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The Super Life of Ben Braver

(Ben Braver #1)

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  51 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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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  190 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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Gigi H
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
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.
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.
Angela
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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.
Heather
If you want to just sit and not take yourself seriously for a spell, this is the perfect read. Great drawings and so, so funny. My twelve-year-old couldn't wait for me to get done so he could read it. Will definitely be giving Ben's second story a go.
Thank you Fierce Reads for my giveaway copy. My whole family loves it.
Lyndsey
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I got this book through a Goodreads giveaway. It was a fun book, though super predictable. It felt like a combination of 10 story lines of other books I have read and movies I have seen (i.e. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, X-men, Avengers, etc) crammed into one book, with a Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid humor and feel to it. It was kind of strange, but not bad.
Jenn
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-won
I won a copy of this book.

Super fun story for kids 8-11. Drawings are done comic book style and add to the story nicely. What kid doesn't dream of being a super hero? Ben Braver sure has...and then finds he actually IS one!
Brooke Berry
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
My son has been reading this to me a chapter or two each night. It was an exciting story and a great reading level for him. He gave it a thumbs up. I found it a bit slow in places but if my kid wanted to keep reading that is all that matters to me.
Shannon Sansom
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every since I read this, I've recommended it to my students. It rarely makes it back to the shelf before another student checks it out. Get this for your students who are obsessed with super heroes, those who like funny books, or as an alternative to Wimpy Kid or Big Nate.
Serenity
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher through my district library services*

This book was really fun. Funny (potty humor, but also...just funny) with adventure, friendship, the whole package. I look forward to reading the sequel.
Ann Dague
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
3 Stars

Clever middle grade novel about a special middle school for kids with “special super-hero type powers.”

Has lots of comic book art and great kid humor. This will be a popular new series.

Will appeal to 4th grade and up. Especially good for reluctant readers.
Sarah LeGear
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-kids
We read this aloud and my six and eight-year-old girls LOVED it. It is the longest book we've ever read, but it kept their attention with just the right number of pictures. They asked immediately to get the second book to read!
Charlie
Funny, adventurous (and just a tad silly), I can definitely see younger readers devouring this! Ben is a really good 'hero' for younger readers to follow and his adventures will definitely keep them intrigued.
Brandy
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! Not what I'd normally choose to read, but I was hooked from the first few pages by Ben's personality! Just when you think you know what's going on-major plot twist!! Will Ben ever become the super hero he aspires to be?
Liz Garden
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I did not think I would like this, but actually enjoyed it and was excited to learn there is a sequel. I know lots of kids who would love to read this book. Great feature that it combines comic book style illustrations with a chapter book.
Maeli Gleason
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
good i liked the drawings
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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