The Book Gazette is proud to host an excerpt from YA superhero novel “The Madrona Heroes Register”. The novel was originally released in four parts.
“Binny, how many times do I have to remind you? Your mother and I are superheroes. It keeps us incredibly busy. Raising the three of you along with saving the world, is no small set of responsibilities. And besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned fighting evil, it’s that you can’t solve every problem in the world. Even when it seems like you have the power to do so. Sometimes people have to figure stuff out for themselves.”
Binny knew that Jay’s story was patently ridiculous. But Binny also knew just as well that there was no arguing with Jay on the premise that he and her mother led secret double lives as superheroes. It was his favorite fiction. But still, Binny couldn’t resist pushing back on this ridiculous notion anyway. “You’re not superheroes. There’s no such thing as superheroes. And you’re not even super parents. If you were, you’d do your JOB and stop your kids from misbehaving.”
“What I’m trying to say Binny, is that even with all my powers – parenting or otherwise – I don’t know if I can fix that for you completely. I can’t stop you from misbehaving, so what makes you think I can stop your brother and sister?” Jay reasoned.
“I don’t need superheroes for parents. Just actual parents who actually care.” Binny had lost interest in her food and was now putting her main energy into making her case to her father.
Jay smiled a bittersweet smile. He was stinging a little from Binny’s accusation but tried not to let it show. “Of course we care. And I suppose I could yell at your brother and sister and maybe it would work and maybe it wouldn’t. But in life honey, you are going to encounter people who mess with your stuff, call you names, lie about what they did, and maybe even worse.” Jay paused looking for some glimmer of understanding in his daughter’s face.
“No matter how powerful I may or may not be,” Jay winked in a rare acknowledgement that he may not in fact actually have superpowers, “you can’t spend your life waiting for everyone to behave the way they should. You’ve got to solve your own problems at some point despite the obstacles that other people put in your way. Be your own hero.” Jay reached across the table to hold Binny’s hands in his as if to emphasize the importance of his message.
Trying to be a little more conciliatory towards his daughter, Jay offered “Look, I think you’re right. Your mother and I have been distracted lately and are probably not giving you guys the attention you need. I’m sorry for that. And so is your mother. We’ll work on it.” Jay paused lost in his own thought for a moment and continued, “Sometimes I wonder if the reason you kids fight in the first place is just to get more of our attention.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Do not change the channel! Stop it!” Cassie’s screech could be heard loud and clear coming from the other room.
Jay raised his eyebrows as if to say “exactly”, and he and Binny shared a giggle as the screams escalated from the room next door. With things mostly mended with Binny, Jay paused for a moment shaking his head to himself and gathering up his energy to deal with the next crisis.
“I thought you were going to try and stay out of it and let everyone solve their own problems.” Binny teased her father, her eyes expressing her sarcasm.
“I said I would try. I may be a superhero but I’m not perfect.” Jay struck a pose, putting his hands to the top of his button down shirt as if to undo it revealing his superhero tights underneath.
Frowning a little, Binny offered “you don’t need to be a hero. Just go be a parent.” Binny seemed to feel that with her judgment rendered, the conversation was now over and started in again on the remainder of the waffles.
Jay decided this was as good as he was going to get from Binny that morning and headed into the fray developing between his other two children.
The Madrona Heroes Register
Author: Hillel Cooperman
Genre: YA Superhero Fantasy
Someone in ten-year-old Binny Jordan’s family has a super power – and it’s not her. Binny’s seven-year-old sister Cassie can turn herself invisible and now a strange man is keenly interested in what Cassie can do. Binny’s parents seem more distracted than ever, and her older brother Zach is hiding something of his own. Binny needs to find a way to protect her sister, but she’s never felt more alone.
Hillel Cooperman has pretended to be a superhero since he was a small child. He conceived of the story of the Madrona Heroes in the summer of 2012 on a trip abroad with his family. By winter, he had started writing in earnest. He lives in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle with his three children, their three cats, and thousands of Lego bricks. His superpower is procrastination. The Madrona Heroes Register is his first novel.
Available in four parts from Amazon (for Kindle):