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Katana at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls)

Review

Katana at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls)

In case you couldn’t tell by the same, Super Hero High is not like most high schools. Students like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and The Flash make up this school’s powerful student body. In the fourth installment of Lisa Yee’s DC Super Hero Girl’s series, KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH, readers follow Katana, the descendent of the first female Samurai superhero. Katana, who practices the traditions of the Samurai, has suddenly found herself entrusted with guarding one hundred ancient Samurai swords. With the help of her super friends, Katana must discover the secret behind these swords, her grandmother’s disappearance and maintain her position as captain of the fencing club --- all while fighting to protect Metropolis and Super Hero high from evil villains like Killer Croc. Oh, and on top of all that, scores of tiny creatures have invaded Super Hero High and are driving all the students and teachers crazy.

"KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH is one of the best books in the series so far. Though this novel is a quick read, it tells a thoughtful and enticing story that is sure to thrill young readers."

In previous installments of this series, the secondary characters always shined brighter than the protagonist, but that is not the case in Katana’s story. Katana stands on her own as a strong, intelligent and funny character who young readers are sure to relate to. One of the most interesting aspects of her story is Katana’s Japanese ancestry and her ties to the traditions of the Samurai. This novel weaves in Japanese history throughout its touching story about Katana and her relationship to her grandmother, who was a powerful Samurai like Katana.

KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH reads a lot like a comic book without the art, meaning there is a major emphasis on dialogue and action and almost none on setting. Readers are left to fill in setting and character descriptions for themselves, or use their knowledge of the DC pantheon to fill in the gaps. However, since these novels coincide with the popular animated series, using imagination to fill in what is missing should not be a problem for most readers.

With this newest installment it seems like Yee has found her stride --- KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH is one of the best books in the series so far. Though this novel is a quick read, it tells a thoughtful and enticing story that is sure to thrill young readers. While this novel’s focus is on famous female characters in the DC Comics universe, that does not mean that this story is for female readers only -- all young readers can find something to love in this action-packed, character-driven story. Readers older than 13 or 14 may find this book to be a little too simple, however. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that high school students act like and use language meant for middle-grade readers, but that can be easily overlooked. I loved that this novel features a diverse cast of characters and explored the power of friendship, teamwork, family and finding power within one’s own self. These young superheroes learn to save the day without the help --- or even the mention -- of DC’s biggest heroes like Superman and Batman. My fingers are crossed that novels focusing on Miss Martian or Harley Quinn are up next.

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on July 7, 2017

Katana at Super Hero High (DC Super Hero Girls)
by Lisa Yee