"THE ULTRA VIOLETS," by Sophie Bell, Razorbill, $12.99, 256 words (f) (ages 8 and up)
Would you like to read a book with glamour, excitement and superheroes? Is purple one of your favorite colors? If so, then this book is for you. It's called "The Ultra Violets" by Sophie Bell and amazingly, is printed in purple ink.
The "Ultra Violets" is about four best friends who develop superpowers after being splattered by purple goo at a lab four years earlier.
Iris, the leader of the group, woke up one day with very violet hair and the power to change the color and design of anything, including animals.
Cheri is a girly-girl with several powers. She can instantly change her shoes into roller blades, communicate through thoughts and converse with any animal and is a math genius.
Scarlet is a tomboy who is able to make her legs become super elastic so they can kick fast and hard and jump really high. She is also a great ballet dancer who defeats enemies by kicking them from all angles and dancing on them until they surrender.
Opaline is lovable, huggable, super shy and sweet. However, she is jealous of her friends' superpowers as she searches for her own. Her actions take a surprising twist.
When Bell was asked to name her favorite character, she replied, "It's impossible to pick just one because I love them all and want the best for them. I love them all for different reasons."
Bell says she wrote the book because she thought the story of four normal girls who get superpowers needed to be told. Parts of the four main characters were based on people she knows. One was inspired by her niece, one reminded her of a future rock star, another has similarities to herself and the last was based on a friend she works with.
"When I first started talking with my editor and publisher about the book," she says, "it so happened that I was on a trip all the way over in Istanbul, Turkey, and it was snowing a blizzard. It was a very strange and exciting place to be."
The book took three months to write, writing being a skill she started developing at 8 or 9 years of age. The author lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and likes to shop for vintage clothes. Superpowers she would love to have are invisible flying and being able to control the weather.
In the book, the girls' task becomes quite an adventure as they must save Sync City from mutants developed in the BeauTek lab for evil purposes. Animals and insects are captured and then changed into dangerous hybrids of animals and people. Examples are Mantis Man, Too Tan Shark Man and Gig Big-Nosed Opossum.
The illustrator of the story is Chris Battle. The pictures he draws help describe the story. The mutant drawings are really funny. They are also printed in purple ink.
"The Ultra Violets" is a great book. It's fun that the story centers on regular friends who turn into unique super-girls. One of the best parts is when the girls defeat the Mantis Man by creating an instant wall in the park to stop him. Another fun thing is the animal communication that goes back and forth with Cheri.
The second Ultra Violets book is completed and will be called "Power To The Purple." It will be out in August; I wish it were tomorrow.
Ellie De Groote is in fourth grade.