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Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  498 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Can knowing the most superhero trivia in the whole school be considered a superpower? If so, Vincent Wu is invincible.

If not (and let’s face it, it’s “not”), then Vincent and his pals Max and George don’t get any props for being the leaders (and, well, sole members) of the (unofficial) Captain Stupendous Fan Club.

But what happens when the Captain is hurt in an incident inv
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Inc. (first published September 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoyed The Incredibles
As a huge fan of superhero stories, I could not resist Mike Jung's debut novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities. Yet again, my instincts for middle grade novels have served me well, because Jung's novel is every bit as stupendous as its main superhero.

Packed with superhero stunts and villainous mayhem, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities will surely delight any and all superhero fans. The tone matches up well with the movie The Incredibles, fun, action-packed, focused on family, and with a l
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Copperplate City isn’t that different than any other American metropolis. There are parks, a lake (admittedly a very stinky and goose-poop polluted lake), a middle school, a police force, pizza parlors, regular places of business… you get the picture.

The only difference is, Copperplate City is protected by a superhero.

The impervious, undefeated, high-flying and super strong Captain Stupendous has protected the denizens of Copperplate City for decades w
This is a lot like Time Riders. I read that book right before this one, but it took me a lot longer to get around to this review, just due to general laziness/lack of time. Anyway, Time Riders was a fairly typical MG novel. It would definitely resonate with its intended audience, but as an older reader, I had a hard time relating to it. I'm finding that to be the case here as well.

This book was a bit younger than Time Riders - I'd place it between I Can Read books and Rick Riordan, in terms of i
Jen Petro-Roy
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, middle-grade
So glad I finally picked this up. Action-packed, yet sensitive. Perfect middle school friendship depiction.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is about how a super hero named Captain Stupendous who is trying to keep his secret identity a secret ends up giving his super powers to a girl named Polly Winnecott Lee who then becomes the new Captain Stupendous. The author of this book is Mike Jung and the title of this book is Geeks , Girls and Secret Identities. The genre of this book is most likely fiction because you won't most likely see a giant robot going on a rampage in a city. The setting of this story takes place in a city ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommended to D by: Anna Banana
*** MY THOUGHTS SO FAR, 8/18/14 ***

reading this with my beloved niece, Bananz, as her first pick in our Just-The-Two-Of-Us book club. so far the book's irreverence and willingness to look at uncomfortable home situations (though usually from a distance and with something of a humor filter) and its broaching issues of feminism are promising.

but the writing is frenetic, and it's easy to lose the narrative thread through the MANY ALL CAPS SCREAMING MATCHES (a problem earlyish j. k. rowling had, to
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From my blog post review for this book:

Things to love about this book:
- The fast-paced dialogue between Vincent and his two best friends.
- The way the book plays with the tropes of superhero stories, comic books, and movies.
- The author’s clear passion and joy for this story that shines through on every page.
- The great diverse cast and the diversity of working family units.
- The wonderful plot twists.

When I looked at the (amazing) cover, which features Vincent, his two male friends, and a GIANT
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's funny, this year in my elementary Summer Reading promotion visits, I blurbed both A Whole New Ballgame (Rip and Red, #1) and this book, which was namedropped in AWNB.
Hip juvenile fiction (particularly "diverse" JF) is a small world.

And sometimes it feels like there are a million chapter books about superheroes, but I've never encountered this exact premise before. There's some interesting gender stuff, there's some interesting bullying stuff, and it's nice to see the geeks having their da
Ariel Filion
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities is the superhero story of three friends adventures in Copperplate City. The protagonist in the story is named Vincent Wu and he has two close friends named Max and George. What sets Copperplate City apart is that superheroes protect it. The popular superhero’s name is Captain Stupendous and Vincent, Max, and George run the fan club for him. If running a fan club and following superheroes and villains are not enough the three of them also have girl problems! Po ...more
Kimberly Sabatini
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-ya
I read this with my boys and loved it for a million reasons, but I thought I'd let the real fans speak for themselves...

The 11 year old: "I liked it because the characters felt like real people--good books are usually like that. It was very interesting how every thing was connected--the super heroes, the people and the aliens."

The 9 year old: "I really like the illustrations because I want to be a cartoonist and the story was great because it was so funny."

The 7 year old: "I like that the author
Robert Greenberger
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
A lot of superhero stereotypes are turned on their head in this entertaining debut novel. Captain Stupendous, a sic-fi version of the original Captain Marvel, switches hosts to an unsuspecting teenage girl, who knows nothing about superheroics, despite living in a world with 57, no make that 52, heroes currently active. She is forced to turn to her classmates, the Captain Stupendous Fan Club to learn how to be a hero and she needs to do it quickly because Professor Mayhem is back with a new plan ...more
Parker Frost
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good book, if you like stupid super hero stories where the fans get to fight crime, you will like this. The plot of the story was good, along with other subplots that went to one big climax.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cute little middle-grade novel which takes place in a world with superheroes, mad scientists, and giant robots. It had a nice twist early on that I don't want to give away, but yay for girl power too :) ...more
John Hedrick
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-print
Read my review of this fantastic middle grade debut at KidLit Network! ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A really great book.
I couldn't put it down.
Becky B
Vincent, Max, and George are best friends and the only members of the best Captain Stupendous fan club. There are other fan clubs, but they aren't serious fan clubs. Vincent, Max, and George don't just cheer on Captain Stupendous, they study his moves and memorize his history, and live for his feats. And it turns out a very good thing for Captain Stupendous and the world that they are such Captain Stupendous nerds. Because unbeknownst to most of the population, the secret real person behind Capt ...more
Shalet Abraham
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Fans of The Incredibles and Phineas and Ferb will love this middle grade book written from the point of view of the the world's greatest superhero fan. There is a diverse cast of characters, an early on plot twist and, though this book appears to be for boys, it has girl power too. In other words this book will appeal to both sexes (and everyone in between).

The book contains giant robots and space ships and a prototypical nemesis. It is centered around pizza (speaking of which I'm hungry). But.
Casey Jo
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute. Funny.

And this stellar exchange on the page before last:
"It's gonna confuse everyone on the entire planet."
"The entire planet better get used to it."

Didn't have the consciousness of Jung's 2nd book, or his twitter presence. e.g.: The MC calls himself a shrimp at 4'11". But also some possible hints of the author's growing awareness of his own autism, like on p. 173 when the MC says "I hate it when people do the body-language thing. I can never tell what they're trying to say."

Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Everything about this felt a little flat to me (worldbuilding and characters and romance), with the exception maybe being the friendships among George, Max, and Vincent. But even that I wanted more; there was a lot going on but it felt under-explored.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Give this to your superhero fans, grades 4 & up.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Superheros, villans, fights, and fans (lots and lots of fans). It was an ok read.
Nicole Gas
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very fun read that will make an excellent read aloud for my sixth graders
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Has rising action but isn't very exciting until the fighting parts ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The title pretty much sums up this illustrated tween/young teen read about superheroes. Sometimes, it's nice to get a break from the Marvel and DC comics and their adaptations, even the kiddier ones. Set in a world where there are plenty of superheroes and supervillains, Copperplate City is home to Captain Stupendous--a knockoff of Super Man. His appearances and battle have become a media showcase and spectacle, with kids getting alerts on their phones and ditching classes to witness his awesome ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Vincent Wu knows Captain Stupendous like no one else. Sure everyone in the city loves their caped crusader and there's four separate fan clubs devoted to him, but the one that Vincent is president of is the only one that's the real deal-even if it only has three members. Still, Vincent takes his responsibilities seriously--he writes about Captain Stupendous for every school report, he knows all his moves, and he watches and re-watches footage of his fights. But when he finally meets Captain Stup ...more
Shae McDaniel
Eh. I'm assuming Vincent and his friends grow up, but I don't like them right now. The "wah, nerd boys are poor, picked upon victims and any girl who claims to like what they like really just thinks the superhero is hawt" cliche is just not my bag. Given the author's reputation, I assume he does turn it all around. I'm just not interested enough to see it through. ...more
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Vincent Wu is president of the Captain Stupendous Fan Club. It may not be the Official fan club - in fact, it may be the smallest fan club in history - but NOBODY knows more about the world's active superheroes and supervillains than Vincent, George, and Max. Like every kid in Copperplate City they show up every time they get a Stupendous Alert on their phones, hoping to see Stupendous take down a hostile space alien or giant radioactive spider. But Captain Stupendous has been acting strange lat ...more
Elissa Hoole
This was a family readaloud, and both my boys (ages 9 and 12) liked it--they were rapt during action sequences, which were fast-paced and fun. The preteen was a little squirmy for the romantic parts (too close to home? too weird around Mom and Dad? he didn't elaborate), and those same parts left 9 y.o. impatiently waiting for more kapow! Neither of my sons seemed as stunned as the characters were that a girl could be strong/heroic, and it felt like that reaction from the sidekick characters in t ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Vincent Wu is one of three members of the Captain Stupendous Fan Club-- not the "official" one, but the one he and his friends Max and George think is most important. Because of Captain Stupendous, Copperplate City has been a relatively safe place, but Professor Mayhem is on the loose with a giant robot. Captain Stupendous doesn't seem to be on his game in working against this threat of evil, and Vincent soon finds out why-- the first Captain has been replaced by a girl from his school and the o ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Review by Karen, intended for young readers:

Everyone loves the superhero. Except for villains, of course. But besides the bad guys, who isn’t grateful that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Incredibles, and all their pals are patrolling the world and making sure we’re safe?

But what if you discovered that your favorite superhero wasn’t who you thought? What if you found out your beloved hero’s true identity was actually… your crush at school?!

Much to his confusion, that’s what happens to Vincen
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Mike Jung is the author of the middle-grade novels Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2012), Unidentified Suburban Object (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2016), and The Boys in the Back Row (Levine Querido, 2020). His essays can be found in the anthologies Dear Teen Me (Zest, 2012), Break These Rules (Chicago Review Press, 2013), 59 Reasons to Write (Stenho ...more

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