The OK Team, by Nick Place

Something, the ghost of an idea, sparks in my brain, but I can’t quite grasp it. ‘…Special?’
‘Very special.’ Her hands are grappling again.
‘Do you mean “special” as in “super”?’
‘Super? Well, sure.’ She looks uncertain. ‘You’re a special boy, and a super boy.’ I’m barely able to breathe. ‘You mean I might be special like a superhero?’

Hazy Retina was born with a problem – he is out of focus. He has a habit of disappearing when things get tough, falling through walls and passing right through people. Consequently, he has no self confidence and no friends. But when his counsellor explains that his disability might make him special, Hazy latches on to her idea. Perhaps, he decides, he is Super, with a special power which will allow him to save the world. Soon, Hazy is assuming a super identity as Focus, and is gathering a crew of other emerging superheroes. But all is not plain-sailing with Focus and friends, who call themselves the OK Team, all having trouble controlling and harnessing their respective super powers.

The OK Team is a funny novel for upper primary aged readers The super powers of the young heroes are absurdly silly – from compulsive lying to being able to see into the past – and their slap-stick escapades will appeal to both boy and girl readers. Lovers of superhero comics will enjoy the many allusions to the superhero world, and the idea that perhaps superheroes are real. Most of all, readers will enjoy the fun of this story.

The OK Team

The OK Team, by Nick Place
Allen & Unwin, 2008

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