“Remeber what I told you in training. The swords are a supplement to your weapons and powers, not a replacement. Dragon King is looking for a particular sword, one that legend says will grant the wielder invincible powers. I don't know if that is true or just ancient lore, but I do know that Dragon King will not stop until he finds it. When the sword is discovered, we will rally around the one in possession of it," Katana promised. "Though it is a single sword he wants to claim, we are and always will be a team. We will fight together and defend each other!"
~Katana, KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH
If you know someone, particularly little girls with stars in their eyes and dreams of being something big, who want a great middle grade series highlighting the female super heroes, then the DC Super Hero Girls series is where to go. Familiar faces fill the pages, SuperGirl, Katana, BatGirl, Amanda Waller as the Principal of the high school. Bigger than life characters are brought down to earth, humanized, shown in their tender and unsure teenage forms, which is such a great place for young girls to see them. Each book is unique, follows a specific character's personal journey, and in the latest novel, KATANA AT SUPER HERO HIGH out July 4th, we get to imagine a teenage Katana searching for answers.
Katana is skilled in martial arts, excels in most of her classes, and tries very hard to maintain the samari ways. But when she is suddenly and mysteriously tasked with the guardianship of a hundred samari swords, she is notably and understandably thrown off her game. Trying to unravel the mystery of the swords while balancing becoming captain of the fencing team and projects in her classes is a lot of burden for a teenage to manage as it is. But then on top of it a threat begins to arise that has ties to her family and the beloved grandmother whose story has been left incomplete in her heart. Katana struggles to define who she is as a person, as a hero, and wares with maintaining inner peace when the world is so very overwhelming.
Relatable, humanizing, and yet the storyline is still filled with adventure and fun quips between students in the hall. Middle graders will love seeing their favorite supers in this light, and I especially think they'll love how much many of the students are featured in each book. In a way this is Katana's story and her unique moment to shine, but at the same time in each book the girls' success is never achieved alone, but with the help of their classmates and friends. Girl power, friendship, and in the case of this particular book some AMAZING sword fighting scenes. (Fun fact, Lisa Yee actually took some classes so that she could represent the sword fighting in her writing with personal and realistic experience). This series is definitely on the 3rd and 4th grade end of the middle-grade spectrum, though I'll tell you that as a sort-of-sometimes grownup there were some scenes that I genuinely adored as well.
Pick up your Katanas, and hang out with the best Katana of them all. Check out KATANA AT SUPERHERO HIGH, available on July 4th!