Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

“It’s a bird…it’s a plane…”


boysIn 1938, the United States was struggling as we emerged from the Great Depression, and people desperately needed to go beyond the struggles of everyday survival. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster understood what it was like to struggle through life. They were both short, they wore glasses, and they were painfully shy. Both of them had survived hardships growing up and being ignored in school in different yet similar ways. Jerry wrote his own adventure and science fictions stories while Joe drew pictures.

Marc Tyler Nobleman’s book, Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, illustrated by Ross MacDonald  (Knopf, 2008) chronicles their creation of Superman, the superhero who came from Krypton. There is a bit of both of Superman’s creators in this superhero. When describing his secret identity of Clark Kent, Jerry is attributed with thinking, “Then he would be meek and mild, like Joe and I are, and wear glasses, like we do.”

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster didn’t retain the rights to Superman, when they became employees for DC Comics. They fought for years to have their names returned to the comic books and to receive royalties. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1970s that they were publicly recognized for their creation.

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