). But it’s still enjoyment. It’s still coming from people who’ve read the entire thing.
I listened to this after finding it on Audible Daily Deals. Emily Zeller does a fantastic job with this one. You can tell she enjoys being Penny. There’s laughter all through it because Penny enjoys being herself. She just has one little secret.
I can’t wait to share this one with my kiddos and see what they think.
I don’t think that it matters what age you are. I think every superhero fan will like this.