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Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  397 ratings  ·  83 reviews
JERRY SIEGEL AND Joe Shuster, two misfit teens in Depression-era Cleveland, were more like Clark Kent—meek, mild, and myopic—than his secret identity, Superman. Both boys escaped into the worlds of science fiction and pulp magazine adventure tales. Jerry wrote stories, and Joe illustrated them. In 1934, they created a superhero who was everything they were not. It was four ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Sam Quixote
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were teenagers when they created the world’s first – and greatest – superhero, and then sold the rights to Superman to the company that would become DC Comics for a measly $130!

Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald’s short picture book – at 26 oversize pages with a large paragraph or two per page, it definitely feels aimed at educating younger readers – succinctly recounts Siegel and Shuster’s lives up to seeing their creation take off in popular culture in the 194
This was a fun little picture book biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. It is a quick read, but provides a quick look into their lives. Both were Jewish and grew up in poverty during the Depression only to use those experiences to create what is probably the greatest comic book icon ever: Superman. The most unfortunate part of their story is that for a good portion of the time, they were not really recognized as the co-creators and received little compensation for their contribution.

This book plays directly into the sense of fairness and justice found in an 8 year old boy. The story of Superman is the story of two young men and a dream during the soul crushing years of the Great Depression. They came up with an idea for a character quite unlike the popular characters in books, and they set him in the world they knew where real injustice and crime seemed to flourish on every street corner. My 8 year old grandson's first remark when I asked him what he thought of this book wa ...more
Boys of Steel is aimed at a young audience, but the artwork in it allows for the reader to see the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and the creators of his character, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The story is firmly set in the Depression and the years after it, which really allowed for such a fantastical character to be so readily embraced in the American culture. My favorite part, though, is the afterward, which included information about how Superman was naively sold to DC for less th ...more
As a mother and wife of comic book and superhero fans, this true, behind-the-scenes story of how Joe and Jerry came to the great idea of one of the most beloved heroes of all time was really quite fascinating!

This is not an origin story of Superman, nor is it really about Superman, but rather it's a story about two young men who stuck with their passions and interests and worked together when no one else was even interested. I never knew that this is how Superman came to be--or that this awesome
It might be called the revenge of the nerds. One of Jerry Siegel’s teachers told the Cleveland teenager that the fantastic adventure stories he wrote were trash. His only friend in high school was Joe Shuster, who shared his love of science fiction and adventure. But while Jerry typed his stories, Joe drew his two-fisted heroes. Together they hoped they could create a comic strip and sell it to a newspaper.

One night Jerry had an idea. What if, instead of humans traveling to other planets and enc
Trudy Zufelt
Here is my book review as appeared on my blog,

"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Siegel and Shuster!"

When two depression-era teenagers, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, weren't reading about heroes like Tarzan and Flash Gordon, they were dreaming of creating their own superheroes. Too shy to interact with those in the real world, the two friends immersed themselves into their writing and drawing.

While everybody else ignored him, Jerry imagined he had something special goin
This is the gripping and fascinating true story of the creation of Superman. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were high school students in Cleveland during the Depression. Jerry was a writer, who loved adventure and science fiction. Joe loved to draw and illustrated many of Jerry's stories. Together in 1934, they created Superman, a hero who was also as shy and reserved as both of them were. For three years they tried to sell Superman to publishers. It wasn't until they found one interested in publi ...more
Nobleman, M. (2008). Boys of Steel: The creators of Superman. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Appetizer: This picturebook explores the biographies of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The story begins while Siegel was still in high school, so he'll be a relatable child-like character (although a bit older than the intended readers). The book shares about their friendship and later partnership as they came up with the idea for Superman, illustrated it and sought out a publish
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
By Marc Tyler Nobleman

The book Boys of Steel tells the story of the creators of superman. The author does a very good job of making the characters come together and show the reader how they work together. For example one character is the one who writes the superman stories and his partner draws all the pictures; the author does an amazing job at showing their relationship of growing up together creating these stories.

As the story goes on you find out that
Allison Parker
Jerry and Joe are best friends. They both feel like outsiders in high school; they’d much rather read the stories about amazing characters in comic strips than play ball outside. Soon, they start working on their own comic strips: Jerry writes stories, while Joe draws the characters. They dream of having their own strip in a newspaper. Jerry has the idea of a new hero, one who has the superpowers Jerry wishes he had. Joe draws a man as strong as steel. Many newspaper editors turn them down, unti ...more
May 28, 2008 Betsy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Betsy by: John Peters
Time was when a comic book wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting into a library’s collection. And while some library systems have grown more open to the notion of comic book heroes leaping about their hallowed halls, there’s still a great deal of resistance to the idea. Now Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ross MacDonald have found another way to get a fella like Superman into a library, and it’s definitely a slick idea. Until now the story of Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe ...more
This is a thirty-four page biography and picture book describing the two creators of the comic Superman. One of our seventh grade teachers ordered a class set of the books to use in meeting the common core demands for teaching more nonfiction. The end of the book has a three-page summary by Marc Nobleman describing Siegel and Shusters legal battles to be compensated for their efforts in writing, illustrating, and creating the concepts for the character Superman.
Justin G
I don't normally like biographies but this is one for all the kids who like superheroes.

This book has a good premise about the two kids (who were best friends) who invented Superman when they were in their teens during the Great Depression. They made a great team. They were disappointed that their first title didn't make it into the magazines. Superman jumped in there when one of the boys had a dream about a superhero who is an alien. He's not an evil alien but a helpful alien that could jump o
Excellent children's picturebook biography of mild and meek Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman. With retro-style art, the story begins with their solitary days in high school before they met - Jerry would isolate himself reading comics and writing science fiction stories in his attic while Joe would occupy his time drawing. The two, who could almost be mistaken for brothers, meet in their Cleveland high school and they become friends and comic partners. They take various ideas to ...more
This book soars when telling the quiet story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the "Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman." These two guys were the forerunners of silent, nerdy, fanboys who daydreamed of superheroes instead of focusing on school, or being aware that girls paid them no mind. These two slowly brought to life the amazing Superman, but not before facing a whole lot of rejection in the midst of the Great Depression. But their tenacity pays off and the whole world is introduced to th ...more
Brandon O'Neill
A kid version of the 2 men (boys at the time) who created Superman during the Great Depression - Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. They wrote and drew it for years, sold off the rights for $130 and fought to get some of the money and respect back when Superman became big business in the 1970s with the Christopher Reeve movies.
2011 Bluestem nominee. A historical nonfiction book written for roughly ages 8-11, probably more aimed at boys. Set during the Great Depression, roughly 1930 through 1938. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster weren't athletic or popular in high school. Jerry spent his free time writing adventure stories and Joe spent his time illustrating Jerry's stories, but the stories were always about ordinary, but heroic, men who find themselves in extrodinary places--the jungle, outer space, etc. Ultimately they h ...more
Once again, I picked up an F&G (advance unbound copy) of this picture book biography at work to flip through, and wound up reading the whole thing. The art alone is this book is wonderful, as it is consciously done in Shuster's style. The author has clearly done a lot of research, but never overwhelms the child reader. Nobleman does a good job of portraying Superman's origins (noting how he didn't originally fly, for instance) with the character we know today. He even goes into the rights co ...more
I've never been a huge fan of superhero comics, being more of a horror fan as a child. But after reading The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay I was more interested in the origins of the golden age writers.

The format suits the subject matter beautifully. Not only did Ross Macdonald nail the early comics look, but he shows how it's done. Most interesting fact: they spent three years shopping their idea around before someone finally bought it. Three years! Puts things in perspective.

Oh, th
This is the story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who created Superman. They met while they were in high school during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. They were very similar in looks as well as in personality. Jerry and Joe would read books and comics and watch movies about superheroes. Jerry would write about them, and Joe would draw them. In winter, Joe’s house didn’t have heat, and he would draw in layers of clothing, including a coat and gloves. Jerry decided that he and Joe needed to c ...more
Great for Comic Book and Superhero fans, but also an interesting story to readers than may not be life-long fans. This story about the men that created Superman and then had to fight for their rights to claim their creation is interesting to young and old.
Colona Public Library
Learn more about the creators of superman, their inspiration, and their lives. This book is aimed at young readers and has very enjoyable illustrations! This book is available at the Colona Public Library! ~Ashley
Abby Johnson
This picture book biography of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster tells the story of the co-creators of Superman. As kids, these two shy, bookish boys escaped the world by diving into pulp magazines with heroes like Tarzan and Flash Gordon. With Jerry writing and Joe drawing, they created one of the most iconic superheroes ever.

Vintage-style drawings illustrate this book and really give the reader a feel for the time period. An afterword gives more detailed information on the duo's legal battles with
Annie Carbutt
Nonfiction picture book - Jerry and Joe are both misunderstood, un-athletic misfits who don’t know how to talk to girls. And as life becomes more difficult, they have to reach deep inside themselves to find heroic qualities—Enter, Superman, their powerful creation. The illustrations in this book have a comic-book feel, sometimes even being divided into small frames. Though this is non-fiction, it also has a creative narrative that helps flesh out the characters somewhat, and in some ways, the st ...more
Rich Meyer
This is a rather charming take on the legend behind the creation of the world's most iconic comic book character, but be advised that it is basically a children's book. Luckily, I only paid a penny and shipping for it from Amazon Marketplace.

While it was enjoyable, I would've preferred it to be a more detailed study of the legal battle between Shuster and Siegel and DC Comics. There was some information in an afterword, but I literally found out more salient facts about the situation from a boo
As a Clevelander, I was highly impressed with this book. I thought it was a really concise way to tell the story of the two men who created the super hero Superman and bought us the idealized format of ourselves that is found in super heroes. Super heroes teach us what our priorities are and I really think that this book reflected that aim by telling the story from the perspective of the boys and what it was like for them to face failure and wish to be more than they were. I think it's a great s ...more
Mahmoud Hussain
big fish eats small fish, that's was happen with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster the original creators of Superman and DC comics .
Entertaining and an artistic homage

Published by Knopf, 2008
Illustrated by Ross MacDonald

Boys of Steel tells the story of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the two painfully shy teenagers from Cleveland who created Superman. The two met in school and discovered a common interest in science fiction and fantastic tales. One wrote stories, the other drew. Together they created story after story that never sold. Eventually created Superman and, believe it or not, no one wanted Superman either for three
Kyle Kimmal
I corresponded with Marc this past spring about how excited I was to see a book coming out about the history of a great super hero. He offered to come by my school and talk to the kids. He thought my Montclair was in New Jersey. Maybe when he is in Denver he can still stop by.

Well I received my book in the mail on Monday. It was worth the wait. The story is engaging. At times I felt like I was reading a kids version of Kaviler and Clay, but non-fiction! It is unfortunate that there are still way
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Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman" and "Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman," plus books NOT about superheroes.

He travels the country to speak at schools, conferences, and various other venues.

On his blog, he reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of his books, from uplifting research moments to unconventional pr
More about Marc Tyler Nobleman...
Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman Vanished True Stories of the Missing What's The Difference? - How to Tell Things Apart That Are Confusingly Close History Pockets, Colonial America, Grades 4 6 (History Pockets) The Captivating, Creative, Unusual History of Comic Books

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