Amazing Adventures from Zoom's Academy (Amazing Adventures from Zoom's Academy)
by Jason Lethcoe
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ballantine Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0345483553
Date: 25 October, 2005 List Price $12.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Summer is thirteen and her parents are divorced and share custody. She's slightly ashamed of her Dad who invents really weird stuff that usually doesn't work. Her mom is super attorney, Queen of her law firm. She hates school because she doesn't fit in or have any friends. She doesn't fit in anywhere and her parents are so different she can't be like them both at the same time and she doesn't know who she is either. Reading this book brought me back to my early teens and I could so empathize with Summer. What child hasn't wished that they could be special so that the other kids would like them and be their friend? I know that doesn't work but at thirteen it's what most of young people dream about. At that age it's common to think that some outside change to your appearance will make everything okay, it's usually not until you're an adult that all that stuff parents tell you about it being who you are inside that really makes the difference makes sense. Amazing Adventures From Zoom's Academy tries, and I think succeeds, in really getting that message across. Summer is a typical young teen looking for an identity in circumstances that are, except for the super powers and the Academy, typical for most young people.
I'm sure this book will be fun for adults but most children will surely enjoy Summer's klutziness as she begins to suspect she doesn't have any super powers. It's chapters are short and it would make a great read-aloud book for younger children.