Last weekend the Avengers returned to save the world and entertain us with their witty banter. We last saw them battle against Loki and the Chitauri he brought to Earth via a wormhole in New York City. Now they are facing Ultron, an artificial intelligence bent on ridding Earth of humanity. It’s been three years since the Avengers had to assemble to fight another big bad. Obviously they must have had some serious down time to focus on their reading. Last time the Avengers fought evil, The Hub provided a reading list for the Avengers. I think it’s only right to give them a few more choices to peruse before they are called again to fight.
Captain America/Steve Rogers: Let’s start at the beginning with the first Avenger, Captain America. Captain America first started fighting evil back in the time of World War II. Since then he has tried to acquaint himself with the events that have occurred, particularly in pop culture as Tony Stark is quick to fire off a reference or two. In order for Cap to find some kind of camaraderie in his predicament, I would recommend Eoin Colfer’s W.A.R.P. series, starting with book one, The Reluctant Assassin. In this book, Riley is pulled from his home in Victorian London along with his mentor Garrick, a dangerous assassin, to help the modern-day FBI capture Garrick before he finds his way back to his own time. While Cap and Riley come from different time periods, Cap can definitely relate to the out of place feeling.
Ironman/Tony Stark: Tony Stark can be a bit obvious regarding his personality. He loves being the best, he loves the ladies, and he loves his ability to buy everything. As we know from the first Ironman movie, his interests expanded when he was captured in Afghanistan. This is why I decided to give Stark The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith. This is a fairly new book which tells three different stories. The first story belongs to Ariel, a Middle Eastern teenage boy who is adopted by an American scientist and his wife. The second story is Ariel and his adopted brother Max at summer camp. The third story tells of the ill-fated crew of a ship called The Alex Crow which was sailing in the Arctic Ocean. The three stories eventually intertwine in a way that Stark would find quite intriguing. I’ll leave the discovery of the connection to you..no spoilers!
The Hulk/Bruce Banner: Bruce Banner is usually overshadowed by The Hulk. I mean, it’s pretty easy considering The Hulk is huge and pretty loud. It’s common to forget about Banner and focus more on the monster side of the man. That being said, an obvious pairing would include a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde story. I wanted to pick something that wasn’t as obvious as that. I chose Subject Seven by James A. Moore. In this book, a teen boy called Seven discovers that he was a part of a government experiment in which his alter-ego has deadly fighting skills. Seven, similarly to Banner, must figure out his abilities and how they will affect the rest of his life.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff: Black Widow is one of the Avengers who do not rely on superpowers or fancy gadgets. Natasha is a highly trained assassin. There is one other highly trained assassin ruling the YA fiction world right now. That assassin is Celaena Sardothien from the “Throne of Glass” series. I would absolutely, no questions, not a shadow of a doubt give Natasha these books. Celaena must use her assassin skills to defeat all the other competitors in hopes of gaining her freedom and the title of King’s Champion. Celaena has some serious baggage which is obviously a thing that Natasha deals with as well. I could only imagine what it would be like if Celaena joined up with the Avengers and fought side by side with Black Widow. It would be truly epic.
Hawkeye/Clint Barton: Hawkeye is another Avenger who doesn’t have a superpower or super suit, but uses his military training as a bow and arrow sniper. For Hawkeye, I thought I would tape into the government training he received and give him Insignia by S.J. Kincaid. The first in a series, Insignia tells of a group of teenaged recruits who fight for the Pentagon through a virtual reality set up. The book is full of action and battle scenes, which sound perfect for Hawkeye. I would also give him The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston, a 2015 Morris Honor Award. The main character, like Hawkeye, is just a normal guy who was trained to tackle insurmountable situations. Hawkeye is armed with a bow and quiver while Owen has a broad sword, but the bravery and the epic battles are quite similar.
Thor: Thor is an Avenger in a class all his own. His powers weren’t a part of some experiment and he doesn’t don a complicated invention. Thor is a Norse god. There are a handful of books that focus on Norse mythology, but Thor should be fairly versed in all of that. In particular, the series “The United States of Asgard” tells of an alternate America in which Odin rules the country and the main characters seek out the missing god, Baldur. Instead, I’ve decided to recommend 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults title, White Cat by Holly Black. In this book, Cassel discovers that his brothers have been using him to carry out their evil plans. Sounds a bit like Thor’s relationship with Loki told in the movie, Thor, doesn’t it?
There you have it! Hopefully you found a few of the recommendations that you agree with, but if not, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments below.
-Brandi Smits, currently reading The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson