Pizazz is indeed the name of the protagonist of this book, and she is, like all the members of her extended family, a super-hero. She is reluctant to reveal her special power until the very end of the story, but rails against always having to wear the same outfit, with a cape that often gets in the way, having to leap off and save people at very short notice, which is not always convenient, e.g. at mealtimes, and, although she does have to take her turn at loading the dishwasher, she seldom gets the chance to be, well, just NORMAL.
The reader might sympathise, but want to find out what happens, anyway. The family has just moved house to be nearer Granny and Grandad, who have retired from being super-heroes, and she and her younger sister, Red Dragon, who can breathe fire and is irritatingly good at everything she does, have started at a new school. Pizazz really misses her old friends Sue and Tom, and finds that everyone at the new school is in friendship groups already and no-one, particularly three girls she calls ‘The Populars’, wants to include her. And she still sometimes has to rush off when a baddy is threatening the safety of the planet in various inventive ways, like Harry the Slime having a Gunk Tank of Dooooom (“and yes, there are that many ‘o’s”).
In an attempt at normality, Pizazz tries and fails to become a school councillor (Red is one already, annoyingly) but is given the consolation of becoming Eco Monitor, which, for someone who often has to Save The Planet, seems like a good idea, but it’s not the same sort of saving at all, as she discovers when she decides to try and stop the nearby park being turned into a car park by Cashcorp. ‘It turns out that when your baddies are dressed in in suits and don’t use LASERS , but bits of paper and suitcases, they are much, much harder to defeat’. The fact that ‘Popular’ Serena’s Dad is the big cheese at Cashcorp is an added complication. With an idea from Gramps, and input from her classmate Ivy, who becomes a friend, of course the park is saved, but not before Pizazz has to use her “very embarrassing superpower”, which would be a spoiler if revealed. Another story: Pizazz vs The New Kid is in the pipeline.
There are copious cartoon illustrations, and also comic strips for the parts where Pizazz has to rush off to save the planet. Sophy Henn has now written 32 books, for varying age groups, and was the World Book Day illustrator in 2015, so she is able to use all her skills as author and illustrator for this book, which is great fun to read and highly recommended.