The Posterchildren: Origins

Rated 4.89/5 based on 9 reviews
Maillardet's Foundation for the Future of Humanity is widely accepted as being the premiere training facility for young posthumans. The Academy guides superpowered posterchildren through the training that they'll need if they want to become licensed public superheroes.Though they come from different backgrounds, Ernest, June, Mal, and Zip all have the same goal: surviving the school year. More

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About Kitty Burroughs

A twenty-five year old resident of Seattle, I spend most of my time enjoying the rain from a respectable distance (re: indoors). As a fan of comic books, I'm overly invested in people who wear spandex and habitually take bites out of crime. When I'm not reading or critiquing comics, I'm writing my own.

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Review by: Original Blue on July 13, 2013 :
It's an incredible book. Kitty Burroughs made a fantastic story that happens to include everything that is missing from YA fiction and the mainstream media. She also included themes of acceptance and support, coupled with action, friendship, feminism, and good old fashioned summer camp shenanigans. I love this book to death, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable read. Oh - be sure to check out The Timely Tales, some short stories set in the Posterverse which she's releasing on a monthly basis starting in October. :D Happy reading!
(reviewed 66 days after purchase)
Review by: Sam on May 26, 2013 :
Original story, and unapologetically Queer. I just wish I could have read this in high school! A great work and a credit to the author.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Review by: Kristen on May 18, 2013 :
Such an amazing, compelling, and diverse work! Each character has a unique voice and huge emotional depth, making you fall in love with everyone. The various facets of the superhero/poster world are fascinating and really refreshing to read. I haven't devoured a book this quickly in ages, and I already can't wait to see the next installment - it is thoroughly worth it.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Review by: swearbyallflowers on May 17, 2013 :
This book has basically everything you could ever want: a superhero high school, teenage feelings, a diverse cast of well-rounded characters who grow and develop believably... I could go on and on. While the book's biggest strength is in its characters and their interactions with each other, there's some pretty cool worldbuilding stuff going on as well. The book has the feeling of a loving tribute to superhero comics, but in my opinion is better-written and more interesting than most of the stuff that's going on the "big two" comics universes right now. Burroughs' unselfconscious commitment to diversity of all kinds - race, religion, gender, sexuality, body type, and more - is especially refreshing. A++.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
Review by: Bea S-R on May 17, 2013 :
Brilliant ideas, with a brilliant execution, a combination rather hard to come by nowadays. The world created here is beautiful, and very easy to imagine, and unless the reader is a robot, there is literally no way not to identify with one character or another. The fact that Ms. Borough took time to include a widely diverse range of people and living styles without it becoming the focus of the entire book makes the entire project connect with the real world in a way that most can't.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
Review by: Jessica on May 17, 2013 :
The Posterchildren is everything I've wanted in a superhero novel. It has great friendships that develop throughout the novel, the adults are useful mentors and guides rather than other books and comics feature superheroes, there's a very diverse cast of different ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, and the system that the school uses for children with powers is reasonable and easy to jump right into. I absolutely loved this book!
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Review by: Briget Stanley on May 17, 2013 :
Kitty Borough’s premiere novel, The Posterchildren, is a master work of an introduction to what promises to be a fascinating and complex new take on a superhero universe and teenage superheroes. The book uniquely combines the creation of an entirely new world with the struggles of the average American teen: crushes, homework, sexuality – oh and having to figure out how to control and push your superpowers without getting anyone killed.

Reminiscent of its arch-type forebears in DC and Marvel Comics, it paints a fresh, new picture of what it can mean to be a hero, in every possible way. Burroughs sets the stage in The Posterchildren: Origins, creating a believable new superhero universe, where those individuals showing abnormal, or “posthuman” abilities are expected to register with a government organization which labels those abilities loosely based on a color “band” system. Chapters are split into issue numbers to further emulate the feeling of a comic book universe, and the subtitle “Origins” is very apt – from the beginning it is clear that this is a much bigger world than one book can contain.

The Posterchildren features the POV of four teenage heroes – Malek (Mal) Underwood, Ernest Wright, Zipporah (Zip) Chance, and Juniper (June) Hovick – entering their first year of the third block at Maillardet’s Foundation for the Future of Humanity at age 14 (save June, who is a late-blooming posthuman and is entering age 15). Maillardet’s is the United States’ premiere education facility for posthumans, and the vast majority of its graduates go into some form of law enforcement or officially sanctioned superhero teams.

Each of our four heroes presents a unique viewpoint on life at Maillardet’s. Mal and Ernest are the legacy posters – their parents are known heroes (well, mostly heroes). The book opens with the funeral of Corbin Underwood, Mal’s father, setting a grim, but interesting tone that doesn’t hold true for now, but presents an accurate vision of how discordant relations between the poster and baseline human populations can be. Mal re-enters Maillardet’s with a very jaded view of the world, contrasting sharply with his childhood friend Ernest’s happy-go-lucky, golden-retriever-like attitude towards life.

Zip’s encounters with Mal and Ernest have been fleeting, but amiable, up through first and second block, as she naturally gravitates towards people who are as passionate about their abilities as she is about hers. Zip is a speedster, and her life and attitude reflect that. She tries her best to be the best person she can. As the newcomer, June’s perspective gives the reader the most direct insight into what life is like at Maillardet’s, in the sassiest possible way. June is a troublemaker; Maillardet’s being the most recent in a string of boarding schools June has attended. She’s smart, fat, and sassy, and she owns those traits and holds her chin high when someone tries to challenge her – no matter their size.

The four POV characters are far from the only important ones – but that’s why you need to read the book: to find out who, and why.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Review by: lizolh on May 17, 2013 :
This book delivers on its fundamental promise to introduce a world of superheroes where issues of race, gender, and sexuality are treated neither with tokenism nor utopic acceptance. Where real issues are real, in other words. And in this capacity it is sublime. Its pacing and structure suffers a little bit for the sheer quantity of characters that are introduced and explored -- other than being 'the first year' of the kids' time together, it lacks a larger arc to tie the book together, and rather feels like a first act setup for a larger plot. Which is excellent, since that promises more adventures to come, but at the same time it would have been nice for the kids, collectively, to have a clear challenge to overcome together that was more fully resolved over the course of the book, so that the book would do a better job of standing alone, something that is in my opinion especially important for the first entry of any series. All and all, an excellent and important book, however. It's a shame that this sort of deliberately inclusive worldbuilding is the exception rather than the rule in literature today.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Review by: Zachary Racer on May 17, 2013 :
It's not enough to say that this book renewed my faith in the world, or perhaps maybe it is. For once, I didn't feel marginalized, ostracized, or screwed over by the writer. For once, I found characters that looked, or acted, or had the same sexuality as me. For once, I found representation. I say it all the time, but Kitty? Thank you.

And to everyone else? READ. IT.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
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