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Dan Unmasked

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and an ABA 2020 Summer / Fall Indies Introduce pick. Recently nominated for a Cybils Award.

Whether they’re on the baseball field or in Nate’s basement, devouring the newest issue of their favorite comic book, Dan and Nate are always talking. Until they’re not.

After an accident at baseball practice—an accident that Dan is certa
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Dan and Nate are the best of friends. They are on the Mira Giants baseball team together, and have a group of friends who regularly gather in Nate's basement when the newest George Sanderson Captain Nexus comic books are released. Nate is a great guy, always sticking up for his younger brother, Ollie, who is a bit geekier. Sometimes it seems like Nate is TOO nice to Ollie, like when Ollie brings Courtney to the basement to read the newest comic. Not only does Cour
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book really surprised me in the best possible way. I was interested in reading it based on the description, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

Dan and Nate are best friends. They share a love of baseball and comics and they even have a form of telepathy where they can know what the other is thinking. But then after a baseball accident, Nate falls into a coma and the book then follows Dan as he tries to find a way to help Nate wake up.

This is a beautiful story depicting the po
J.M. Tompkins
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Superpowers, real-life & pizza!

The plot keeps the reader on his toes & keeps him guessing. From an adult's perspective, the book handles big issues such as guilt, grief, & other big challenges that life brings.

Also the main character, Dan, has multiple hobbies including comic books & baseball (what kid doesn't). But the author does such a good job of exploring each of Dan's hobbies rather than leaving them as a sidebar item. It will keep your young reader interested - a page-tu
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Animated bookstagram:

Sometimes friends finish each other’s sentences, but thirteen-year-old best friends, Dan and Nate, sometimes need no words at all. They’re so in sync on and off the baseball field that a certain look or gesture speak volumes, but when Nate falls into a coma, Dan would do anything to hear his voice again. Chris Negron’s moving debut, DAN UNMASKED (7/28/20), is an exploration of guilt, grief, anxiety, determination, and hope through a d
Emily Carpenter
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An emotional, heartfelt and utterly original story of friendship and the possibility we all feel as kids and adults when it comes to just how powerful we can be. The baseball scenes shine and the depiction of the sometime confusion and hopefulness of childhood is spot-on. I adored this book. A classic.
Alex  Baugh
Dan Sumner, 13, and Nate Templeton, 12, have been best friends since elementary school and their two favorite things in the world are playing baseball for the Mira Giants and comic books, but not just any comic books. They are devoted readers of Captain Nexus. In fact, each month, on the day the newest issue hits the stands, Dan, Nate, and the rest of their team gather in the Templeton basement along with Nate's younger brother Ollie and Ollie's new friend Courtney, the only girl.

But one afterno
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I wasn't into superheroes growing up, only occasionally read comic books, and played softball just that one summer for the YMCA, but Dan Unmasked sounded like such a unique book and so I was excited to be able to read it. Plus a bonus, that cover is gorgeous. There are a lot of pieces to this story and I really liked how Negron blended the comic books with baseball, two things that instantly grab at your attention. I did feel quite sorry for Dan when Nate is injured, he takes all the blame on hi ...more
Baseball isn't a subject that I usually enjoy reading about, but Negron has done such a fabulous job with his debut novel that I found myself really enjoying it. Baseball, comics, and friendship make this an appealing, well-written book that I can highly recommend.
The story revolves around Dan and his best friend, Nate, who love to play baseball and read comics together. With Nate as their pitcher the Giants have a great shot at winning the championship. And Dan and Nate and their friends love t
Melissa Mcavoy
There is a lot to like in Dan unmasked: a popular and too rare combination of graphic novel geekdom and sports prowess, a mix of childish fantastic thinking and serious issues, a pleasant cast of secondary characters and a mom with a great comic-relief job of restaurant health-code inspection. But there are some serious downsides. The Captain Nexus comic book is a huge part of the plot and there is lots of description devoted to describing the world. Perhaps avid superhero fans will eat it up bu ...more
Brenda Kahn
I think kids will enjoy this. I mostly did - great baseball action, interesting comic book interludes, nice friendship story. The medical bits? A tad soap opera-ish.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars. Thank you to the publisher and blue_slip_media for the free review copy of this book to share with Kid Lit Exchange. All opinions are my own.

This is a story about comic books, superheroes, baseball, grief and most of all the power of friendship. Dan, his best friend, Nate and their baseball team are on their way to winning the championship. There are several games yet to go in the tournament, but with the team’s great playing, Nate’s amazing pitching and Nate and Dan’s uncanny abili
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes friends finish each other’s sentences, but thirteen-year-old best friends, Dan and Nate, sometimes need no words at all. They’re so in sync on and off the baseball field that a certain look or gesture speak volumes, but when Nate falls into a coma, Dan would do anything to hear his voice again. Chris Negron’s moving debut, DAN UNMASKED (7/28/20), is an exploration of guilt, grief, anxiety, determination, and hope through a devastating accident. Paired with the baseball theme, this rive ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of superheroes and comics will love this heart-warming story of friendship and bravery.
Dan and Nate are best friends and massive comic-book fans, as well as team-mates on a baseball team bound for the championship. Their telepathic friendship makes them a force on the field, and their passion for Captain Nexus comics fills their time off the field. But when a wayward baseball strikes Nate’s head and sends him into a coma, Dan is bereft and looking for solace and solutions. What ensues is
Risa Nyman
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan Unmasked hits a home run (I couldn’t resist writing that). It is amazing how Chris Negron is able to pull the reader into his story and put us on the edge of our seat at a crucial baseball game or as we travel through a portal in a comic book.

As Dan Summers, the main character, tries to figure out his place with his friends, teammates and as a son, he encounters some difficult challenges that fill him with guilt and despair. He must search for a way to save his best friend Nate, and he part
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan's friendship with Nate is the powerful, all-consuming bond that many kids experience with a best friend. They are teammates on a baseball team and share a passion for comic books, especially Captain Nexus. Early in the book, Nate suffers a baseball injury and is placed in a coma. Dan grieves for his friend and suffers guilt for his part in the accident that landed Nate in the hospital.
What follows is a beautiful story about friendship, teamwork, and healing wounds through art and creativity.
Kevin Costner
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! The main character was so sweet, and my heart broke watching him deal with the grief of his actions that resulted in his best friend going into a coma. The writing was smooth and kept me turning pages. The relationships he develops with his friends while it was in a coma were very sweet and realistic. I especially loved the ending! Hand this to kids who love baseball, comics, and pizza!
Leo Penha
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is a sweet story of a boy overcoming adversities when his best friend is taken away from him. It brought a tear to my eye more than a few times. Despite my busy schedule, I couldn't put this book down. It's also packed with comic book references and I geeked out in every one of them. Definitely a must read. ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
My best friend in college adored Wednesdays. There was always a frenzy about comics, pull boxes, plastic wrap and special editions. These were the lifeblood of a comic book lover, and they’re woven in layered detail in this loving debut by Chris Negron. A story of guilt, grief, and ultimately, love, it’s a wonderful read at the center of comics, baseball and friendship.
The storyline in this new release by debut author Chris Negron drew me in as layer upon layer of emotional complexity was added. It was one of those amazing reading experiences where you live in the tension of racing to finish the story while fearing it is coming to an end all too quickly.

Kids. Will. Love. This. Book. And I mean all kids. But I am actually feeling giddy as I think about my reluctant male readers, who I suspect will gobble it up!

Middle-grade readers will have several opportunit
MeganRuth - Alohamora Open a Book
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sports fans, comic fans, and 4th-7th graders
"You can't keep things the same no matter how perfect they started out."

Chris Negron definitely hit it out of the park with his debut book (pun definitely intended, b/c I am a nerd). I picked up this book based on the description, but the book was even better than I thought it was going to be. Such a happy surprise when that happens.

Dan Unmasked is like a feel good sports movie, but it's even better b/c it's a book. This middle grade fiction has the highs and lows of a sports movie as well as
Kerry Beth
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bradley (AudioShelf)
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend this book to any middle schooler who loves comics, drawing, and baseball. Also, if a middle schooler is going through a parental divorce and/or another traumatic event (such as experience an event that causes a friend to be injured), then this book of for them as well.

The story is about Dan who witnesses his best friend, Nate, be injured in a baseball game. Nate becomes comatose and Dan sets out to be the one who saves him. You don’t need to wear a mask in order to be a hero.

Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for fans of all things comics, super heroes, baseball and friendship stories. But really it’s so much more than that. At first as I started to read I was thinking it would be a fun story about all those things but as I got more into the book it got deep. I started to feel for the characters, to route for them, to connect with them. The cover art has the perfect mix of fun and seriousness in the eyes of the main character Dan who learns so much about himself, friendship and t ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dan, Unmasked lives up to its title. Dan's obvious love for his friends and family shine throughout the book. His emotional distress leads him to band with his enemy, his best friend Nate's little brother, Ollie, who he usually battled for Nate's attention. In this story about the love of comics and how closely art imitates life, we get to see boys portraying emotions without jokes as they try to find a way to rescue their Nate. ...more
Sam Subity
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book reads like a love letter to comic books, baseball, and the joys and fears of being a kid navigating the middle school years. I loved how the main character slowly grows and emerges from the shadow of his best friend throughout the book and realizes by the end that not all heroes wear capes.
Kathy Forbus
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story for boys! As a literature teacher, the search for boy books can be daunting. This covers it all...superheroes, sports and camaraderie 😀 with a bit of mystery just around the corner. However, don’t count the girls out! This story intrigues girls and all ages with an eventful storyline and charismatic characters. Loved it !!♥️
Joyce Dusterhus
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The book is well written and the characters stand out. I felt as I read the book I knew each character personally. The ending was unexpected and heart felt. Every age reader will enjoy this book. The young reader will especially enjoy the the knowledge the writer showes about baseball and comic books.
LS Johnson
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I think it got long and slow in the middle.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-work
3.5 stars. Nice story with a good message. I look forward to sharing this with students in my elementary library.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great book for middle school age kids.
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Chris Negron grew up outside Buffalo, New York, where he spent a huge chunk of his childhood collecting comic books and loving sports. But it was the hours of playing Dungeons and Dragons in friends' basements that first gave him the dream of one day writing his own stories. That dream kept him company through college at Yale University and years of programming computers for big companies. DAN UNM ...more

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