What Would Your Superpower Be?

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by children’s author, librarian, and mother, Jacqueline Jules.

What Would Your Superpower Be?

My youngest child felt certain that his latest pair of shoes would give him the power to run faster than he ever had before. My own boys used to race around shoe stores, testing new sneakers for speed. In my fifteen years as an elementary school librarian, I admired countless pairs of shiny new sneakers pointed out to me by proud little fingers. It’s a fantasy children share all over the world.

But what would happen if the daydream of running faster actually came true? How would your life change if you owned a pair of super-powered sneakers? Would it improve your life or complicate it? Would you tell your friends? Would you use super speed to play sports?

These are some of the questions I considered as I began Zapato Power, a transitional chapter book series featuring Freddie Ramos, a boy with super-powered purple shoes and superhero dreams. Each book includes

-a mystery,

-a rescue enabled by super speed, and

-Freddie’s running commentary on the best way to achieve his superhero goals.

It is my hope that young readers everywhere will connect with Freddie’s aspirations and imagine the challenges and pleasures of having super speed.

I also hope that parents and teachers will have fun discussing superhero fantasies with their children. Here are some questions you can ask to get the superhero conversation started. [printable version here]

  • If you could have just one superpower, what would it be?
  • Would you like to be invisible? What would you do?
  • Would you like super strength? Super hearing? Super eyesight?
  • What are the pros and cons of each possible superpower?
  • Would super speed be more useful than super sight?
  • How would it feel to fly?

After talking about the best superpower to have, you can get into deeper questions like:

  • Would you keep your superpower secret from family and/or friends?
  • Would you enjoy doing good deeds even if no one knew you were responsible?
  • Would you be willing to help someone you did not like?
  • Would it be hard not to use your superpower to win a contest or athletic game?
  • Would you use your superpower to stop bullies?
  • Would having a superpower change how you feel about yourself?
  • Would the world be a better place if every city had a superhero?

The next three questions would be fun to write about in a journal:

  • If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself?
  • What kind of costume would you wear?
  • What kind of adventures would you have?

Indulging in fantasies ignites young imaginations, but it also validates a very real need children have to dream big and feel important. By discussing superhero dreams, you give children a forum to evaluate what they value most and how they might behave in a position of power. It’s a healthy and exciting way to encourage communication and creativity.

BIO: Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off and its sequels, Freddie Ramos Springs into Action and Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue. A fourth book in the series, Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash will be released in spring 2012. Jacqueline is also a blogger at Pencil Tips Writing Workshop, a group blog of children’s authors sharing practical tips and observations on the art of writing.


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