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Stuntboy, in the Meantime

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From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third! Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And sa From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third! Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy! But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives. All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how. Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.


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From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third! Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And sa From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third! Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy! But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives. All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how. Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.

30 review for Stuntboy, in the Meantime

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    Honestly, at this point I'm not sure that there isn't a book that Jason Reynolds can't write. Anything that he writes is something that I'm willing to check out. This book was no different and I absolutely loved the full cast audio with all of the varied sound effects. I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can look at all the illustrations. I had a copy of this title for review, but all thoughts are my own. 4.5 Stars Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a beautiful ode to any child that ha Honestly, at this point I'm not sure that there isn't a book that Jason Reynolds can't write. Anything that he writes is something that I'm willing to check out. This book was no different and I absolutely loved the full cast audio with all of the varied sound effects. I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can look at all the illustrations. I had a copy of this title for review, but all thoughts are my own. 4.5 Stars Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a beautiful ode to any child that has had to go through parental separation and/or constant arguing. It's even more beautiful love letter to children who have to navigate through anxiety. Portico creates this superhero persona to help him assist his family members and friends so that they can continue to be super. This superhero persona also helps him deal with his anxiety which he calls the "frets" and the impending divorce of his parents as well as the neighborhood bully. It's clear that being superhero helps Portico work through a lot of the problems he faces. One of the most rewarding aspects of this book is the format and the way in which is told. Jason Reynolds is one of those authors that truly understands what it means to write for kids. He speaks to their varied experiences and is able to craft a story that makes discussions of those experiences easier to have. Stuntboy, in the Meantime is part picture book, graphic novel, and prose combined into one that is designed to hold the attention of young reads. It's written almost as if it's a television show making the reading experience even more fun and engaging. This is bound to be a book that kids are going to love just like all of Jason Reynolds' other books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Traci Thomas

    This one is so cute. The art is so good. I love Jason’s play with language and words. Also talking to young kids about anxiety is so important.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I read this to my 8-year-old over the course of a week, and he and I both loved it SO much! Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a heavily illustrated novel that also includes some comic strip sections, and the writing (by Jason Reynolds) and the art (by Raúl the 3rd) are both bursting with vibrant energy and fun. Portico is a sweet, anxious kid who desperately wants to protect other people from pain (his secret superhero identity is "Stuntboy," who takes the dangerous falls for all the people around hi I read this to my 8-year-old over the course of a week, and he and I both loved it SO much! Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a heavily illustrated novel that also includes some comic strip sections, and the writing (by Jason Reynolds) and the art (by Raúl the 3rd) are both bursting with vibrant energy and fun. Portico is a sweet, anxious kid who desperately wants to protect other people from pain (his secret superhero identity is "Stuntboy," who takes the dangerous falls for all the people around him), but right now, his parents' marriage is imploding and he can't stop it or take away their pain. But this isn't a depressing book at all! It's zany and funny and sweet, full of wonderful, quirky characters in the busy apartment building that Portico loves. He has a fabulous best friend, Zola, who's always ready to draw life lessons from the fabulously over-the-top superhero TV series that they both adore - and my 8-year-old totally wants to watch that now. If only it WERE a real TV show! It felt very real to both of us by the end. He also has a fabulous cat and a terrifying nemesis and a grandma with secret powers of her own, and the whole thing was just so much fun to read. We laughed again and again (especially over some particularly hilarious catchphrases that kept coming back with perfect comedic timing) and at the end my 8-year-old begged me to preorder Book 2 NOW. Sadly, Book 2 isn't available to preorder yet...but we'll be snapping it up as soon as we can, because this really was fantastic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Is there anything Jason Reynolds can't do? I was so excited to see it's an illustrated chapter book. This will be so loved by middle grades/middle schoolers for sure!!! Such a relatable store with parents who seem to argue all the time, and Portico Reeves always having these "frets" - another description for anxiety. Jason does a great job of a kid going through their emotions living this life with anxiety and a parental divorce on the edge. Well done. Is there anything Jason Reynolds can't do? I was so excited to see it's an illustrated chapter book. This will be so loved by middle grades/middle schoolers for sure!!! Such a relatable store with parents who seem to argue all the time, and Portico Reeves always having these "frets" - another description for anxiety. Jason does a great job of a kid going through their emotions living this life with anxiety and a parental divorce on the edge. Well done.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary Thomas

    Jason Reynolds doesn’t miss! So many readers are going to fall in love with Stuntboy. After listening to some of the audio I could hear the voices leaping off the page. The print is obviously enhanced by Raul the Thirds fantastic illustrations. An amazing team effort!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley Portico Reeves is ten and lives in an apartment building in the city. He considers this a castle, and loves that there are all manner of different people with different stories living behind all of the doors of the complex. His best friend, Zola, also lives there, as does his nemesis, the mean Herbert Singletary the Worst, who constantly verbally attacks Portico and Zola. Portico has a lot of anxiety, mainly because his parents have decided to take two new apartments, E ARC provided by Netgalley Portico Reeves is ten and lives in an apartment building in the city. He considers this a castle, and loves that there are all manner of different people with different stories living behind all of the doors of the complex. His best friend, Zola, also lives there, as does his nemesis, the mean Herbert Singletary the Worst, who constantly verbally attacks Portico and Zola. Portico has a lot of anxiety, mainly because his parents have decided to take two new apartments, one upstairs and one downstairs, and are fighting a lot about what items each will take. Also in the mix are hid Gran Gran, who spends most of her time "resting her eyes", a cat whose names changes daily, and the different personalities in the building. Portico decides to become a superhero, Stuntboy, to protect the other superheroes in the building, and has a range of moves that he uses to diffuse situations. This happens more and more frequently as his parents' fighting escalates, and are moderately effective in stopping "the mean times". When he and Zola find out that Herbert's step father is the "super" of the building, their relationship changes a bit, and some of Herbert's motives are made clear. Will Stuntboy be able to make Portico's life better as more and more changes occur? Strengths: This is a notebook novel more than a graphic novel; think Big Nate chapter books but with more color and page backgrounds, thanks to Raúl the Third illustrations. There's still a fair amount of text telling the story. Portico has a great outlook on life even though things aren't going all that well and he suffers with anxiety. It's great to see him want to take care of his parents and his friend Zola. I think this capitalizes on the way many middle grade chidlren act, but isn't shown in many middle grade books. His stunts are fairly funny, and the cast of quirky characters also add to the general upbeat tone of the book. There's certainly some serious issues that are addresses, and this is a great book to have about the difficulties and stress young people face when parents divorce. There could definitely be a lot more books on that topic. The format is the real winner here, with a great mix of Reynolds' prose and Raúl the Third's graphics. Weaknesses: Portico has a lot of Amelia Bedelia misundertandings that felt more like ones a six year old would have. I can understand the motivation for portraying situations that way, but it always seems a bit off, and I'm not sure how readers in the target demographic feel about this style. It does make the book seem like it would be a better fit for elementary readers than middle school ones. What I really think: Reynold's work is popular in my library, and it's good to see a Black male character on a notebook novel (Robinson's Jake the Fake and Craft's New Kid are the other good examples; I'm still waiting for Robb Armstrong's Jump Start to beget a notebook novel about Jojo.). I will purchase, especially since the level of maturity of my students has dropped a bit since the pandemic, as it has slowly dropped over the last twenty years. It's always good to see an author exhibit prowess across interest levels, so that readers can continue to appreciate a favorite throughout their reading careers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    Portico Reeves is a boy; he’s a son and friend; he’s also…Stuntboy! 💥 Portico has decided to create a superhero persona to help other superheroes like his parents, grandmother and best friends. He protects them so they can keep being super. He lives in a castle aka an apartment building where his parents have been fighting a lot. They keep saying they’re going into different apartments for the meantime. All these things happening in his life give him the “frets” also known as anxiety. Even superh Portico Reeves is a boy; he’s a son and friend; he’s also…Stuntboy! 💥 Portico has decided to create a superhero persona to help other superheroes like his parents, grandmother and best friends. He protects them so they can keep being super. He lives in a castle aka an apartment building where his parents have been fighting a lot. They keep saying they’re going into different apartments for the meantime. All these things happening in his life give him the “frets” also known as anxiety. Even superheroes can be human. 💥 Is there anything Jason Reynolds can’t do? This part picture book, part graphic novel, part novel is too adorable and the artwork by Raul the Third was equally amazing. I was as enthralled with the story as I was the illustrations. This book covers a lot of issues, but my favorite was the focus on mental health awareness. Reynolds does a fabulous job of showing what it looks like in our younger students, as well as being a child dealing with parents on the verge of divorce. This book is going to be a hit when it releases 11.30!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Librarylady

    Stunt boy, in the Meantime is a good mix of story, comics, and highly engaging illustrations. I think the kids will all pick it up based on the cover. However, I think they may be a bit disappointed when they read it. Portico, the main character, seems immature for a ten year old. I can't really see a boy In middle school acting like a super hero. Also, the book seemed to drag on and on for me, especially when I got to the end, and there was no resolution to the story. That was a real turn off. Stunt boy, in the Meantime is a good mix of story, comics, and highly engaging illustrations. I think the kids will all pick it up based on the cover. However, I think they may be a bit disappointed when they read it. Portico, the main character, seems immature for a ten year old. I can't really see a boy In middle school acting like a super hero. Also, the book seemed to drag on and on for me, especially when I got to the end, and there was no resolution to the story. That was a real turn off. That said, I will probably still buy it for my library based on the format, the diversity, and the popularity of the author. Not everyone likes the same books as I do. Thank you to NetGalley for a free eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a graphic novel written by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Raúl the Third. Not-so-secret superhero by day and kid from apartment 4D by day as well, Portico "Stuntboy" Reeves will need all his tricks to withstand the great threat facing his family and the anxiety that comes with it. Portico Reeves, secret alter ego Stuntboy, lives amid a lively, largely Black community in an apartment building in Skylight Gardens. As Portico, he navigates tense interactions with bull Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a graphic novel written by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Raúl the Third. Not-so-secret superhero by day and kid from apartment 4D by day as well, Portico "Stuntboy" Reeves will need all his tricks to withstand the great threat facing his family and the anxiety that comes with it. Portico Reeves, secret alter ego Stuntboy, lives amid a lively, largely Black community in an apartment building in Skylight Gardens. As Portico, he navigates tense interactions with bully Herbert Singletary the Worst, the stress of his ever-fighting parents, and his own anxiety. However, as Stuntboy, his job is keeping other superheroes safe, so they can save the world and he definitely has his hands full watching out for the apartment building's various larger-than-life characters. With him, along the way, is Zola Brawner, best friend for 163 days and counting. Stuntboy, in the Meantime is written and constructed extremely well – it is far from perfect, but comes rather close. Reynolds' narrative gradually reveals the impact Portico's parents' impending separation is having on their deeply sensitive son even as he can't fully grasp what's going on around him. Raúl the Third's illustrations are both dynamic and cleverly slapstick as Portico skillfully tumbles down stairs to prevent an older resident from falling or flops in front of his parents to momentarily stop them from fighting. Superlative, action-packed art and cheeky narration combine to tell a story of emotional intelligence on a super-heroic scale while remaining consistently funny and undeniably thoughtful. All in all, Stuntboy, in the Meantime is a wonderful graphic novel about a boy, who finds a creative coping mechanism in this original tale that speaks to the heart.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Just got my hands on Stuntboy, in the Meantime by the dynamic duo of Jason Reynolds and Raul the Third, and I couldn’t put it down! Loved the character of Portico whose superpower stunts helps him cope with his anxiety, which he calls "the frets" - especially handling the "mean time" while his parents are arguing over dividing up their property during their divorce. Handles difficult topics with sensitivity and humor and great art! The story is interspersed with scenes from Portico and his bff Z Just got my hands on Stuntboy, in the Meantime by the dynamic duo of Jason Reynolds and Raul the Third, and I couldn’t put it down! Loved the character of Portico whose superpower stunts helps him cope with his anxiety, which he calls "the frets" - especially handling the "mean time" while his parents are arguing over dividing up their property during their divorce. Handles difficult topics with sensitivity and humor and great art! The story is interspersed with scenes from Portico and his bff Zola's fav superhero comic: Super Space Warriors, which are really fun allegories. This book is a winner. Profile: highly-illustrated fiction with themes of apartment/city living, divorce, anxiety and superheroes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I have come to believe that every book written by Jason Reynolds needs to be read by every person in the world. There is so much content in this inconspicuous amazing graphic novel. The illustrations are so fun. It is written sir every person who has ever felt anxiety about anything. Loved it!!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I love Jason Reynolds. He has found a way to explain divorce and anxiety so that a middle schooler can relate and overcome. <3

  13. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    oh my gosh, this is such a funny and sweet book. LOVE that it's about a boy with anxiety (aka "the frets") getting to be a superhero and having these fun adventures while also dealing with pretty big emotions. And the wordplay is really fun, and the art is really fun, and I just think it's a great graphic novel with a lot of appeal. Also the way each little adventure is broken up into chapters would make this a great classroom readaloud book. oh my gosh, this is such a funny and sweet book. LOVE that it's about a boy with anxiety (aka "the frets") getting to be a superhero and having these fun adventures while also dealing with pretty big emotions. And the wordplay is really fun, and the art is really fun, and I just think it's a great graphic novel with a lot of appeal. Also the way each little adventure is broken up into chapters would make this a great classroom readaloud book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    4.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review! You know that pretty much anything Jason Reynolds will immediately go on my to-read list. And he’s shown that there probably isn’t anything that he can’t write! Stuntboy is a fun book that many middle grade readers will find themselves relating to. This is an illustrated chapter book, kind of along the lines of something like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The overall tone of the novel is fun and lighthearted, readin 4.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review! You know that pretty much anything Jason Reynolds will immediately go on my to-read list. And he’s shown that there probably isn’t anything that he can’t write! Stuntboy is a fun book that many middle grade readers will find themselves relating to. This is an illustrated chapter book, kind of along the lines of something like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The overall tone of the novel is fun and lighthearted, reading like episodes of a TV show. Part of what makes this book so funny and entertaining is the way the story is told. The hybrid format of the book will help hit that audience that love graphic novels, too. Add on the superhero format, and you’ve definitely got yourself a winner Reynolds also puts concepts into terms that kids can understand. One of the best examples of this is Portico’s struggle with anxiety, which he calls “The Frets.” These are feelings that a lot of kids probably have, and they can work through them the way that Portico does. It’s effective, and just adds to the overall story. All in all, this is a book that a lot of kids I think will be drawn to. I’m hoping that this is the start of a new series, because I don’t think Portico’s story is done quite yet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Kimmal

    I am thrilled that there is a new middle grade book from Jason Reynolds.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Jason Reynolds is a real-life superhero. His fictional superhero, Portico Reeves, tells his story in prose that sounds just like the kids I know. I could hear their voices as Portico describes his best friend, his nemesis, his superpowers, his parents’ impending divorce, and his anxiety. He calls this condition “the frets,” and Reynolds writes some of the best darn descriptions I have ever read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fatma

    Readers who enjoy Diary of a Wimpy Kid will enjoy the drawings and the story of Stuntboy (Portico) and the adventures he has at home. Not all is adventure- Stuntboy learns that his parents are separating and he needs to deal with their fighting and work through is own anxiety and stress of this and his relationships with others in the building.

  18. 4 out of 5

    High Plains Library District

    This graphic novel would be enjoyed by elementary school boys and girls who are looking for something fun to read. The illustrations of the characters and scenes make the story come alive. Readers can really get a feel for the emotions of the characters. The plot of Portico's parents arguing and separating is relatable but it's good that he has friends to help him get through it. This graphic novel would be enjoyed by elementary school boys and girls who are looking for something fun to read. The illustrations of the characters and scenes make the story come alive. Readers can really get a feel for the emotions of the characters. The plot of Portico's parents arguing and separating is relatable but it's good that he has friends to help him get through it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Krajewski

    Portico Reeves sometimes gets cases of “the frets.” When he feels that anxiety creeping in, he visits his best buddy Zola Brawner, another person who lives in the same castle he does. Zola teaches Portico about meditation and yoga, but what really helps Portico is when he becomes Stuntboy, a superhero who keeps other superheroes safe. His missions include everything from escaping Herbert Singletary the Worst, the castle bully, to saving his cat, to even saving himself. I think so many children w Portico Reeves sometimes gets cases of “the frets.” When he feels that anxiety creeping in, he visits his best buddy Zola Brawner, another person who lives in the same castle he does. Zola teaches Portico about meditation and yoga, but what really helps Portico is when he becomes Stuntboy, a superhero who keeps other superheroes safe. His missions include everything from escaping Herbert Singletary the Worst, the castle bully, to saving his cat, to even saving himself. I think so many children will relate, connect, and love this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Ronan

    Super fun book that will be relatable to so many readers. The story pacing felt a little frenetic to me but that is what will make it perfect for it’s target audience (not middle age-ish ladies). Recommended for upper elementary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carly Bohach

    This was an excellent collaboration! It handled divorce in a creative way that was spot on for the age group. The illustrations really brought this story to life! I can't wait to read more of Portico's adventures. This was an excellent collaboration! It handled divorce in a creative way that was spot on for the age group. The illustrations really brought this story to life! I can't wait to read more of Portico's adventures.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Very different from some of Jason Reynolds others, closer to a Diary of Wimpy Kid format, so more accessible for even younger kids. Great story about a boy who deals with anxiety and his parents’ arguing my channeling his inner superhero.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alexa L

    I know it's no surprise that I loved this, but Jason Reynolds is truly such a spectacular writer. I listened to the audiobook while I wait for a physical copy, so I'll add to this review once I've seen the illustrations. I highly recommend the audio though- excellent narration and sound effects. I know it's no surprise that I loved this, but Jason Reynolds is truly such a spectacular writer. I listened to the audiobook while I wait for a physical copy, so I'll add to this review once I've seen the illustrations. I highly recommend the audio though- excellent narration and sound effects.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This 100% remains a Jason Reynolds stan account… but this was my least loved JR book. I bet it will be a hit in my classroom library though. . Maybe I just read it in too close proximity to “Ain’t Burned All the Bright” which I just cannot stop thinking about.

  25. 5 out of 5

    B

    Nope not for me. To crazy, there is so much going on, graphics , text and commercial interruptions. I am glad that JAson Reynolds has written a book for younger reader, but not for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie Morrison

    A book that walks kids though coping with divorce and friendship issues while normalizing anxiety?!? Yes please! I especially love how the text written by Jason Reynolds works so seamlessly with the illustrations by Raúl the Third.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Shapiro

    It's Jason Reynolds, enough said. It's Jason Reynolds, enough said.

  28. 5 out of 5

    BiblioBrandie

    A graphic novel that tackles issues like anxiety and parents separating. It felt a little hard to follow at times and the graphics overwhelmed me. I think younger kids will love it though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Farr

    I really wanted to like this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    4.5 rounded up. I love everything Jason Reynolds writes!

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