The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. by Michael Chabon
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The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. by Michael Chabon

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Awesome Man can shoot positronic rays out of his eyeballs, fly as straight as an arrow, and hug mutant Jell-O Even villains like Professor Von Evil and the Flaming Eyeball are no match for this caped crusader.

But Awesome Man also has a secret. . . . Can you guess what it is?

The first picture book from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon perfectly captures the fa...more
Hardcover
Published September 1st 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books
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Barb
Another one of those books...

I did not like anything about this book, the story was lackluster, the illustrations were unpleasant to look at and I felt like this was another one of those books...

You all know what I'm referring to...those books that grab your attention because the author has written something else that was great and now they've published something that isn't but because of the great book the book that isn't great will be able to sell a ton of copies before anyone really notices...more
Kayla
I initially gave this book 4 stars, but I've bumped it up the a full 5 after reading it a few more times. Here's why:
-Not too many children's books continue to amuse me after rereading several times (in a row). This one does. In fact, it's even better the second time through because, knowing the "twist" at the end, you pick up on the clues to Awesome Man's secret identity throughout the story.
-The tone is pretty hilarious ("I'm basically just awesome") and fun to read aloud with a bit of swagger...more
Robert
What a cute book!

My five-year old son loves superheroes. Awesome Man is right up his alley. He had read it with his aunt prior to bringing it to me to read to him. He loved showing me all the kewl things in it. I really liked how the shadows of Awesome Man changed.

My son asked me if I had a secret identity when we finished. How neat is that?

I liked the story and the awesome grip that Awesome Man has. The illustrations complemented the story perfectly. Good job!

This is a good book to use with my...more
Scott Foley
I've often said that Michael Chabon is one of America's preeminent contemporary authors, so when I heard he had a children's picture book available, I jumped at the chance to procure one on behalf of my three-year-old.

Michael Chabon's The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is cute and innocent and consistent with what we know and love about super heroes. The story follows the adventures of Awesome Man as he teases an astonishing secret throughout.

Personally, I found it a tad violent for my three-...more
Janessa
This is the new favorite at our house. Tonight my four year old streaked into the kitchen in his pajamas, urgently demanding, "Where is the book where the guy fights the eyeball?" Even my ten year old loves it. "There are clues, Mom, so that you know it is really a kid pretending to be a superhero." My favorite thing about it? Usually my four and six year old want ME to read their bedtime stories, but this is a Dad-only book. It must be a guy-thing.
Quinn Rollins
Perusing books on GoodReads, I stumbled across a picture book I hadn't heard of before, written by one of my favorite authors. Michael Chabon has been a favorite of mine since reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That book that fictionalizes the comic book writers of the 1930s cemented the name Michael Chabon with superheroes, and even though he hasn't written anything in that genre since, when I saw this picture book I ran out and picked it up.

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome...more
Ch13_megan Carlisle
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is an awesomely hilarious debut picture book from Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and animation illustrator Jake Parker. Awesome Man is a super hero who can do no wrong. He has an Awesome Power Grip, shoots positronic rays out of his eyeballs and lives in a secret fortress under the Arctic Ocean. Throughout the story the reader is trying to discover Awesome Man's secret identity. Will they find out before the book is over?

The Astonishing Secret...more
Scarlett Sims
This is a perfect example of what a children's book should be. I heard that Michael Chabon was sick of kids books that had too many words in them so he set out to write a book that kids would actually like and he really really succeeded. There aren't too many words on each page, so a kid trying to read it himself wouldn't get overwhelmed. The story is fairly easy to understand and he uses current language, so there aren't a lot of dated words or concepts the kids will need explained. I don't kno...more
Maya
I have to give this 5 stars because Miles loves it So. Much! I think this is a great superhero book for a 3.5 year old because some of the things that are difficult about sharing superhero stories with a kid that age are not present here. the "bad guys" are silly and not at all realistic. Their bad deeds are just being sort of scary or making a big slimy mess. And Awesome Man's secret identity is a perfect reveal for a kid who is constantly pretending to be someone/something else. Took this out...more
Lisa Eskra
I liked the retro comic book feel of the book, but the story is terrible. Awesome Man basically lists all his superpowers then fights random bad guys who show up out of nowhere. Very aimless in that regard when even a simple plot would've been easy to devise and much more engaging. There's also nothing to appeal to little girls with this book. Unless you're already a fan of Chabon/Parker, skip this book. Good premise, poor execution.

Decent illustrations but come on -- kids deserve a good story t...more
Rachel
I know we're not necessarily on Good Reads looking for children's books, so I have never reviewed any. But this book was so much fun, my boys unanimously agree that we need to purchase it once we've returned it to the library. Its such a clever book, and if you read it like a circa 1960s super hero, you'll laugh yourself, and your three year old will bring it to you every morning and ask you to read it again, and again, and again....
Cheryl
This is a fun book with retro comic book style illustrations. The language used reminds me
of my sons when they used to pretend to be superheroes. I just wish the story was a little longer.
At their request, I read this book to my grandkids three times--they loved it.
Lauren
The kids at my school love this book and I love it too. It's about a super hero, but not just any superhero, Awesome Man, who can shoot positronic rays out of his eyes and hug a runaway freight train. Awesome Man is great, but he knows that he has to be careful when he's angry not to throw things or hit stuff because he might hurt somebody. He knows when he needs to take a break and get calmed down. This one is great to use as an object lesson in self-control or a lesson about characterization....more
Melanie
This is probably the best superhero book I've seen so far! Awesome man can fly as high as a satellite, straight as an arrow and right through the time barrier. His only "weapon" are positron rays that shoot out of his eyes.

When Awesome Man becomes angry he must be careful not to kick a building or throw something because he might hurt somebody. When he needs to cool off he heads for his "Fortess of Awesome" where he sits on his bed for awhile until he cools down. Readers will learn that being aw...more
Kaethe
I'd have liked Awesome Man more, I'm sure, had I never read Traction Man Is Here! or Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog. The art is perfect for the tone; I just happened to fall in love with a similar book before.

Library copy.
Amy
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man really is astonishing! This is a fantastic superhero book--great bold illustrations, the story told in language and in a style that the kids of today use, and there's action galore (as there should be in any decent superhero book).

But Awesome Man does have a secret in this book--the secret is masterfully revealed, and the denoument left both my niece and nephew sitting in the back seat with their mouths hanging open. After we finished the book, they spent ti...more
Karen Peters
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man written by Michael Chabon and illustrated by Jake Parker is a science fiction picture book for the older Nursery(N) younger Primary (P) reader.

Awesome Man and his sidekick Moskowitz the Awesome Dog are determined to conquer the evil Flaming Eyeball, but he must never forget his superhuman strength. With "awesome" science fiction terminology, the author is teaching an underlying lesson. Awesome Man's secret? He is an average boy who is greatest power is the h...more
Tracy Rowan
This is a smart, good-hearted book which is designed to draw children into the world of Awesome Man, a superhero who has his ups and downs. It allows Awesome Man to have bad days, and do silly and even problematic things because those are human traits.

"Awesome Man" requires some self-awareness on the part of its readers. Children need to understand their own shortcomings to truly appreciate what's being said here, and that's why I believe that in many cases this book would be better shared by p...more
Melissa
Not my book, but Chabon did do a good job with the voice, and the illustrator handled all the "clues" really nicely. I'm quibbling with the anger-management messaging, which feels out of place, and do kids really think of their houses as Fortresses of Awesome? I would expect a separate special place that could be 'owned' by just themselves--the cliche treehouse, or a blanket fort, or a closet. And I wish that the sister wasn't one of the nemeses, but I understand that's a reality for many siblin...more
Kelly
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is nominated for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

This book will appeal to the superhero fan in all readers, especially young boys. As Awesome Man uses his super grip and positronic eyeball rays to fight evil, readers will be wondering what his astonishing secret is. Awesome Man himself kind of shows readers his secret identity, but many readers will not expect the truth when it is revealed.

The illustrations in this book are wonderful, and I t...more
Jess
Jan 17, 2012 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys, comic book fans, future comic book fans
Recommended to Jess by: Browsing & Chabon's name
Shelves: z_12, picture-books
Title says it all.

Chabon can do better. That said, comic fans, especially boys, will love it.

It's a bit random in plot. We hit all the necessary elements (power source, abilities, lair, etc) yet it seems as if we're work through a checklist instead of a story. Will this bother his target audience? I don't think so.

You could sell in in a readloud, but I wonder if those voices aren't better saved for Superdog: The Heart of a Hero or Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude.


Jenny
This book is so....Awesome! Younger children will love the superhero, comic book style storyline and older children can use it as a mentor text for writing. A graphic picture book similar to Where the Wild Things Are.
Magila
This picture book is a total winner. I am flabbergasted at its sub-four star aggregated rating. Someone complained about the "anger management message." Well, duh. Honestly, it strikes me that is the point of this book, a superhero book for 3-7 year old boys that teaches the message that people must overcome their "anger" issues in order to be super.

The illustrations are, in a word, awesome. The story arch is present, with little clues for the kids to figure out the surprises that are in store....more
Lynda Pires
Cute, but I do not believe that Chabon would have had this published had he not had other successes with adult books. It really sweet, but a little cliche.
Laura
Awesome Man has a "cape as red as a rocket, a mask as black as midnight, and a stylin' letter A" that shows that he is "just basically awesome." He uses his positronic rays to shoot killer robots, hugs with his Awesome Power Grip, and has a secret identity. After defeating the Falming Eyeball, he heads home to see his secret identity mom and sister.

Perfect for students in 1st grade, this picture book with a graphic novel feel is also sure to be a bedtime hit for younger readers. I especially li...more
Patricia
I'm on a Michael Chabon kick right now, and I was surprised to learn he wrote a picture book. (The illustrator is Jake Parker, and the pictures are bright and happy and complement and enhance the story.) My children, who are now 10 and 13, enjoyed me reading it to them. Really, it's for younger children. It's the story of a hero (or of wanting to be a hero), and it has a sweet twist at the end. In fact, the picture on pages 11-12 are a bit deceiving. My daughter discovered on the next day, while...more
Bari
I bought this book for my nephew who was around 4 and loved it. Great for one on one read aloud.



Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
“I can fly as high as a satellite and as straight as an arrow or through the time barrier and not get dizzy, or feel nauseous, or smash into things…except on purpose. When you are a superhero like me, sometimes you have to smash into things.”

Awesome Man is very powerful. He can fight bad guys. He can shoot positronic rays out of his eyeballs. He is superstrong. But he must be careful that he doesn’t let his powers go down and be too weak to fight bad guys. Luckily, his dog can bring him food and...more
Sarah Souther
Awesome Man is, well, awesome. He has amazing powers, including his awesome power grip. Sometimes he gets mad when a villian gets the best of him. Someone as powerful as Awesome Man has to be careful when he's in a rage, or things could get really messed up. Being a responsible sort, he goes to his super fortress to calm down. Parker's art is clean and classic and it nicely foreshadows the revelation of Awesome Man's secret. This is a superhero toddlers can relate to and preschoolers through fir...more
Heidi
A kind-of predictable story with a slight moral lesson controlling anger & emotions, but not bad. Kids may like the writing (though it didn't always get me). A few random parts in there, but I think the kids will like that, too. This might make an interesting school-age storytime read--if you can master the telling of it. Otherwise, I think the kids would love this as a read-alone.

By the way: Is "awesome" still in use? I thought it was a word for my generation (and yes, I still use it more...more
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Michael Chabon (b. 1963) is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000). Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty-four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (1988), which was a major critical and commercial success. He then published Wonder Boys (1995), another bestseller, which was mad...more
More about Michael Chabon...
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay The Yiddish Policemen's Union Wonder Boys The Mysteries of Pittsburgh Telegraph Avenue

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