Kids love superheroes, but I’ve found that the superhero plot is lacking in books that aren’t comics or graphic novels. I’ve only read a handful of middle grade books about superheroes, so I did a deep dive to see what’s available for readers who like stories like these. The result is this list. I’ve rounded up some of the best titles, including one about a boy with a photographic memory and a graphic novel about a girl training to be a supervillain. These books are adventurous, funny, and fast-paced — kids will love them!
Best Middle Grade Books About Superheroes
Here are 30 of the best middle grade books about superheroes:
Katie the Catsitter
Published: January 5, 2021
Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp–something that’s way out of Katie and her mom’s budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way to earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting. First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they’re not exactly . . . normal cats. Also, why is Madeline always out EXACTLY when the city’s most notorious villain commits crimes?! Is it possible that Katie’s upstairs neighbor is really a super villain? Can Katie wrangle a whole lot of wayward cats, save a best friendship (why is Beth barely writing back? And who’s this boy she keeps talking about?!), AND crack the biggest story in the city’s history? Some heroes have capes . . . Katie has cats!
Diana: Princess of the Amazons
Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she’s beginning to feel a little alone. Though she has a loving mother and many “aunties,” she is an only child. In fact, she’s the only child on the entire island!
After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can’t seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman…yet, anyway. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she encounters the unexpected!
Amanda Price adores all things bug-related―from spiders to mantises―like, seriously loves them. Unfortunately most of her fellow sixth-graders do not share her invertebrate obsession. They’re grossed out by it. Especially Amanda’s ex-best friend, Emily, who thinks Amanda is creepy weird.
But when mysterious invaders menace the town of Oyster Cove and take both Amanda and Emily’s mothers captive, Amanda unexpectedly develops amazing insectile powers! Newly equipped with antennae and a glistening exoskeleton she uncovers a secret that changes everything.
Now Amanda has to act fast or her town and her mom are doomed! There’s just one complication…she needs Emily’s help.
Suddenly Amanda’s worst enemy becomes her best ally, but working together may be even harder than saving their town from being squashed like a…well…
BUG GIRL. She’s got the buzz.
The Unforgettable Logan Foster
Published: January 18, 2022
Logan Foster has pretty much given up on the idea of ever being adopted. It could have something to with his awkward manner, his photographic memory, or his affection for reciting curious facts, but whatever the cause, Logan and his “PP’s” (prospective parents) have never clicked.
Then everything changes when Gil and Margie arrive. Although they aren’t exactly perfect themselves—Gil has the punniest sense of humor and Margie’s cooking would have anyone running for the hills—they genuinely seem to care.
But it doesn’t take Logan long to notice some very odd things about them. They are out at all hours, they never seem to eat, and there’s a part of the house that is protected by some pretty elaborate security.
No matter what Logan could have imagined, nothing prepared him for the truth: His PP’s are actually superheroes, and they’re being hunted down by dastardly forces. Logan’s found himself caught in the middle in a massive battle and the very fate of the world may hang in the balance. Will Logan be able to find a way to save the day and his new family?
Green Lantern: Legacy
Published: February 4, 2020
Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother’s store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he’s about to embark on.
When Tai inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he soon finds out it’s more than it appears. Suddenly he’s being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he’s forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his ba’s legacy.
Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded?
Born to Be Bad (Mischief and Mayhem #1)
Published: June 15, 2021
Mischief and her side-cat Mayhem are your respectably heinous villains. They’ll spoil new movies, steal cake from parties they weren’t invited to, and hit the good citizens where it’ll dirty them most—their toilet paper. But before Mischief and Mayhem were ever supervillains, they were just Missy and Gizmo, fresh recruits at superhero boot camp.
Except Missy lied on her hero application and has exactly zero superpowers, just her brainpower. Humiliated when caught and kicked out, she has only one fellow camp recruit who is willing to stand by her—Melvira.
Unbeknownst to others, Melvira has her own villainous agenda, and it involves helping Missy cross the line into villainy as a new alter ego, Mischief. Something about Melvira doesn’t sit right with Missy, and soon she’ll be called upon to battle her former best friend…but will Missy be able to face the friend who was once her defender?
Batman and Robin and Howard
Published: November 9, 2021
To Damian Wayne, there is nothing more important than protecting the streets of Gotham City as Robin. But when he makes a critical mistake while out on patrol, Damian finds himself benched. And what’s more, Damian’s dad, Bruce Wayne-a.k.a. Batman-decides that starting over in a new school will be just the distraction Damian needs from his superhero routine. Certain that Gotham Metro Academy has nothing to teach him, Damian is completely unprepared for the challenge he finds in Howard-the smartest and most athletic kid in school. The boys’ rivalry is instantaneous and fierce…and both are sure only one of them can be the best in their class.
Zatanna & the House of Secrets
Published: February 18, 2020
Welcome to the magical, mystical, topsy-turvy world of the House of Secrets, where Zatanna embarks on a journey of self-discovery and adventure…all with her pet rabbit, Pocus, at her side.
Zatanna and her stage magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures-it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids. Not that Zatanna cares, though, because she is perfectly content.
But at school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully and everything changes- including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home.
Published: April 14, 2020
Piper Pájaro and Sloane MacBrute are two 13-year-old girls with very different lives but very similar secrets. Popular, outgoing Piper is strong-like, ripping-the-doors-off-cars strong. She longs to be a superhero, even if she tends to leave massive messes in her wake. Sloane, on the other hand, is snarky and super-smart. Like, evil-genius smart. To help her family, she has to put those smarts to use for her villainous grandfather.
When a mission to steal an experimental technological device brings the two girls face to face with each other, the device sparks-and the two girls switch bodies! Now they must live in each other’s shoes as they figure out a way to switch back. Anti/Hero is a story that explores what makes a hero, how one can find friendship where it’s unexpected, and what it means to walk in another person’s shoes…literally!
Epic Zero 7: Tales of a Long Lost Leader
Published: September 27, 2020
Elliott Harkness is now the leader of Next Gen, his very own team of preteen superheroes! But when they try to stop a powerful Meta villain from attacking Keystone City, Elliott discovers they’re in way over their heads, resulting in absolute disaster!
Elliott’s parents want Next Gen to disband for everyone’s safety, but Elliott is determined to prove his team is just as good as the Freedom Force. Elliott just wants some space to work things out, but he never expected his wish to come true, because everyone age fifteen and older suddenly vanishes from the face of the Earth! What happened to all of the grown-ups? And who is trying to rule this new, kid-focused planet? But that’s not all, Elliott’s sister Grace is about to turn fifteen, and no one knows what will happen to her when she does!
With the responsibility of leading the next generation of heroes, will Elliott become the epic hero he’s always wanted to be–or will he always be just an Epic Zero?
Published: June 23, 2020
Primer introduces a brand-new superhero with a colorful array of superpowers.
Ashley Rayburn is an upbeat girl with a decidedly downbeat past. Her father is a known criminal who now sits in federal prison, but still casts a shadow over Ashley’s life. Ashley has bounced from foster home to foster home and represents a real challenge to the social workers who try to help her-not because she’s inherently bad, but because trouble always seems to find her.
Ashley’s latest set of (presumably short-term) foster parents are Kitch and Yuka Nolan. Like Ashley, Kitch is an artist, while Yuka is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. And it’s Yuka’s latest top-secret project that has her concerned.
Developed for the military, it’s a set of body paints that, when applied to the wearer, grant them a wide range of special powers. Fearful that this invention will be misused, Yuka sneaks the set of paints home.
Ashley comes home from school one day with her new friend Luke and, thinking that the Nolans have purchased a surprise gift for her upcoming birthday, finds the set of paints. It isn’t long before she realizes that she’s stumbled upon something much bigger…and a lot more dangerous. Although she uses her newly discovered powers for good, it’s not long before the military becomes wise to what happened to their
Sidekicks: A Graphic Novel
Published: December 29, 2015
Captain Amazing, the hometown hero of Metro City, is so busy catching criminals that he rarely has time for his pets — he hasn’t even noticed they’ve been developing superpowers of their own!
So when Captain Amazing announces he needs a sidekick, his eager pets — a dog, a hamster, and a chameleon — all decide to audition for the part and a chance for one-on-one time with the Captain. But while each pet is focused on winning the coveted sidekick spot, an even bigger battle in Metro City is about to unleash…
Dr. Havoc, Captain Amazing’s long-time nemesis, is hatching up a new scheme, and the Captain’s found himself in serious trouble. Can the warring pets put their squabbles aside to save the day? Will the return of a forgotten friend help them in their time of need? Or will this be the end for Captain Amazing?
Miles Morales: Shock Waves
Published: June 1, 2021
Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’ fundraiser. Who is behind the disappearance, and how does that relate to Spider-Man? A true middle-grade graphic novel starring one of Marvel’s most popular characters, bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds (Opposite of Always) and Eisner award-nominated artist Pablo Leon (Refugees) create a riveting story that will connect with new and well-versed comics readers alike.
Black Canary: Ignite
Published: October 29, 2019
Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she’s going. First, she’ll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she’ll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they’ll need to agree on a band name.
When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah’s goals and threatens her friends and family, she’ll learn more about herself, her mother’s secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life.
Published: June 19, 2018
When Murph Cooper begins his new school several weeks into the year, he can’t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it’s not because he’s worried about where to sit, making friends, and fitting in. It’s because his mom has accidentally enrolled him at a school for superheroes. And unlike his fellow students, who can control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever.
But Murph’s totally normal abilities might just be what the world needs. Because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans . . . and when he comes after the best and the brightest, it’s up to Murph to be the real hero.
The Super Life of Ben Braver
Published: March 6, 2018
It all started with a peanut butter cup . . .
which leads Ben Braver to a secret school for kids with super abilities.
Ben has never had any special powers―and maybe never will. But could this be his chance to become the superhero he’s always dreamed of?
Leon the Extraordinary: A Graphic Novel
Published: October 4, 2022
Leon is an ordinary kid who becomes extraordinary when he fights a supervillain to save his school!
In the city where Leon lives, superheroes — and supervillains — are commonplace. So how does an ordinary kid like Leon, who has no superpowers himself, become the superhero he wants to be? When all his classmates suddenly become obsessed with a new phone app that turns them into zombies, Leon gets his chance to prove that using his brain and following his heart can save the day.
Published: August 6, 2019
Josie O’Malley does a lot to help out Mam after her father goes off to fight the Nazis, but she wishes she could do more—like all those caped heroes who now seem to have disappeared. If Josie can’t fly and control weather like her idol, Zenobia, maybe she can put her math smarts to use cracking puzzles for the government.
After an official tosses out her puzzler test because she’s a girl, it soon becomes clear that an even more top-secret agency has its eye on Josie, along with two other applicants: Akiko and Mae. The trio bonds over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Hauntima to Zenobia to Hopscotch. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest (and youngest!) superheroes in town. As the girls’ abilities slowly begin to emerge, they learn that their skills will be crucial in thwarting a shapeshifting henchman of Hitler, and, just maybe, in solving an even larger mystery about the superheroes who’ve recently gone missing.
Study Hall of Justice (Secret Hero Society #1)
Published: January 26, 2016
Young Bruce Wayne is the new kid at Ducard Academy, a prep school for gifted middle school students. Bruce finds out pretty quickly that he doesn’t fit in: the faculty seems to not just encourage villainous behavior from its students, but reward it. He makes friends with two other outsiders, farm boy Clark Kent and the regal Diana Prince. The three band together to form a detective squad to find out why all of these extraordinary kids have been brought together at Ducard Academy, and to see just what the faculty is plotting. An all-new series from the Eisner-nominated team behind Batman Lil’ Gotham (Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs), Secret Hero Society uses comics, journal entries, and doodles to reimagine Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as three students in the same school. They’ll try their best to solve their case, but just because you’re faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or an Amazonian princess, it doesn’t mean you get to stay up past eleven.
Published: January 21, 2014
Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets a superpower. No one knows why, and no one questions it. All the Baileys know is that it’s their duty to protect the world from the evil, supervillainous Johnson family. *shake fists*
But when Rafter Bailey and his brother Benny get their superpowers, they’re, well . . . super-lame. Rafter can strike matches on polyester, and Benny can turn his innie belly button into an outie. Along with Rafter’s algebra class nemesis, Juanita Johnson, Rafter and Benny realize that what they thought they knew about superheroes and supervillains may be all wrong.
And it’s up to the three of them to put asides their differences and make things right. They may not have great powers, but together, they’re almost super.
Squirrel Meets World
Published: February 7, 2017
Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel! After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal.
Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy.
Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?
Published: June 25, 2013
Drew Bean might be a part of a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn’t mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds.
Drew is possessed of super senses–his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet–making him literally the most sensitive kid in school. And then there’s his best friend, Jenna–their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren’t able to throw an eighteen-wheeler the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: middle school is pretty much a drag regardless of whether you have superpowers.
But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica and Drew’s two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It’s what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?
My Brother Is A Superhero
Published: July 21, 2015
Behind every great superhero is a very angry younger brother.
Luke Parker was just your average comic book fan until his boring, teacher’s pet, helps-old-ladies-across-the-street brother Zack got turned into a superhero. Luke can’t believe the unfairness of it all—he’s the one with the encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Ant-Man to Wolverine! At least he can help Zack—aka Star Guy—with all the important parts of becoming a superhero, like using his newfound powers and deciding whether or not to wear a cape.
But when Star Guy gets into super-size trouble, it’s up to Luke—and his intrepid neighbor, Lara—to rescue his big brother and, with a little luck, help him save the world.
Published: April 5, 2018
10-year-old Aurora Beam lives at home with her utterly unremarkable family… until the day she sees her little sister being picked on in the playground and suddenly beams of light shoot out of her fingers! It’s time for her parents to drop a life-changing bombshell. Mum is a secret superhero, fighting crime across the globe while Dad looks after the kids at home.
As Aurora’s own powers come into play, will she be able to balance her new super skills training with school? Will she be able to keep it all a secret from her friends? And when her mum’s evil twin pops up, will Aurora think that being a super VILLAIN might be more fun…?
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Published: September 24, 2013
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by artist K. G. Campbell.
Public School Superhero
Published: March 16, 2015
Inner city middle school student Kenny Wright imagines himself as a superhero-but when he faces peer pressure and bullying, can he find his strength in real life?
Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he’s Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he’s a chess club devotee known as a “Grandma’s Boy,” a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize the real strength and goodness inside himself? Or will peer pressure force him to make the worst choice of his life?
The Cloak Society
Published: October 2, 2012
The first in a thrilling, action-packed middle grade trilogy, which School Library Journal declared “will likely find the same wide appeal as Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books.
The Cloak Society: An elite organization of supervillains graced with extraordinary powers. Ten years ago the Cloak Society was defeated by Sterling City’s superheroes, the Rangers of Justice, and vanished without a trace. But the villains have been waiting for the perfect moment to resurface. . . .
Twelve-year-old Alex Knight is a dedicated junior member of Cloak who has spent years mastering his telekinetic superpowers and preparing for the day when Cloak will rise to power again. Cloak is everything he believes in.
But during his debut mission, Alex does the unthinkable: He saves the life of a Junior Ranger of Justice. Even worse . . . she becomes his friend. And the more time he spends with her, the more Alex wonders what, exactly, he’s been fighting for.
Tiny Titans, Volume 1: Welcome to the Treehouse
Published: February 10, 2009
You’ll see what life is like for the very young heroes of Sidekick Elementary and learn what could go wrong when the kids of Sidekick Elementary spend an afternoon in the Batcave in this new graphic novel.
These all ages tales from the DC Universe, beautifully written and illustrated by Art Baltazar and Franco, will entertain new readers and seasoned fans of comics.
Published: October 27, 2009
Superheroes soar in this promising debut—and they’re kids!
Twelve-year-old Daniel, the new kid in town, soon learns the truth about his nice—but odd—new friends: one can fly, another can turn invisible, yet another controls electricity. Incredible. The superkids use their powers to secretly do good in the town, but they’re haunted by the fact that the moment they turn thirteen, their abilities will disappear—along with any memory that they ever had them. Is a memory-stealing supervillain sapping their powers?
The answers lie in a long-ago meteor strike, a World War II–era comic book (Fantastic Futures, starring the first superhero, Johnny Noble), the green-flamed Witch Fire, a hidden Shroud cave, and—possibly, unbelievably—“powerless” regular-kid Daniel himself.
The Astounding Broccoli Boy
Published: September 8, 2015
Rory Rooney likes to be prepared for anything. That sort of planning pays off when you’re the smallest kid in your class. Rory is even prepared (mostly) for Tommy-Lee, his nemesis, who starts most days by throwing Rory out of the back of the school bus. Don’t be scared, his favorite book says, be prepared. And Rory aims to be. What’s more heroic than that?
But Rory isn’t prepared when he suddenly and inexplicably turns green and finds himself stuck in an experimental hospital ward. The doctors are just as baffled as Rory is, and that’s when he begins to wonder: What if this isn’t caused by his genes, or a virus, or something he ate? What if it’s something even more extraordinary? After all, more than a few superheroes’ careers began when they turned green. Could this be a sign that he’s meant for something greater? Rory is going to find out—and that’s going to start with escaping from the hospital.
There they are: 30 of the best tween superhero books. Which of these have you read and loved? Which ones did I miss?
What do you think? Leave a comment