A Kid Who Happens to Be Spider Man

Today I have a book about a kid who happens to be Spider Man.  With everything that has happened of late in Charlottesville, it is more important than ever to get diverse books in the hands of kids.  The book I am profiling today is from Jason Reynolds who writes stories about black people, but ultimately he is always telling a human story to which everyone can relate.  And it’s about Spider Man, so how cool is that?

Don’t forget to follow One Great Book for fabulous stories that I hope also include characters of multiple ethnicities and outlooks.  I encourage you in light of recent events to also check out Refugee, Amina’s Voice and Piecing Me Together.  They are wonderful works of fiction for middle grade readers that provide perspectives from different cultures, religions and walks of life.  Books are an amazing tool to teach children empathy and they are an irreplaceable opportunity to try on someone else’s shoes for a time.

 

Title: Miles Moralesmiles morales a kid who happens to be spider man

Author: Jason Reynolds

Target: Grades 6 and up

Series: I hope so

What this book is about:

Miles Morales has been bitten by a toxic spider and becomes Spider Man. Oh, did I mention that Miles is half black and half Puerto Rican. He attends a posh private school on scholarship and when he choses to follow his “spidey sense” he risks getting kicked out of school and loosing his scholarship. He is surrounded by people who have made the wrong choices in life and he struggles between helping others and helping himself. There is also a teacher in the school who seems to have it out for Miles, but it feels like there is more going on ….

Why I love this book:

  • This is anything but a conventional Spider Man story. By making Miles black/hispanic and living in a lower economic reality, the choices Miles has to make when saving others come at a different cost. And this is what I love about the author Jason Reynolds. He doesn’t write generic characters who could be any ethnicity. Miles is black and hispanic and that is reflected not only in his skin color but in the influences around him, the way he sees the world and the way he speaks.
  • I really appreciated the strong family and friendships that surrounded him. Miles is by no means alone in this world and he has a support system to help him work through the tough stuff.
  • Ok, this is a Spider Man story so there is a bad guy and a showdown. Yes, we all need a little web slinging and action packed take downs to keep the story moving.

Who this book is for:

Great for fans of Spider Man or Super Heroes in general. This is also a great story if you have a black or hispanic kid who wants to see themselves reflected as a superhero (and who wouldn’t?) or for any child who wants to live inside the shoes of someone of a different race.

Final thoughts:

I know almost nothing about the Spider Man story so I know there is more to understand about the “bad guy.” Just wish there had been a little more background there for those of us unfamiliar with the comics.

Also, Kadir Nelson, one of my favorite artists, is responsible for the cover. He is an amazing talent.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Miles Morales.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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