December 16, 2019

Dear Marcus Emerson,

I picked up your book, The Super Life of Ben Braver , at a book fair, and I turned it over to read the synopsis like people usually do before buying a book. The first words I saw were: “It all started with a peanut butter cup”. I love peanut butter cups so you had me there.

I settled on your book and turned to the first page. It said: “Dear Diary, Today I died. Sincerely, Ben”. That made me laugh so much, and I just had to read more. After a few pages, I ran into some things that resembled my everyday life: bullies, bystanders, and some upstanders. I like your book because I am so much like Ben. I like riding my bike, playing video games, and obsessing over comic books just like Ben does! Like Ben, I have stayed home soaking up TV shows like a sponge. When Ben’s best friend Finn moved away, it reminded me of when I had to move to a different city. I was sad to leave all of my friends and start over again. I had to change schools and felt unnoticed like Ben did sometimes, and I had trouble making new friends. In the book, when the other two kids in the academy bully Ben, it stuck with me because I am bullied by some kids at school and I just keep on trying to make other friends.

Also, Ben has a crazy imagination like me. Ben’s plans fail sometimes, and some (or, most) of my plans fail too. Sometimes, I feel disappointed, like Ben, but I shake it off and devise a new plan. I am also persistent and keep on going like Ben when he was trying to figure out what power he had. Sometimes, people don’t believe me, just as they did with Ben, so I find other ways to persuade them. If some random guy came up to my door and told me I had superpowers, I would be like Ben and think that guy is crazy because I am not a superhero. If I was invited to attend a special academy but I had to leave my parents I would not be thrilled.

It turns out that Ben and I are not that different. Reading your book and getting to know Ben has helped me deal with my daily life. After reading your book, I feel I am not alone. I feel Ben and I are on the same side, like I have a partner in crime, or to fight crime, rather. I felt like I was on this adventure together with Ben where we stood up to our bullies while helping others and having fun along the way. Your book has pushed me to help whoever I can and always have a backup plan! Your book has helped me stand up for myself and face each day with courage like Ben, and Ben is like my virtual friend with whom I share many things.

Like you say in the book, it is about doing the right thing when the right thing is the hardest to do. Of course, people don’t have superpowers in real life, but they have other ways to express their feelings. We can imagine that we have superpowers while staring out of the car window as Ben did. Deep down, if you look carefully, you can find your superpowers. Thank you for introducing me to Ben, Mr. Emerson, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.


Avinash Kumar

Page last modified: March 11, 2020