NOT ALL HEROES
by Josephine Cameron
May 2021 – Farrar, Straus & Giroux / Macmillan (US)
Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings… And a blue body suit?
Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!
At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.
Josephine Cameron received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Maybe a Mermaid and A Dog-Friendly Town. She lives in Maine, where she writes, sings, and teaches music to kids. josephinecameron.com
PRAISE AND REVIEWS:
« With its clear, accessible writing, this suspenseful story masterfully juggles many topics: grief; self-assurance; the need for individual, collective, and systemic approaches to ableism, poverty, and other social ills; and the fine line between “extreme altruism” and self-aggrandizement. Never preachy, the story includes a suspenseful and satisfying climax involving a ring of coffee shop thieves, with every thread satisfyingly resolved. A perfect balance of morally complex and extremely fun. » —Kirkus, starred review