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Chance Fortune and the Outlaws

by Berryhill, Shane


Book Review     

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Publishers Weekly :

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A strong echo of The Incredibles runs through Berryhill's debut, set in a world where superheroes are taken for granted as a part of day-to-day affairs. Joshua Blevins has been starstruck by these heroes all his life. At age 9, he encounters Captain Fearless, who takes him under his wing and trains him for five years. But all appears for naught when Joshua's application to Burlington Academy for the Superhuman is turned down on the grounds that, "as a normal human, the Academy has nothing to offer you." Joshua and his mentor are not so easily deterred, and Captain Fearless fakes some documents to get Joshua accepted under the name Chance Fortune. Chance makes new friends quickly, young heroes-in-waiting like himself: the electrically charged Shocker, the elastic Private Justice and a psychic named Psy-chick. After a lengthy training sequence that references Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card with both a wink and a nod (one of Chance's classmates Space Cadet, or S.C., has a roommate named Orson), Chance learns that the school is connected to The Shadow Zone, "a dimensional prison reserved for supervillains too powerful or too diabolical to be jailed by conventional means." Readers weary of Potter-esque fantasy but hungry for another semihumorous/semiserious school setting, and lovers of superhero stories in general, will delight in this first volume in the Adventures of Chance Fortune series, ideally structured for many further adventures at Burlington. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)

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Book Review     

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School Library Journal :

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Gr 5–8—In this fantasy adventure of good versus evil, Burlington Academy exists for the sole purpose of training and grooming humans who have superpowers. Regular guy Josh Blevins, 14, doesn't care about that. All he's ever wanted to do is attend the academy. With help from a retired action hero, he manages to manipulate his way in, changing his name to Chance Fortune and listing his superpower as "Unnaturally good luck." Actually, what he really has is good old-fashioned common sense, something his teammates, the Outlaws, seem to lack. As they practice and compete against one another in mock battles, it becomes apparent that something is amiss at school. Evil has come to the sacred grounds and Chance and the Outlaws are left to fend for themselves. Intimidating villains rev up the conflict while the underrated good guys bond together to defeat what comes. The story is fast paced, and the characters are nicely crafted. While some resolutions are too simple and the problems facing Chance should demand more from this likable protagonist, most readers will cheer for his triumphs. A fun, easy read with compelling action scenes.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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