You are a superhero!

In our May 2020 issue we reviewed a book for our younger readers. Parents, grandparents and teachers are also allowed to read it!

Reviewed by Loretta Brennan

Under the Mask

by Emma Cahill

"Being strong does not mean hiding how you feel,
It’s dealing with your feelings and accepting that they’re real....”

Did you know that you have superpowers hidden inside you? They may not be like the superpowers that the X-Men or Marvel Heroes have but they are just as strong and are even better. This month we are taking a look at a book called “Under the Mask” by Emma Cahill. In it we meet three superheroes. They will help you with everyday life and are there to get you through times when you feel like nothing is going right for you.


This is a book to read on good days and on bad days. At the beginning we meet Olly. He is 9 years old and is normally a happy, fun, boy who loves water fights and playing with his friends. But then he starts to feel different and he can’t seem to feel normal again. Olly brings in the help of his local superheroes – Blaze, Rustle and Crash.

"But I often feel quite angry,

like a balloon about to pop. I feel my blood makes bubbles they rise up to the top."

Blaze is a fiery girl who is strong and likes to appear to be grown-up. But she has days when she is angry. She can’t control her temper and everything is going wrong. Telling her to calm down only makes things worse! So she activates her B powers - Breathing, Bounce and Brainstorm - to stop the volcano inside her from erupting. These powers are a great help and make life easier for her.


Next we meet Rustle. He is a confident boy, always brave and in control. But he also needs superpowers to overcome times when he is worried and things get too much for him. He activates his R powers – Rethink, Reply, Relax – to stop his head from whirling like it has a hurricane inside.

"Nothing makes me happy now, I’m never bright or cheery. I’ve stopped playing with friends, I’m just quiet, tired and teary."

Then we meet Crash. He is a very happy boy, always ready for laughter and fun. Crash sometimes feels really sad and doesn’t want to play with his friends anymore. He loses his energy and can’t stop the flood of tears building up inside. He activates his C powers – Chat, Create, Change – to help overcome the sadness.


Together these three powerful superheroes will be like your new best friend - always there to help you, pick you up and find your smile again. And they tell you how to activate your own B, R and C powers.


As Emma explains, these feelings of anger, worry and sadness are very important. They tell us when we need an extra bit of help. This is a great book. It gives tips and activities to overcome and control these feelings. It also helps us to recognise when these feelings are starting to take over our lives. There are colourful and engaging illustrations. It is very easy to read. Read it yourself or with your parents or your teacher. It is an excellent book to have in your school library and to have at home. Get ready to meet your new superheroes!

"Thank you Superheroes, for giving me the key.

To unlock my ability for Me to control Me."


Under the Mask is written by Emma Cahill

With illustrations by Paul Nugent.

ISBN 9781691280629

Available from Amazon.

Paperback: £8.50

Kindle edition: £5

Also available in Ireland from Wexford Book Centre and Gorey Book Cafe, €9