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School for Sidekicks

(Academy of Metahuman Operatives #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  535 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Being a hero isn't always what it's cracked up to be in this funny and genuine novel from adult fantasy author Kelly McCullough.

Evan Quick is a GIANT superhero geek who dreams of one day becoming a superhero himself. Every morning he checks to see if he's developed his powers overnight, and every day there's nothing. No flying, no super strength, no invulnerabi
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
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Syrim I really enjoyed it, it is a interesting take on the superhero theme. It is better and more complex than the description makes it sound. Think family…moreI really enjoyed it, it is a interesting take on the superhero theme. It is better and more complex than the description makes it sound. Think family conflict, heroic red tape/bureaucracies, and realistic, interesting friendships, and a main character who isn't magnificently powerful but still manages to save the day. (less)
Sandra You don't get to read books here if that's what you mean.

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  535 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Feb 09, 2015 added it
Shelves: publicist-books
I don't care how old you are, this is the perfect and fun love-letter to all things superheroes, whether they are in comics, movies, or TV. Funny, witty, snarky and action-packed!
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Anyone who loves super heroes or comic books will find themselves quickly drawn into this new world where super heroes are more than just figures on a page or in a game.

Our hero is Evan Quick. So nice to find YA book with male lead, and the core of the story does not revolve around a love triangle! The narrative moves smoothly, explaining the "science" of super heroes, and creating a rich detailed world.

Many authors have tried to write YA from a males point of view and for som
This review was originally posted on Read.Sleep.Repeat.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher, this does not influence my review.

I’m a fan of superheroes as much as Evan Quick and when I heard about School for Sidekicks, I knew I had to read his story. Evan lives in a world where metahumans are divided into two groups: Masks (heroes) and Hoods (villains). When Evan encounters one of the biggest Hoods, he is thrust into the world of superheroes and villains. To become a Mask, he has to go to/>I
Mary B. Grove
a tad bit too corny for me

Comic books are not my thing, and so neither is this book. It's just too simplistic, too arch, too dated, though I like Evan Quick a lot and the worldbuilding is interesting. There are certain things about the book that I can't take - Cuddlinator and his army of fluffy collectibles? Minute Man? 'Masks' and 'Hoods'? I bought the book by mistake, thinking it was part of Kelly Meding's metahuman series which is much more realistic. In her books, having powers means
Beth Cato
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, superhero, middle
What a fun book with a fresh-yet-familiar approach to superheroes! McCullough's book straddles the line between middle grade and young adult, and is one to be thoroughly enjoyed by adults (like me) as well. Evan is a kid totally obsessed with superhero fandom, but when his own powers emerge, he quickly finds out that 1) his favorite hero is an all-out jerk, 2) his supportive, awesome parents suddenly aren't so supportive, and 3) kids like him are sent to a special school... on a moon of Mars. So ...more
Istyria book blog ~ A Wold of Enchanted Books

I went into this book hoping for a fun, exciting book and that's exactly what I got. School for Sidekicks was all kinds of cheesy but it was so. much. fun.

School for Sidekicks is about Evan Quick, who's always dreamed of becoming a Mask. Someone with powers that fights the bad guys, the Hoods. And one day during a field trip with his class, he survives a supervillain's death ray and is brought to the AMO, the Academy of Metahuman Operatives, also called the School for Si
Frank Chillura
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Check out my blog at for more great upcoming books that may just be your new must-have read.


This is an insanely witty & entertaining book geared for Young Readers, but smart & funny enough for Readers of ANY age. It takes me back to being a child with the comic books I grew up on & I think this could be the book that brings an avid reader to a new world of Graphics or an avid Graphic Novel reader to a new world of
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

This is the book that should teach middle grade readers the word parody. That is, if they can stop turning pages long enough to think about what they’re reading. It might also enlighten them as to the meaning of the old cautionary expression, "Be careful what you wish for…" Our narrator and wanna-be superhero, Evan Quick, learns that lesson the day he gets his superhero powers. After that, everything he ever wanted to be seems a far cry from what he has become. And when the plot thickens (and seldom ha
Jaina Rose
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

All right, I'm starting on the deep end with this one: School for Sidekicks was just a little too, well, politically correct for my tastes. Evan's father had two mothers, one of the students at the school is a gender-neutral shapeshifter, a girl tries to kiss another girl - each of these were completely unnecessary to the plot, and really only served to send the not-so-subtle message of "Look at me, I'm a liberal author!" I can understand hav
Ms. Yingling
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Evan Quick a huge fan of the superhero Captain Commanding, and a Mask wannabe, tests every morningto see if he might have gotten super powers like his hero. When summer rolls around, Evan's parents give him a season pass to Camp Commanding, which sounds like the best summer ever. He can even charge meals to his mother's account! He wins a cool decoder ring and even a custom made suit, but when he goes back to pick it up, the park has changed. Wh
Tamara (Tamaraniac)
Mar 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: superhero, arc
Upon Finishing: This was a whole lot of weird but also really cool and interesting. I don't know how to feel honestly.

Read this review on my blog:

If I’ve learned anything from being obsessed with superhero novels and reading every single one I’ve been able to get my hands on since sixth grade, it is that they are ridiculously hit or miss. As in, they are usually really great or really weird. And, well, occasionally they are just really mediocre.

School for Sideki
Fernando Maldonado
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being a huge of Kelly McCullough's earlier works, as soon as i saw he was releasing another book it immediately went on my read pile - without looking at what is was about. I managed to win a copy (YEAH! first time winning anything!) and was surprised to see that it was a book for YA readers.

I have an 11 year old son - so I let him read it first. While he isn't a huge super heroes fan like I am - he absolutely loved the book! He said the characters were awesome and funny. There was lots of acti
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I had fun with this one. It's smart, witty, and entertaining, with a surprising amount of character focus and complexity.

Evan lives in a world with "metahumans," Masks and Hoods (heroes and villains) who were initially created by a bomb that killed hundreds of thousands. He has always dreamed of being just like his idol, Captain Commanding, to a geek-obsessed level that makes him a social outcast. He just so happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time to become a hostage in an evil plot, which leads
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids 10-13 who like Harry Potter
Shelves: science-fiction
I thought this book was pretty good because it was an interesting thing to think about. It is about a boy named Evan Quick Who gets superpowers and goes to a special school on Mars. (They call themselves metahumans but they are just like The X-men with different names.) Then, he realizes the metahumans are being created on purpose so that they can stop an alien invasion. His parents are an obstacle to him because they don't want him to go to school on Mars.

This book will feel similar
Teddi Eberly
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I can see someone who loves the comic book/ super hero world liking this book. I personally am not this kind of person. I introduced the book to my teenager, however, and she was off to her room to read it. :)
Oda Renate
Oct 08, 2016 added it
Shelves: books-i-own
dnf-ed too middle school for me.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
GREAT BOOK. Please make it a series it was a great book.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the concept of this book, though the execution fell flat as often as it succeeded for me. I liked most of the characters, the setting, and the general plot. When we’re hanging out with Evan and his mentor in their secret lair, it’s fun and interesting, and I could read a whole book of just that. I enjoyed the little details of Superhero Life (having to wear an old suit because you spilled something on your uniform, powers glitching, etc.), so I wish there were more slice-of-life ...more
Kennedy Gallegos
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
"It was, after all, my dream come true." We all have dreams we wish would come true and in this book, Evan Quicks did.All Evan Quick wanted in the whole world was to be a real superhero. The book seemed realistic in the sense of the struggles Evan had of being the unpopular kid at his school, only this school is for superheroes.This book didn't really change my perspective of anything it was just a fun book I read. Evan was a very easy to relate to with his awkward and confusing experiences thro ...more
Quinn R
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly well written with careful attention to detail and well developed characters. Evan changes so much as a character, you can barely tell the difference between the superhero geek at the beginning of the book to the crime-fighting adventurer at the end. The author focuses a lot on how Evan speaks, and keeps it relatively consistent throughout the book. The details in the book are great and allowed me to create a vivid picture of what was happening. The author made good decisi ...more
Rachel Meyer
A fun, middle grade superhero adventure. While it could have been improved in some places, it was still an enjoyable and hard to put down read.

Our main character is Even, who always dreamed of being a Mask, and then he gets powers and becomes one. He was fun and I liked his imminent danger banter mouth. That would probably be me faced with a super villain. I also liked the worldbuilding, plot, twists, and Foxman. I didn't like him at first, but by the end I did. The other super power
Tully Ellis
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good book!

I really enjoyed this book and it's humour, the reason why I gave it four stars instead of five is because there were quite a lot of things near the end which were things that the author had made up to fit the book (e.g. AMO) but has not explained what they were. Besides from this I think that this is an excellent book for many ages and I would definitely read it again!
Charlie Thacker
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
So funny. This book is great for anyone and even if it looks like it this book isn't cliche at all. It features a boy that gets an odd collection of super powers including the ability to expertly sass people when he is in danger. (I'm not entirely sure that's a super power though) It definitely checks the boxes for a great novel: action, humor, and an odd plot twist. The only fault is the romance. The author could have written that part a lot better. I hope the author writes a sequel.
Okay, but I'm not sure I would recommend it. The idea is interesting, but the story failed to engage. There's a shadowy plot, but no resolution of any of it. Unless the point of the story was the ambiguity of superhero work.

Maybe if School for Sidekicks were the first in a series, I'd cut it a little more slack on the notion that some of the character work would be done in other books. As a standalone, it ends too abruptly to satisfy.
Anna Jackson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Good middle grade book about superheros. Character development, especially early on, was a little shallow. I loved Foxman, but then, as an adult, I felt like I could really relate to him. (I kind of want to read the Foxman short now!) I hope the author decides to do another book, because I could see this turning into a short series, or at least a duology. (view spoiler)
I loved this book. Thirteen year old Even Quick has always wanted to be a super hero. And just after his thirteenth birth day he gets the chance thanks to the hero ray. But Evan has a lot of growing up to do. And along the way he will make friends, learn that heroes as well as villains are not always what their made out to be. And lets be honest, who doesn't want to have super powers.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: m
Despite being heavy on the exposition side, this is a fun middle-grade superhero title. It can be cheesy, but in a good way. None of the kids besides Evan get much character development, but I appreciate that McCullough handles everything with a touch of realism. If a sequel is published, I'd definitely pick it up.
This book is fun and a fairly easy read. It definitely could be classified as "Young Adult" lit. I liked it just fine, although there's nothing particularly outstanding to write home about. McCullough does (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a far better book than any blurb or brief "elevator pitch" about it will suggest. Besides the reviews, I call your attention to Syrim's response at
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not sure whether the author thought they were being funny and just failed or if it was just poorly written. The prose lacked rhythm and the dialogue didn't translate well into written word. It wasn't horrible, though, so I didn't feel it was a complete waste of my time.
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Kelly McCullough was raised and educated by free-range hippies. Later he received a degree in theater and worked in improv. That combination was the perfect preparation for his current career as author and cat herder. He lives and writes in the Midwest with his physics-professor wife, Laura. He enjoys hiking and biking and his role as self-heating cat furniture. He is the author of the WebMage and ...more