Hidden Figures meets Wonder Woman in this action-packed, comic-inspired adventure about a brilliant girl coder who discovers she’s part of a superhero trifecta!
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 great, caped crusaders during World War I 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 as one of the government’s special “puzzlers.”
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, both of whom share personal experiences that amplify their convictions about justice. First, Josie, Akiko, and Mae bond over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Fantomah to Zenobia to the Black Cat. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest (and youngest!) superheroes in town. As the girls’ abilites 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 have gone missing in recent history.
Kate Hannigan is a noted author with a special passion for stories that empower girls and women. Her picture book biography, A Lady Has the Floor, received four starred reviews, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection, and was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “an excellent, well-researched model of its genre, which will inspire children to do whatever they desire in life, no matter what immediate restrictions exist.” In addition to the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction, The Detective’s Assistant also received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and BCCB, and was a Booklist Editor’s Choice; a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book; a Nerdy Book Club award winner; an Amelia Bloomer List title; a Chicago Public Library Best Book; and a Mighty Girl Top Pick for Tweens and Teens. Hannigan recently presented at NCTE on “Our Mighty Girls,” about girl power in middle grade fiction, and was a judge for 2018’s Golden Kite Awards. Between her active presence on social media (@KateChicago), her work as founder of the Hyde Park/South Side Chicago chapter of SCBWI, and as an busy conference speaker, Kate is an involved, vocal, and respected member of the kid lit community. Visit her online at KatesBooks.com.