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The Super Life of Ben Braver

(Ben Braver #1)

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  352 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Ben Braver is an ordinary kid. All he wants to do is finish his summer watching awesome TV shows and eating his favorite candy. But when some kid screams for help, Ben, like his favorite comic book heroes, tries to save the day. Let's just say it ends badly. But it does lead him to a secret school where kids with super abilities learn to control their powers. Ben's never h ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  352 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Gigi
Oct 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf-2018
The idea was cute. It was a kiddie wannabe version of X-Men. I did however, find this a bit offensive as someone who homeschools. The bully in this book was homeschooled and a dog abuser. I was disgusted by this as it was a very poor representation of homeschooled children.

It was a DNF for me.
Green Jazz Blues
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is like a better version of "Kid Normal". There was a little mild toilet talk which could have been left out but on the whole, this book was quite enjoyable to read. Am clueless about the reference to Adam West - I don't know who he was or is? Early part of the book fairly slow and his encounter with the bully Dexter seemed weird and not easy to follow.
But when he gets to the school and meets new friends and tries to work out what's going on was great although as he says it was boring
...more
Marie the Librarian
Hmm it was okay. A bit messy.
Christine
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars. I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway, and I wanted to like it but really did not. I thought the story was slow to develop and turned darker than I expected or would’ve liked toward the end. It also lacked a lot of humor compared to most books aimed this audience.

I read this book with my 9-year-old nephew in mind and sadly I did not feel compelled to pass it along to him.
Sammie
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can find my full review on my blog, The Writerly Way, here.

Many thanks to RockStar Book Tour and Roaring Brook Press for a finished copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


The moment I learned about this series, I knew I had to read it, because superheroes + humor = no brainer. Plus, Marcus Emerson also wrote Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja, which has freaking ninjas, so clearly, the author’s just winning at this writing thing in general.

Ben Braver is a series full of adventure, actio
...more
Kristy
Very funny. Love the graphic novel/chapter book hybrid.
Ellen
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Fun book. Lots of humor and action. Grabs you from the start and keeps you turning the page.
Bunmi
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit predictable, but overall it was good
Jennifer Bradshaw
This was a fun, quick read that I think middle-grade readers will really enjoy. The combination of text and comic elements enhanced the story. I am looking forward the next adventure of Ben Braver.
The Book Squirrel
Reading it as an adult, I thought it was "OK". I can see some 9 y.o. boys really liking it, though, and anything that gets kids reading is brilliant, so it gets 2 stars from me and 4 for the potential enjoyment by a child (average of 3).

Ben narrates the story like a diary and in a few places his inner dialogue takes away from the story, IMO.
Emerson could have used a better editor to cut/change some of the references to 80s/90s pop culture and humour that children wouldn't get (referencing Goonie
...more
Susan Barnes
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
After an altercation with the school bully, Ben Braver is chosen to go to a special boarding school for children with super powers. The trouble is that Ben doesn’t know what his super power is, plus the school bully has also been chosen to attend. Still, he has until Christmas to discover his super power and in a big school avoiding the bully shouldn’t be too hard. In the meantime, he makes friends with his roommate Noah, and Penny, the girl in the room immediately above theirs. With little home ...more
Pauline
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ben Braver leads a fairly regular life; until the day he decided to leave his television as he wants a peanut butter cup. An altercation with the school bully leads to a life-changing experience. Ben Braver is selected to go to Kepler Academy, a school for children with super powers even though he doesn't actually have a super power. When he gets there he finds most of the time is spent learning to control a super power, not develop it. This is a funny, slightly irreverent book filled with jokes ...more
Mehsi
Watch out world, Ben Braver is here! A superfun superpowered read!

I spotted the second book of this series on Twitter and had to read the first one. I just love books about kids with superpowers, and this one was just such a delight to read. Though I did feel sorry for Ben, as he is, so far, the only one in the school without powers. Thankfully he has smarts, and can think of best plans, but of course... he still wants powers.

At first Ben's life is pretty unremarkable, he loves comics, he dream
...more
Diane
"I'm the soggy fries on the bottom of the carton, the powder at the end of the box of cereal, the last kid standing when teams are picked. Unremarkable. That's me."

Ben Braver isn’t anyone special, in fact most people don’t even notice him. All that is about to change, however, thanks to Dexter Dunn. Dexter mostly stayed in his house, but when he came outside he was "a Grade A jerk." One day on his way home from school, Ben encounters Dexter bullying Caden Cameron and his dog. Ben steps in to sto
...more
Paige Green
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Super Life of Ben Braver

Author: Marcus Emerson

Book Series: Ben Braver Book 1

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Roaring Book Press

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (some dog abuse, bullying, vomit, illnesses, superhero powers, end of the world)

Pages: 320

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Ben Braver is an ordinary kid. All he wants to do is finish his summer watching awesome TV shows and eating h
...more
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
What I Loved:
The first person perspective was so fun and it is perfect for a middle-grade reader! I really enjoyed the way Ben addresses the reader. I found him to tell the story with some humor which made the book extremely enjoyable!

How I Felt:
The Super Life of Ben Braver was a great book that was filled with escapades, potty-humor, and everything else a middle-grade reader is looking for. The story is told mostly through traditional paragraph writing-style, however, it mixes in some great art
...more
Raina
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: j, funny, superheroes
Surprise! Superpowers are real! And every kid with a super power goes to a boarding school together! And our hero finds this out just in time to be invited! And he doesn't know what his superpower is!

Yeah, I know, you've heard this concept before. Or something very adjacent to it, at very least.

But I liked this! It has a lot of mass appeal, but also a little quirk. I loved the weird powers some of the kids had. And the illustrations are fun and silly. Ben's tone/voice is a little over the top w
...more
Casey
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first book my 11 yo son asked me to read.
He loved it so much that he wanted me to read it too.
An avid book lover, my son reads like most breathe.
The fact that this was the first book he recommended to me said a lot and I was curious to find out why.

Entertaining, funny, heartwarming and well-paced, this school geek hero adventure story for the MG set delivers a familiar new kid/fish out of water tale with re-spun superhero team tropes, classic pop culture references, and a few surpri
...more
Lenoire
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben Braver was enjoying his day like another kid. Except for today, he had a craving for a peanut butter cup and had none left. He decided to go to the store and get some. On his way back home, he answers a call for help.

After Ben tries to help a stranger, he ends up getting an offer that will forever change his life. He receives an invitation to join a secret school for children with special abilities.  Ben doesn't have a special power but, this is the chance he's been waiting for. Will Ben be
...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Always looking for funny, notebook novel type books, and this did have more illustrations than normal, but the whole "special school for kids with powers" is something I already have. I felt like maybe there was a book before this one that I was missing, and the whole bully issue was not addressed with any fresh twist.

On the elementary side of the Pilkey Line when it comes to goofiness. I was also not pleased with this description "... shady looking people. An old hag wa
...more
Jennifer
This is one of those books that I picked up at a Scholastic warehouse sale because it looked interesting and the little blurb I read sounded good. Marcus Emerson did not disappoint. This is the first book of his that I have read, but I think I may have to fix that ASAP.

I liked how the illustrations actually helped more the story along. Some of the dialog happens in an illustration and not just in the paragraphs around it. It brought everything together for me. I stayed up reading this way past m
...more
AMY
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 5-6
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
What does a twelve-year-old obsessed with comics and superheroes think when he's invited to attend a school for superpowered youth? He thinks it's a mean prank, of course. Except Ben finally accepts that it is real and heads off with great excitement. Only to discover the point of the school is learning to repress and hide powers. And his is slow to manifest. But he's still making friends, and something mysterious is going on.

This is packed with illustrations, humor, sarcastic dialogue, and acti
...more
Jaclyn
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mg
As an adult and not the intended audience, I give this book 2 stars. The descriptions I had read sounded like it had potential, but the story was kind of all over the place for me. It reminded me of many stories mixed into one (a combination of Marvel stories/Spy School/Captain Underpants). I kept hoping for Ben to realize and develop his superpower, so what eventually happens in the school is a bit of a letdown. I found the ending confusing but knew the twists were to allow for sequels.

The rea
...more
Kim
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ben Braver has always wanted to be a super hero, so when he is invited to go to a secret school for kids with super powers, he's thrilled... and nervous. Ben doesn't have a super power. Why was he invited to attend? What is that strange flu that is infecting the students? Instead of finding answers, Ben finds more clues to the mystery.

A fun and funny adventure full of interesting characters with very unique super powers. Looking forward to Ben's next adventure.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Brooke Dilling
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Thai book is action packed and has a strong superhero super villain theme. I liked the friendships Ben formed with a Penny and Noah. I liked the conflict with Duncan, his arch-nemesis. I enjoyed Ben’s struggle to find a super power. Does he have one? Or not?

I didn’t enjoy the unanswered questions at the book’s end — yes it makes kids want to read book two, but will struggling readers pick up on what is most likely going on with the mystery?

Fun illustrations that propel the story forward. Quick r
...more
Amy
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Super Life of Ben Braver is the first installment from Marcus Emerson’s Ben Braver series. My kids were super excited when I received this in the mail. We quickly picked it up and read it and finished it in no time. It was fun spending time with them and laughing together reading this book. We thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to book two of the series, Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid. We recommend this one and give it five stars.
I received this book from the publisher. Thi
...more
Amy
This book is so middle school and that is why I giggled at the humor and characters. I liked the combination of larger font and pictures. I also felt that certain jokes were put in there for adult readers, killing me....softly. Ben is a normal kid who gets sent to a school for kids with super powers and he wants to be a hero too. While there he uncovers a mystery and helps save the school. Is it silly? Yes! And upper elementary and middle school kids will enjoy this book. I mean, if you talk abo ...more
Jackie
An ordinary act of bravery lands Ben Braver at a school for superheroes. One problem: he has no super powers while every other kid at the school does. Hmmm...just why is he here? Headmaster Donald Kepler says he is destined for greatness. Ben is not so sure.

Friends Noah and Penny stick by him as he is made the laughing stock of the school. Yet, when things get ugly, it is the unlikely one who makes the difference.
Catina Haverlock
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having the most fun reading this series with my 12-year-old. This author is witty, funny and makes sure to infuse some real life lessons in his stories such as what it really means to be a friend, what makes a hero REALLY and the struggles middle schoolers face with confidence, making right decisions etc. The story is fantastic though - it's Harry Potter meets X-men done in a completely original, page-turning fashion.
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Marcus Emerson is the author of several highly imaginative children's books including the popular Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja series and the Secret Agent 6th Grader series. His goal is to create children's books that are engaging, funny, and inspirational for kids of all ages - even the adults who secretly never grew up. He is a 35-year-old comic book reader, video game player, and toy collector.

Other books in the series

Ben Braver (3 books)
  • Ben Braver and the Incredible Exploding Kid (Ben Braver, #2)
  • Ben Braver and the Vortex of Doom (Ben Braver, #3)

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