Trend-O-Matic: Super-powered

Puberty. It creeps into your life and turns everything you know inside out and upside down. Just as you’re getting a handle on the world, suddenly you’re clueless all over again. You’re changing, inside and out, and who knows if it’s for the better? Who can you trust? Who do you tell? At times, it’s like you’re living a double life, pretending to be together, normal and happy, while inside you’re all over the place.

Does this sound like being a super-hero? Maybe not. There’s no capes, spandex or gadgets. You can’t lift a car over your head or shoot lasers out of your eyeballs. But you do have power. Power to make decisions other people can’t make, power to ask questions, to embrace or ignore the past, to try on and throw away different identities.

There have always been stories about people with amazing powers. From the heroes of Greek and Roman mythology, to the caped crusaders of Marvel and DC comics, people have been fascinated with stories of larger-than-life characters learning to use larger-than-life abilities. It’s a way of taking the small and itty-bitty confusion of our own lives and blowing it up until it’s big enough to make some kind of sense out of, even if it’s spider-sense. Below are five of the best stories that YA writers are telling about superheroes.


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For Toby, Pete, Emily and Lorn, becoming a super-hero is as easy as point-and-click. During a freak lightning storm, our young friends stumble across ‘HERO.COM’, a strange website offering downloadable super powers. Is it a hoax? Only one way to find out, which Toby does when he clicks on an option and is, all of a sudden, able to climb the walls and ceiling like a spider! However, as Toby and his friends are about to learn, their powers come at a terrible price…


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Sam is a regular 14-year-old boy, until the day everyone over the age of 14 vanishes without a trace. Those who remain start developing unnatural powers. It’s up to Sam to band together with the other survivors and start unravelling the mystery. Is it a government experiment? Is it the end of the world? Sam doesn’t have time to waste. Soon, he’ll turn 15, and all things point to him disappearing just like the others…


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Max grew up in a laboratory, kept in a cage and experimented on by a shady group of scientists. She forged a bond with her fellow lab-rats and escaped, and now she and her eccentric family are on the run, using their special talents to evade the clutches of half-human, half-wolf agents called Erasers. When Angel, the youngest of the fugitives, is recaptured by the Erasers, Max has to find the courage to go back to the laboratory on a dangerous rescue mission…


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Thom Creed is the son of a superhero. He’s also gay. When he gets the opportunity to join The League, an elite team of masked crusaders, Thom jumps at the chance. However, it’s not long before he discovers that society’s worst prejudices are also at work in its heroes…


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Once there were heroes, but now they’re gone. Ten years after wonder vanished from the world, Danny and Collin discover the reason why, and the reason they are part of a conspiracy that threatens the future of humanity. To stop it, they must unravel the secret behind the missing superhumans, and awaken the powers sleeping within themselves.


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