When an eleven-year-old Chicago-area boy becomes a reluctant superhero, it’s up to him to prove his worth before it’s too late in this action-packed middle-grade magical realism story. It’s not the usual brute force vs. brute force, but is full of humor, teamwork, friendship, and mentoring.
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SKOKIE, Illinois, March 3, 2022-- Eleven-year-old Kyle Alexander is a scrawny fifth-grade boy who is afraid of heights, and fights and flights. He’s also very clumsy. He’s bullied at school where he and his best friend, Carlos, are the new kids. But he becomes Chicago’s newest superhero, thanks to a magic ring he found in a specially-marked box of cereal. It was supposed to be a toy copy of a ring belonging to a mighty superhero, but somehow, he got the real thing. He becomes known as “Cockroach,” named by a gang of nasty crooks who mock him for his odd costume and general ineptness.
Cockroach has doubts about his new abilities, and that’s bad news. The Grizzly Bear Gang is out to hurt superheroes and the school bully is after him. Author Steve Frederick masterfully serves up a smashing thrill ride with The Secrets of the Superhero’s Ring, the electrifying follow-up in his middle-grade Cockroach the Superhero series.
The magic ring, which belonged to the deceased brother of Kyle’s idol, Captain Nightmare, has great powers that Kyle and his pal Carlos have yet to completely understand. Captain Nightmare had safeguarded that ring for years, waiting for someone worthy of its powers, and he’s not happy that the ring is on the finger of a kid.
Kyle, or Cockroach, creates a costume from a T-shirt and sweatpants that are too small, his old blankie, swim goggles, and a baseball cap. He doesn’t look the part of a gutsy superhero. Plus, he’s scared to use the ring’s powers. He’s nothing like the strong and courageous superheroes around Chicago. They include the amazing Captain Nightmare from Pluto: Lady Raven, half woman and half raven, the product of an army secret weapons test gone wrong; and TreeMan, the leader of the superheroes, who ate radioactive acorns near a nuclear power plant and can transform into different kinds of trees.
When Kyle gets a superhero alert on his Super-H phone—the mobile of superheroes—he learns that the superheroes are out to thwart a robbery in progress, committed by Kodiak and the Grizzly Bears. But the superheroes are worried that they’re setting a trap for Captain Nightmare, who is vulnerable to exposure to the element Laxitivium, found only on the planet Uranus. Cockroach comes to the scene to observe the capture, but unwittingly arrives first and is about to be pummeled by the Grizzlies. He manages to escape, but in the process, collides with Captain Nightmare, leaving him unconscious and at the mercy of the Grizzlies and their Laxitivium powder, which takes away his powers. Cockroach, feels humiliated and dejected for letting the Grizzlies get away, decides he is not made of the stuff of superheroes, and quits.
TreeMan, his superhero mentor, seeks him out and tells him,
“Being a superhero isn’t easy. You feel fear like never before. Crooks want you dead. It makes a mess of your life. You’re tired. You want to give up. But you don’t. Because people need you.”
Kyle and his friend Carlos strive to unlock the full powers of the ring to make Cockroach stronger so he can face dangerous crooks. But they wonder if using those powers will put Kyle at risk if he’s not worthy of its powers. They wonder if perhaps the ring killed Captain Nightmare’s brother. But soon, Cockroach must choose to use those powers–or let superheroes die.
The world of superheroes gets an upgrade with the Cockroach the Superhero series. Middle-grade readers will love the fast-paced thrills, the chemistry between the characters, and the arresting magical realism in volume two, The Secrets of the Superhero’s Ring. Author Steve Frederick expertly weaves a story that is timeless, bringing together elements of self-discovery, resoluteness, and valor. The Secrets of the Superhero’s Ring is a perfect cross-market read for middle-grade and young adult readers alike, who are searching for the next enduring superhero classic.
If you would like more information about author Steve Frederick, The Secrets of Superhero’s Ring, and the Cockroach the Superhero series, please contact SteveThunderboltStories.com
or go to https://thunderboltstories.com/. Both books are now available at the just-mentioned website. The first book is currently available on Amazon; the second will be released there later this month. We hope to have them in bookstores soon.