Boots (League of Secret Heroes, Book Three) by Kate Hannigan, illustrated by Patrick Spaziante. Aladdin, 2021. 9781534439177
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Historical fantasy
What did you like about the book? Josie, Mae and Akiko are back in the exciting conclusion of this trilogy about a trio of young superheroes, known as the Infinity Trinity. The girls are trying to find a way to get to Paris, where they have reason to believe many of their beloved superhero role models have been imprisoned by the Nazis. First they have to stop in Chicago to check on Mae’s pilot aunts. When the aunts are kidnapped by the nefarious supervillain the Metallic Falcon, the girls teleport to Avenger Field, the training base for the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), to seek help from the likes of Jacqueline Cochrane. The girls soon find themselves en route to London, where they spend time in a bunker during an air raid, and engage in an airborne fight with the Falcon, who strips them of their superpowers before pursuing them to Paris. Having deciphered a set of codes that have led them to the Eiffel Tower, they begin a dizzying ascent up the tower’s stairs, dodging Nazi soldiers all the way, to the very top, where they discover Gustave Eiffel’s secret apartment. Without their superpowers, they will need to use every trick they know to save Zenobia and the other superheroes as well as Mae’s aunts.
This is a fast-paced adventure full of high-flying battles and nerve-wracking narrow escapes, as well as historical elements regarding the role of women in espionage and the military during World War II, and a worthy conclusion to an interesting series. Occasional chapters are told in black and white comic book panels, which are a little challenging to follow (probably because of the lack of color) but certainly serve to enhance the superhero element of the story. Josie once again narrates the book (despite the focus shifting to Mae’s backstory) with an authentic tone. An informative and extensive author’s note provides details about the real historical figures and events referenced in the book, and a list of resources for further research is included.
Anything you did not like about the book? The first two books had more of a balance between the exposition and the intense action; this one doesn’t give the reader much of a chance to catch a breath.
To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who enjoyed the first two books will be excited to see how the story ends. The series will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, superhero stories, or spy novels, as well as those who like any of the various Rick Riordan Presents series.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.
Date of review: November 9, 2021