The Greatest Superpower~ Alex Sanchez

A young thirteen-year-old, Jorge seems to be living a seemingly perfect life, loved by his parents and accepted/ignored by his cooler twin brother Cesar. At the start of the summer break his parents break a bombshell, they were getting divorced. Not only that, his father wanted to come out as transgender as he did not want to identify as a man anymore.

Jorge is a conflicted thirteen-year-old who is shy and afraid to be in the limelight. For a boy who avoids confrontations, having a father who is transgender, is a difficult fact to swallow. Jorge is filled with doubts and emotions. He wants to understand his feelings for his father who is now a new person, one who wears makeup and answers to the name Norma instead of Norberto. Jorge, however, shows empathy and courage in trying to understand his father. Jorge’s twin brother Cesar rather than processing his feelings lashes out and decides to cut relations with the father. Being in middle school means you have the pressure to conform and Cesar being the cool kid, wants to conform. He is afraid of the ridicule he would face if it came out that their father is transgender. Cesar in trying to conform also wants to avoid his Mexican heritage, which is evident in his skin tone. Jorge tries to avoid confrontation with Cesar, but it is not easy for Jorge to understand him. Jorge is not Mr Goody-two-shoes who gets it right always, but he does try his best. His need to avoid confrontation sometimes makes him compromise with his own feelings, leading to uncomfortable situations. In trying to understand his father, he learns the lesson of love, courage and honesty.

Filled with great characters, this book is an engrossing read. The characters of the book are with whom you can identify and imagine. Quirky Zoey, artistic Chang, conflicted Cesar, wise Darnell, horse-mad Oona, are all well-etched with distinct personalities. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and behave like regular teenagers with their own problems. Apart from Jorge, Darnell has a special place in my heart. I love his Yodaisms which come at the correct time and are apt for the situations. The whole book has been written so crisply and descriptively, that you can imagine it being made into a web series for teens/tween.

The book touches all the right chords. It talks about gender sensitivity, racial issues, and the courage needed to be different. While it has become cool to be “woke”, the reality is that you don’t know how you will react if someone from your family comes out. This book, written from a thirteen-year-old’s perspective shows how your mind and heart can be conflicted on hearing the truth. It takes time to accept certain things and to process your emotions. Our world is changing, evolving, We are becoming more aware of our differences. And yet, there are forces which ask us to conform, to blend in. This book talks about gender and how it is ok to be different. It doesn’t shy away from the truth. The book describes how difficult a family finds to cope when one of the family members doesn’t conform to societal norms. All the family members struggle with their own emotions and demons, but ultimately their love for each other wins.

The book proves that the greatest superpower is not how many villains you can bash at a time, it is the ability, to be honest, with yourself and the world.

I received The Greatest Superpower By Alex Sanchez as a gift for reviewing for The Multicultural Children’s Day 2021. The book has been published by Capstone  and is available on Amazon.

Let’s learn a little bit more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

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4 thoughts on “The Greatest Superpower~ Alex Sanchez

  1. Growing up can be such a challenge…… adapt, conform, be accepted, be cool, be part of the gang…… and be true to oneself! Quite a rollercoast!
    The book looks ro be an interesting one.
    Good review anyway! 😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This review of Harshita describes the influence of thoughts, circumstances and social obligations together with human psychology traits. What has been described by the author is the hard fact of life that it takes time to accept things and to process specific, emotions, more so in such a situation that are existing/described. Harshita has presented an excellent review.
    Dr S.K.Nanda

    Liked by 2 people

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