Homeless middle schooler Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez is a smart kid who knows how to take care of herself in Wilksboro, Angel City’s worst neighborhood. When she and her friends find an alien artifact, she wants to pawn it so she can finally buy something to eat, but everyone else wants to see its capabilities. After one of her friends, Emma, acquires powers, Jesse’s quest for food is sidelined by the excitement over a new superhero.

Street Angel: Superhero for a Day is a fun read full of witty remarks, dumpster diving, and clumsy new superhero hijinks. The story’s quick pace will keep readers turning the pages. Jesse is a strong and relatable protagonist, and her dialogue and mannerism are reflective of her age. The contrast between Jesse’s difficult situation and the lives of her friends—who can afford to get wrapped up in the superhero excitement—begs the question of the role of superheroes in this world. If there is one complaint, it’s that this story could have been expanded in order to further explore this concept. It is clear from the efficient storytelling that Rugg has put quite a bit of thought into the setting and cast, and a longer plot would have allowed the reader to discover more about the role of superheroes in the setting.

Rugg’s colorful, energetic art captures the liveliness of Jesse and the other cast members, and the straightforward layout and images make it easy to follow the story. Rugg’s use of color and texture also conveys the contrast between the grittiness of Wilksboro and the seemingly ideal superheroes, whose actions, in many cases, do not accomplish anything meaningful.

Although the story is technically the third volume in a series, the story is self-contained so that readers can enjoy it without needing to read the first two volumes. In a promotional video, Rugg suggests that Street Angel is ideal for those ten and up. The reviewer tentatively agrees. Although there is a dead body and some implied bad language, nothing is ever explicit. That being said, given that content, it might be best to shelve Street Angel: Superhero for a Day in teen. Readers looking for a short, fun read will likely enjoy Street Angel: Superhero for a Day.

Street Angel: Superhero for a Day
by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca
ISBN: 9781534305533
Image, 2017

  • Megan

    | She/Her

    Features Writer

    Megan earned her MLIS from Simmons College and is currently the evening librarian at Bay State College in Massachusetts. She satisfies her voracious appetite for graphic novels and manga through regular visits to her local public libraries and puts her love of graphic novels to good use by adding to Bay State’s collection whenever possible. Megan maintains a personal blog, Ferret with a Strobe Light, where she discusses awesome books she’s read lately. When not engaged in reading or library work, she likes running, drinking tea, and working on her own stories and art.

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