The best superpower books that aren't about superheroes: unleashing new worlds and hidden talents

Why am I passionate about this?

I love escapist fantasy and science fiction. I like stories that stretch the imagination and take me places I’ve never been. I want to be lost and be completely confused after taking my eyes off the written word, still in the fantasy world of the story. My picks are those kinds of stories. Worlds where anything is possible, and the characters have skills and powers which can help them achieve anything, something I want for my own characters.


I wrote...

Children of the Elementi

By Ceri Clark, Alison DeLuca (editor),

Book cover of Children of the Elementi

What is my book about?

In a world where magic and technology coexist, Jake, the last in line to the Elementi High-King throne, is transported to an alien world to be raised with no knowledge of his royal past. Meanwhile, Mirim, the caretaker of the mysterious Citadel that hosts the dying crystal mind of the Matrix, the source of the Elementi's powers, travels to Earth to convince Jake to accept his destiny.

As Jake and Mirim embark on a journey to reunite all five royal heirs and their elemental powers, they must also navigate their own personal struggles and evade the fire demon that is hot on their trail.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Pegasus in Flight

Ceri Clark Why did I love this book?

Peter Reidinger is confined to his bed because of a life-altering accident that renders him unable to walk.

While recuperating in the hospital, he uncovers a remarkable ability to harness generators to awaken his dormant telekinesis skills. As someone who shares a connection with a wheelchair-bound individual, I found myself closely relating to Peter's struggles.

With his new abilities and an unrelenting determination, he defies all odds to venture into space and exceed everyone's expectations. This mesmerizing tale, blends elements of science-fiction, fantasy, and gripping adventure to deliver a truly unforgettable read.

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pegasus in Flight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Let Anne McCaffrey, storyteller extraordinare and New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, open your mind to new worlds and new concepts: telepathy and tele kinetics. Worlds where amazing gifts can lead to power and persecution. Perfect for fans of David Eddings, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Adams.

'Anne McCaffrey, one of the queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants' - THE TIMES
'One of those can't put it down books' -- ***** Reader review
'Anne McCaffrey does it again' -- ***** Reader review
'So exciting' -- ***** Reader review
'Absolutely fantastic!' --…


Book cover of Beldan's Fire

Ceri Clark Why did I love this book?

Although Jobber possesses the rare and powerful gift of fire, it comes with a heavy price - death by hanging, as is the fate of anyone discovered to have one of the Gifts of Oran.

These abilities stem from the elements themselves, and those who possess them must keep their powers hidden.

What sets this book apart is the inclusion of several strong female characters, defying the typical "sole hero" archetype. However, my favorite has always been Jobber, whose tomboyish nature resonated with me on a personal level.

By Midori Snyder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beldan's Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Two hundred years ago, the Fire Queen destroyed her rival queens of Earth, Air, and Water in the fateful Burning and took power over Oran. No child with a trace of the elemental magic was allowed to live. Years later, the country still trembles under her oppression. But now there are rumors of hope. Four young women escaped—, four who have the powers of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air—, and are even now finding each other. At the same time, a ragtag army of artists and singers, orphans and vagrants, thieves and knifewielders is stealing into the city. Their sign…


Book cover of Witch Week

Ceri Clark Why did I love this book?

By chance, I stumbled upon the Chrestomanci series after exhausting all the books that were available on the Library Van.

Initially, I had been deterred by the covers of the novels. Victorian dresses on the cover didn’t appeal to me at the time, but the story became the gateway to Witch Week. This is set in an English boarding school, but unlike Malory Towers, it has magic in it.

It starts off in the ‘real’ world but gets going in the end. In this dimension witches get burned and when someone sends a note to say someone is a witch in class, well, we all know what happened in Salem…

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Witch Week as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Glorious new rejacket of a Diana Wynne Jones favourite, featuring Chrestomanci - now a book with extra bits!

SOMEONE IN THIS CLASS IS A WITCH

When the note, written in ordinary ballpoint, turns up in the homework books Mr Crossley is marking, he is very upset. For this is Larwood House, a school for witch-orphans, where witchcraft is utterly forbidden. And yet magic keeps breaking out all over the place - like measles!

The last thing they need is a visit from the Divisional Inquisitor. If only Chrestomanci could come and sort out all the trouble.


Book cover of Matilda

Ceri Clark Why did I love this book?

During my childhood, I was an avid reader and not a little lazy, I was desperate to have Matilda’s powers.

For days you’d catch me trying to make a pencil move off a table with the power of my mind. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t a genius like Matilda so it was never going to work.

Roald Dahl was a prolific and very funny writer. His ideas would spark the imagination like no other writer, and the fact the story is about a clever plucky girl, who wouldn’t want to read that?

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Matilda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Puffin Audiobooks presents Roald Dahl's Matilda, read by Kate Winslet. This audiobook features original music and sound design by Pinewood film studios.

Matilda Wormwood is an extraordinary genius with really stupid parents.

Miss Trunchbull is her terrifying headmistress who thinks all her pupils are rotten little stinkers.

But Matilda will show these horrible grown-ups that even though she's only small, she's got some very powerful tricks up her sleeve . . .

Kate Winslet's award-winning and varied career has included standout roles in Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland, Revolutionary Road and The Reader, for which she…


Book cover of A Wizard of Earthsea

Ceri Clark Why did I love this book?

The original boy wizard with a scar, A Wizard of Earthsea is a fantasy novel that has influenced writers to this day.

Sparrow Hawk/Ged is a boy with a lot of power and pride. As a result of both, he releases a great evil into the world which he has to defeat. It is a cautionary tale of the need to know thyself, and the dragons are a nice touch.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked A Wizard of Earthsea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with The Tombs of Atuan, The Furthest Shore and Tehanu

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge,…


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Ferry to Cooperation Island

By Carol Newman Cronin,

Book cover of Ferry to Cooperation Island

Carol Newman Cronin Author Of Ferry to Cooperation Island

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Sailor Olympian Editor New Englander Rum drinker

Carol's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

James Malloy is a ferry captain--or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by a "girl" named Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island’s daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a plan for a private golf course on wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, James is determined to stop such "improvements." But despite Brenton's nickname as "Cooperation Island," he's used to working solo. To keep historic trees and ocean shoreline open to all, he'll have to learn to cooperate with other islanders--including Captain Courtney, who might just morph from irritant to irresistible once James learns a secret that's been kept from him for years.

Ferry to Cooperation Island

By Carol Newman Cronin,

What is this book about?

Loner James Malloy is a ferry captain-or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by a girl named Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island's daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a private golf course staked out across wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, a Narragansett Indian, James is determined to stop such "improvements." But despite Brenton's nickname as "Cooperation Island," he's used to working solo. To keep rocky bluffs, historic trees, and ocean shoreline open to all, he'll have…


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