Ellie Engle Saves Herself

Publisher: Scholastic

Twelve-year-old Ellie is an ordinary Black girl who loves comic books and hanging out with her best friend Abby. But when a surprise earthquake shakes her town, her life is no longer ordinary. She has superpowers, just like the heroes in her beloved comics. Specifically, she has the power to bring plants and animals back to life. Yet there’s always a price to pay for superpowers, and when a video of her powers goes viral, it seems that Abby might not be the friend that Ellie always thought she was. Can Ellie find a way to navigate school, friendship battles and strange powers that she can’t control?

Written with real warmth and humour, this story of a shy girl suddenly thrust into the spotlight is heart-warming and thought-provoking. It touches on many themes with an assured touch, including bullying, sexuality (Ellie realises that she doesn’t ever have crushes on boys), friendship dynamics, the toxicity of social media and, of course, the fact that with great power comes great responsibility. Although this is set in America, UK readers will recognise the feelings that Ellie battles with as she works out who she is, and who her friends are. Funny and empowering.

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