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The Greatest Power: The Gecko & Sticky #2    by Wendelin Van Draanen & Stephen Gilpin order for
Greatest Power
by Wendelin Van Draanen
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Greatest Power follows Villain's Lair as the second in Wendelin Van Draanen's lively The Gecko & Sticky series. It star thirteen-year-old Dave Sanchez (aka the Gecko). Empowered by an ancient Aztec wristband, he's accompanied by talking gecko lizard Sticky. Dave's powerband gives him abilities to become invisible or walk on walls.

The adventure begins as treasure hunting supervillain Damien Black (a loco honcho) robs a bank for quick cash. Unfortunately for him, he also snatches a family heirloom from Dave's friend Ms. Kulee. That sets our daring duo on his trail through the sewers to his mansion, which has 'vast heebie-jeebie creepiness concealed underground.'

Though the Gecko & Sticky recover the stolen items, an over-caffeinated Himalayan-coffee-brewing monkey follows them home! And the volatile villain figures out that Dave will return the stolen money to the bank. He uses the Bandito Brothers to set in motion a diabolical trap. Will he catch the good guys and steal back Dave's powerband?

Dave has a tough choice to make, after which Sticky muses that 'What makes a real superhero is not the powers they have, it's the way they choose to use those powers.' Chapter book readers will devour this series, as much for the funny banter between the Latino kid superhero and his Sticky sidekick as for the action.

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