Indies Introduce

Middle Grade

  • Dan Unmasked, Chris Negron
    HarperCollins, 9780062943057, July 28, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “Dan is a middle school boy, a baseball captain, a super comic book creator, and the best friend of fellow baseball star and comic fanatic Nate. When Nate gets lost in a coma, what some call a mysterious Nexus, Dan and his daring crew try to find their own way to rescue him. This stellar, heartwarming, reassuring, layered, childhood-affirming, and brave story will awaken even the most reluctant hero in all readers.”

    Drew Durham, Books Inc. Palo Alto (Palo Alto, CA)

    Dan Unmasked has everything you could want in a book: sports, comics, friends, humor, and heart. Something for everyone. Oh… and superheroes. This story shows that not all heroes wear capes. I will be thinking about this story for a long, long time to come.”

    Rebecca Crosswhite, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)

    “Dan and Nate are best friends and have been for years. Whether they’re sending secret signals to each other on the baseball field or devouring and analyzing the latest issue of their favorite comic book, the boys are rarely apart. But when an accident puts Nate into a coma, Dan is cast adrift. Will Nate ever wake up? Can Dan help him somehow? And what does their favorite superhero, Captain Nexus, have to do with it all? Dan Unmasked is a gentle and heartfelt look at adolescent grief, feelings of hopelessness, and our ability to make a difference, whether or not we have superpowers. Dan is a flawed and brilliant character, and his search for a way to help his best friend return to consciousness is an excellent testament to the power of friendship.”

    - Emily Hall Schroen, Main Street Books (St. Charles, MO)


    Dan Unmasked lives up to its title. Dan’s obvious love for his friends and family shine throughout the book. His emotional distress leads him to band with his enemy: his best friend Nate’s little brother, Ollie, who he usually battled for Nate’s attention. In this story about the love of comics and how closely art imitates life, we get to see boys portraying emotions without jokes as they try to find a way to rescue their Nate.”

    Kathy Burnette, The Brain Lair (South Bend, IN)

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