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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  589 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.

But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be,...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams
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Watchmen by Alan MooreSoon I Will Be Invincible by Austin GrossmanThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael ChabonAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanHero by Perry Moore
Superhero Fiction
61st out of 423 books — 741 voters
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Love the Book, Hate the Cover (YA Fiction)
9th out of 15 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,028)
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Leigh Collazo
6-word summary: Shy teen superhero falls for archnemesis.

Summary:After an embarrassing super-sidekick wardrobe malfunction, Bright Boy (a.k.a. student Scott Hutchinson) begins to question the motives of his superhero partner, rethinks an old enemy, and prepares to step out on his own.

The Good: I definitely think the tween set will like this one. It has numerous martial arts fight scenes, criminal masterminds, betrayal, secret identities, and first love. It is easy to read and moves fairly quickl...more
I put off reading this book because, being about superheroes, I suspected that it was totally a GUY book. Fantasy is not my favorite genre either, but my Mock Newbery guys loved it so much (and the girls are starting to weigh in positively too) that I knew I HAD to read it. WOW!! I was immediately drawn into this amazing adventure of modern kids, Scott and Allison, who are typical middle schoolers by day and Bright Boy and Monkeywrench, sidekicks of the warring Phantom Justice and Doctor Chaotic...more
My sister and I just recently picked up some arcs, and Sidekicks was one of them. Masked by a couple young adult novels, I definitely was expecting it to be more of a sidekick (no pun intended) to what I thought would the "better" books. I was so wrong. I picked it up after one of said "better" books disgusted me so much I had to put it down (Misfit, see my review).Thinking I'd just start it quickly and then go to bed, I was totally unprepared for the kick Sidekicks had. It was amazing! The main...more
Preston Norton
Jack D. Farraiolo is a fantastic writer. Let me start off with that. The voice that he captures for his protagonist is perfect. His characters are engaging--heroes and villains alike--and I was sucked into the chain of events that followed. The tone has a fun, campy noir vibe to it with plenty of humor to make you laugh out loud and make strangers look at you funny. My complaints are small compared to how much I enjoyed this book. I feel that Farraiolo gave away too much early on (stuff that we...more
Why is it so difficult to write a good superhero novel? There must be dozens out there but most of them are like Ferraiolo's Sidekicks. Which is it to say, they don't quite make the grade. Scott Hutchinson has been a plus/plus (super speed and super strength) for years. Posing as Bright Boy, the sidekick to Phantom Justice, Scott's never had a problem with his job or his employer until an embarrassing moment with his yellow tights and a pretty lady end up on all the news channels. Determined to...more
Do you think being a sidekick to a superhero sounds like the best job ever? If you answered the question (any answer will do), then this book is for you. Scott aka “Bright Boy” has been a sidekick for Phantom Justice aka Trent (his mentor and adopted dad) since he was 7. Unfortunately Scott is starting to outgrow his sidekick status, and he has definitely outgrown his tights. Since an awkward incident involving the aforementioned tights made ‘Bright Boy’ a laughingstock, Scott has started to ret...more
Tough book to review. Very wellwritten just like The Big Splash, fun, dark and twisty, managing to surprise me a couple of times which is not always easy...

However, be warned that nearly the first 100 pages are preoccupied with the feelings of the main character about being caught on video "standing at attention" in his costume (guys you know what I mean)... While this is handled humorously, and does play into guys worst nightmares, it makes the book skew more for upper middle, and pretty neatly...more
Goodwin Lu
This is a book best read in one go, and only re-reading in the confusing "Dark Chapters" a bit deeper. The big benefit of reading it quickly or even in a slow-paced fashion extends the humor quite a bit, and the badness of the sidekick's life is extended further, setting up for the transformation, as the arch nemesis of our main character fall in love with each other, and they help each other out, as Allison transforms from being annoyed, to criticizing a little bit, and finally helpful. It migh...more
I felt like my knowledge of the younger end of YA fiction has been lacking of late, so I snagged this book, thinking it might fit the bill.

What was that about never judging a book by the cover...? The brightly-colored cartoon of the jacket made me think "young tween"; the opening incident involving a pretty girl and the dangers of tight tights on a young man made me re-evaluate that pretty quickly!

That's not a knock against the book - though it did feel like the joke was dragged on for far too...more
This book has caught my eye a couple of times in the school library. For the first time, though, I found it on the return shelf which meant it was fair game!

I can't believe I read two separate books titled Sidekicks. I thought this Sidekicks was the non-graphic novel version of the other Sidekicks. I was wrong.

Because the two books deal with the same idea, sidekicks, there was some overlap of ideas. This one did just fine on its own.

I read the book silently in with my students and there were tim...more
Shazza Maddog
Scott is a plus/plus - a genetic mutant who is faster and stronger than the average human. He's also ward to Trent, who fights evildoers as the Phantom Justice. Scott is his sidekick, Bright Boy, but, as he's a teenager, things are definitely changing, one of them being his bright orange costume doesn't exactly hide stuff that teenage boys are known for. When his...outfit...makes an appearance in the news and Bright Boy becomes a laughing stock for pretty much everything, Scott wants to make cha...more
The author takes the “costumed superheroes” genre out for a joyride, and anyone who comes along will never read comics the same way again. Six years as Bright Boy, sidekick to crime-fighting superhero Phantom Justice, has left Scott a teenager with no life, no friends and revealing yellow tights that show the news cameras every bit of the involuntary hard-on he gets after heroically rescuing a beautiful victim.

Another seemingly devastating protagonist face both inner conflicts and a Dark Knight...more
The author's gift for dialogue was there again this time but I think the(very cool)cover did a disservice to the book. The audience seemed to be around an 8th grade reader but the cover looked more 4th grade. I bought it for my 11-yr-old nephew, thinking it would be the same audience as The Big Splash bad. Great ideas in here, gotta say it, but it seemed rushed in spots. Regardless, I'm keeping my eye on Ferraiolo.
Sidekicks examines the world of superheroes from the point of view of a sidekick - one who is currently going through puberty. The tight spandex shorts aren't helping much. The story is fast paced and the twists that come when the narration shifts are unexpected. Shades of Mystery Men creep into the story realistically as corporate branding and superheroes blend. While the story was exciting, the ending felt slightly rushed and had the odd "wait -huh?" moment as additional details about characte...more
Bright Boy is a side kick to Phantom Justice. Unfortunately Bright Boy is kind of out growing his costume and the persona that Phantom has created for him. Bright Boy keeps to himself at school and is just beginning to feel like enough is enough when he finds out who Monkeywrench is, the sidekick of his arch nemesis. It turns out that he has more in common with Monkeywrench then he ever would have thought possible, and that maybe the line between good and evil isn't as clearly demarcated as he t...more
Scott Hutchinson aka Bright Boy, has been a sidekick since he was little. Now in middle school he's outgrown his Bright Boy outfit, yellow tights and red cape. In the opening scene, after saving a woman from a kidnapper, the tights show Scott's excitement and its caught on tape. Now everyone is making jokes at Bright Boy's expense.

Bright Boy is the sidekick to Phantom Justice. Supervillain Dr. Chaotic has escaped from prison. Now Phantom Justice and Bright Boy must face off against Dr. Chaotic's...more
Amy Dreger
I loved this goofy take on superheros and villains. Scott Hutchinson, aka "Bright Boy," is growing up fast and is not so sure about his continued role as Phantom Justice's sidekick. To make matters worse, he has a horrible costume that seems to draw attention to certain, ahem, body parts, causing him to be a laughingstock amongst the media and everyone else watching his attempts to save the world. To make matters worse, Scott soon realizes that Phantom Menace's arch nemesis, Dr. Chaotic's sideki...more
Ms. Yingling
It's not easy to be Scott. While he has super strength and speed, he's being raised by Trent, aka Phantom Justice, and must perform super hero sidekick duties as Bright Boy. The yellow tights and red cape were cute when he was younger, but after a much televised wardrobe malfunction, he's ready to ditch the costume. At school, he's bullied by Jake and ignored by most of the other students. After being in prison for five years, Bright Boy's arch nemesis, Dr. Chaotic, is back, as is his screeching...more
Madigan McGillicuddy
Stories with a male protagonist seem to be slim pickin's these days, so I was excited to pick up this comic-book themed novel. Middle-school student Scott Hutchinson, better known as Bright Boy, is the sidekick to world-renowned superhero Phantom Justice. Superheroes are now referred to by the more scientific appellation plus/plus. Supers can have super strength, speed, intelligence, or some combination of all three.

Witty repartee, "punny" insults and other cheesy dialogue is part of the territ...more
I enjoyed this book a lot, but after the first couple of chapters I was ready to toss it out. Without the first few chapters, it would be so much better.

In the future, some people are born with extra strength, speed, intelligence, or a combination of some of the three. Bright Boy is the teenage sidekick to Phantom Justice, both plus speed/plus strength. Bright Boy is struggling to transition into adolescence: he doesn't make friends at school, he gets picked on by bullies, and his costume still...more
Victoria Whipple
Scott, a.k.a Bright Boy, is just trying to get through high school by day while using his superpowers to uphold justice by night. Unfortunately for him, the costume he's worn since he was young is no longer a symbol of power, but one of ridicule, especially after the embarrassing opening scene. He goes on fighting crime, however, with Phantom Justice. Oddly, the only remaining adversaries they have are Dr. Chaotic and his sidekick Monkeywrench. There used to be many more supers, or plus/pluses (...more
Maria Kramer
Scott, aka Bright Boy, has bee the sidekick to Phantom Justice since he was a child, but lately he's been growing out of his role -- and his costume -- in a rather obvious manner. Being Bright Boy has suddenly become a burden for Scott -- he has no friends at school, Phantom Justice is distant and unsympathetic, and everyone is making fun of his 'wardrobe malfunction.' When Phantom Justice's old foe Dr. Chaotic breaks out of prison, Scott finds out that Chaotic's sidekick is someone he knows, an...more
Scott's a superhero, born with vastly superior strength and speed, but these 'gifts' came with a heavy price. Normal kids didn't want to play with him. He couldn't make dates because he might have to slip away and stop a bank robbery. And his mentor made him wear a ridiculous costume that looked cute before puberty.
When a TV news crew caught his first 'wardrobe malfunction' and broadcast it nationwide, all Scott started out wanting was a new costume. When his mentor, Phantom Justice, refused to...more
Loved this book. I listened on audio, and the narrator did a fabulous job, but he had great material to work with. Jack Ferraiolo's characters are interesting and complex and although the book continually pokes fun at superhero stereotypes, the characters and situations are not as simple or stereotypical as they might seem. I really liked the idea that there were three different types of superhero powers (speed, strength, and intelligence), and that the standard supers (plus-pluses) have speed a...more
This book was totally amazing. I started to read it when I downloaded it on my NOOK color and I could not put it down. You will find yourself reading until you it.

This book is about a sidekick named Scott and he is a sidekick to the hero Phantom Justice. When Dr. Chaotic gets out of jail they start to get in the fighting mode. Phantom fights Chaotic and Scott fights Monkeywrench. When they happen to be fighting Monkeywrench's mask falls off and Scott realizes who it is... it is Allison- a girl...more
Me reading this book was ENTIRELY my younger brothers fault. He picked it up at the library and never read it (he never reads - how is he related to me???) which was probably good because it was a little to adult for an eleven year old.

Anyway, SIDEKICKS was a fun book with an awesome plot and amazing characters. I loved how the ultra-bad guy was a better person than the 'good guy' and the romance was sweet, if not majorly fast-paced (enemies to kissing in two days or less!). It was a fast, fun,...more
I found a advanced reader copy of this book awhile ago and it has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get in the mood to pick up another Y/A novel. Well, I found the time and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

To be honest, Sidekicks isn't a great novel. It isn't the sort of book that will ever transform a kid into a reader, but it is a good book. The sort that would keep a newer reader going.

Honestly, the book doesn't bring anything new to the table. It throws together some generic supe...more
This novel was a fast read. I leapt through the pages like the titular characters leaping across roofs. I don't generally read YA novels, having left my YA years far behind, but it's one of the few ways to get some superhero fiction these days. I read the first two pages and was hooked. The writing was direct, the witty dialogue actually witty, and the action nicely delineated.

As I was reading I was struck by how much the main character, Bright Boy, is clearly an analogue of Robin, while his men...more
David Johnston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Scott Hutchinson, aka Bright Boy, is a sidekick to Phantom Justice. When duty calls, he rushes to save the innocent from harm.

When the duo's archnemesis, Dr. Chaotic, escapes from prison and rejoins with his own sidekick, Monkeywrench, trouble can only be brewing. To make matters worse, during a battle Scott discovers Monkeywrench is none other than Allison Mendez, the girl he's had a crush on forever.

As the two start spending time together, Scott starts wo...more
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Hi...I'm Jack... I've been editing and writing for tv animation for about ten years now, working on such shows as Squigglevision (ABC), Home Movies (Adult Swim), and O'Grady (The N). I also developed and currently write for WordGirl on PBS, for which I won an Emmy. My first novel, The Big Splash, is like Raymond Chandler meets Goodfellas set in a middle school. Here's a couple of reviews:

More about Jack D. Ferraiolo...
The Big Splash The Quick Fix

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