Publisher's Note:  

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…

My Hero Academia

by Kohei Horikoshi

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Overall Review:  

My Hero Academia tells the story of Izuku Midoriya, a middle school student who is an ordinary boy in a world that is anything but ordinary. The mundane is a thing of the past, as recently the majority of the population has acquired super powers with types as widely varied as can be imagined. Most children manifest the power that will set them on their path in life by age four...but not Izuku. The only thing that sets him apart is how utterly unremarkable he is. Izuku longs to be a hero, but that just can't be in his future. Can it?

Kohei Horikoshi presents a fresh take on the super hero story. This is not a remake of The Incredibles or any number of young super hero tales. It can't be because the protagonist is, well...not incredible. This story is about an ordinary boy who wants to do extraordinary things. It speaks to the heroic voice inside every kid who has ever asked, "What does it take to be a hero?"

This book encourages readers, especially the teen audience for which it is primarily written, to follow their dreams. It emphasizes the value of doing what is right simply because it is right, even if others around you might be more suited to the task. The story says follow your dreams, even if those dreams seem impossible.

The characters in this novel are types who will be familiar to middle school and high school readers. Some are studious, some are athletic, some are kind, and some are bullies. Izuku himself is an unassuming, quiet boy who struggles at times to navigate the social situations involving the personalities of his peers. The young aspiring heroes have much more character than the older, already established heroes, but even the one-dimensional aspect of these adult heroes will resonate with teens. Since when did teens have time to notice the individual character traits of adults as a group? Horikoshi's condensing of those older characters to almost single-minded heroes and villains is a bit of characterization genius.

This book is filled with action, has themes that are appealing to young readers, and is visually engaging since the author is also the artist. Kohei Horikoshi delivers an entertaining story that imparts a positive message about having worthwhile goals and reaching for them...even if that reach is a longshot.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 14 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 1 scatological word.

Violence/Gore:  A few verbal threats; kids have a fist-fight; a few fights using super-powers with property damage and minor injuries; a book is burned; a character has a medical condition that causes him to cough up blood from a few times; a character has scars from a previous battle; a character is nearly devoured by a monster; a character breaks his arm in a fight; a character injures himself through over-exertion.

Sex/Nudity:  A female character wears a skin-tight suit, and illustrations emphasize her contours; a boy is nervous around a pretty girl a few times; a character calls another "sexy"; an old lady kisses people in a friendly way (this has no romantic connotation); some people are described as "perverts"; a female character is drawn (clothed) with comically exaggerated large breasts (shown only once).

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying, theft, suicide (mentioned briefly).

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Reviewed By Calinda
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