The Crimson Protector by Jeffrey Kranzler

“The Crimson Protector explores what it might be like to have power beyond that of the average person to influence one’s life.”

Review by Mary P.

The Crimson Protector is an action-packed superhero adventure that also teaches middle schoolers how to build confidence, overcome social anxiety and handle bullying!

James Gazt is tired. He’s tired of seeing kids being bullied at school and not being able to do anything about it. He’s tired of not having enough confidence to talk to his crush. But what can he do? Well, why not try to become a superhero? After all, it seems to work in the comic books he reads. With the help of his best friend, Gizmo Jones, he becomes the Crimson Protector! But will being a superhero be a dream come true… or a total nightmare?

Join James Gazt on his journey of friendship, coming of age, exploring values and virtues and saving the day all while navigating the transition from tween to teenager.

Release Date: 8/19/2020

Genre: Middle Grade | Superheroes

Pages: 117

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. A positive review was not required.

The Crimson Protector explores what it might be like to have power beyond that of the average person to influence one's life.

This book isn't a roadmap on how to gain confidence and be successful. It doesn't teach kids how to get there, but it does present the mindset of a confident person. James isn't shown to struggle with the skills he needs to be strong and confident and without fear of rejection, as those appear when he needs them, but he is shown to change the way he approaches rejection and scary/potentially hurtful situations. It's that trajectory, in which he becomes a confident, capable person, that makes the story.

There were negative things that weren't truly addressed—James talking down to his parents and calling them idiots, and breaking into a building and running from the police for the sheer fun of it, for instance. His lying and deceiving his parents, his delinquent actions — those appeared to be chalked up to teenage foolishness, emotions, or necessity.

The mentor was an interesting part of the story, and it was a highlight to see how he challenged and encouraged James, telling him what he did and didn't want to hear. The themes, too, were intriguing, especially ideals and differentiating between light and darkness.

Those who enjoy superheroes, coming-of-age stories, and YA might also enjoy this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Very mild action (mentions common injuries, without gruesome details).

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Mild content (holding hands and mild kissing).

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 3 out of 10.
3. Infrequent mild cursing (less than 10 "h*lls" etc. includes British words "Bloody" etc.).

Other Trigger/Content Notices:


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