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The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man
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The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  919 Ratings  ·  202 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
Published September 1st 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books
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Oct 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott Foley
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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-
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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Scarlett Sims
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
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
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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....
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.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun for kids! Imagination can transport people to a place of escape. In this story, I see a child learning to come to terms with his feelings and anger, which is revealed in the middle of the story. Being a superhero can sure make you feel invincible and that's what I love about this book. It packs a punch!

(Told in first person)
Michael Poteet
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun, with plenty of sharp in-jokes for fans of Silver Age Superman and his ilk, but also a nice, power of unconditional love payoff at the end. My 4-year-old daughter especially enjoys Awesome Man's archnemesis, The Flaming Eyeball!

Check out my fuller review, if you care to, at
Cheryl M.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melinda Keough
I never read this one - my husband did. My husband read it to my 3 YO boy who loved it and requested it again and again.
Michael Emond
I kind of expected better from Chabon who is a huge comic book fan and wrote one of my favourite novels The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This a children's book about a super hero who has a secret. The art is fine but not that engaging and the "story" is the super hero flying around, alluding to a secret, which is finally revealed without much inventiveness. Okay - true - this a picture book for children but I have read many over the years to my daughters and attended many a library s ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book about a totally awesome man. He fights bad guys and protects the city. Through the whole book, we thought we were watching a man, but it turns out it was a young boy with a great imagination. Your little superhero will enjoy this book for sure.
This is a humorous book about a superhero called Awesome Man. The language is really intense with big words, but if you read this one with a superhero voice, the kids love it as a read-along. Helps kids think about what to do when they are really mad- a nice benefit.
Marissa Morrison
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
The story is funny, exciting and vividly presented. Great read-aloud.
Justine Cucchi
To me, this dude was a crappy version of Shazam. I'm probably going to read it at my volunteer job until I can find an age-appropriate Shazam graphic novel though.
RS Fuster
Don't even bother to look it up!
Awesome Man reveals all about being a superhero! Whether it is Professor von Evil attacking the city with an Antimatter Slimebot, or his arch-nemesis Flaming Eyeball come to defeat him, there is nothing he can't handle. He has super strength, can travel through time, fly, shoot beams from his eyes, and if that isn't enough, he also has a sidekick dog named Moskowitz. With such a bag of tricks up his sleeve, it's no wonder his victory rate is so high. As this picture book features a superhero, ce ...more
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
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
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.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys, comic book fans, future comic book fans
Recommended to Jess by: Browsing & Chabon's name
Shelves: picture-books, z_12
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.

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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...