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Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero


Click Here To Purchase Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero

Author: William D. Smith

ISBN: 978-1-4327-2071-1


William D. Smith’s Becoming A Superhero presents itself as a semi- autobiography or a series of folksy reminiscences set just before and after the end of World War II.

Many young people are pretty fuzzy about the details of the social, political and economic climate of World War II America. Fortunately for young readers, Smith has stepped in by cleverly creating a quirky child narrator William or as he prefers to be called, Billy, to close this information gap.

Billy is nine years old who lives in Coaldale, a small mining town in Pennsylvania who aspires to become an American superhero. He is quite appealing and resourceful, even if he is a little prone to accidents.

As our narrative unfolds, Billy decides that he can fly, just like his hero Superman. All he has to do is to put on a cape and jump from a ledge of a window. His alter ego, William, warns him not to try such a stunt, however, Billy is determined to prove his point and as expected, the repercussions are disastrous, as Billy winds up with very sore leg.

From here we follow Billy’s young life as he recognizes that becoming a superhero is not as easy as it seems and, as we read, it is packed with many events and mishaps such as being flattened up by someone who is considerably bigger than himself, nearly being arrested and night fishing in his camp’s outhouse.

Billy’s alter ego reminds him that that before becoming a superhero he must scrutinize his virtues as well as some new superhero rules, as slavery isn’t right, something he picked up from reading Huckleberry Finn, the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi that problems should be solved peacefully, the importance of deductive reasoning that is used by Dick Tracy in solving crimes, always to do the right thing as pointed out to him by his friend Louise and the Wizard’s rule in that you must have courage, a heart, and a brain. 

Having Billy narrate the story through a series of recollections gives it an extremely intimate feeling, one which young readers can easily relate to and even wanting to experience more of him. There is also believability in that Billy’s family seem truly real with their blemishes while never losing sight of the emotional ties that unite them.

In addition, Smith has done an admirable job of interweaving his material as Billy shares his experiences of child growing up in America in the mid 1940s and at the same time learning something about ethics and values. In fact, the book even provides a provocative jumping-off point for further discussion of morals and principles. 

Although Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero is billed as children’s literature, adults who grew up in America during the 1940s will also take pleasure in its reading as they can easily identify with many of Billy’s trials and tribulations and they will probably walk away with a smile on their faces. What is more, Smith’s dry humor permeates the story with a warm appreciation of the difficulties of ordinary family life during this era. 

William Smith is in his forty-eighth year of teaching, first as an elementary teacher and subsequently as a teacher of prospective teachers. He is presently an adjunct instructor at Ocean Community College in Toms River, New Jersey where he teaches education and psychology courses.

Click Here To Read Norm's Interview With William Smith

Click Here To Purchase Becoming A Superhero: Adventures of An American Superhero

The above review was contributed by: The Publisher & Editor of, Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, Retired Title Attorney: Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily, the couple meld Norm's words with Lily's art. To check out their travel site click on   Click here to view Norm’s Reviews & Interviews.

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