The Invincibles: Power Up! is the first book in a super-charged new junior fiction series. Regular old rugby practice turns into something more when five kids are zapped by lightning and find themselves in possession of a range of different super powers! Scholastic NZ have kindly allowed us to present this sampling.
Tana guided the team through a simple set of passing drills as heavier rain began to fall.
“Okay everyone, when you’re catching the ball, try not to let it touch your chest. And watch your grip. The ball is getting really greasy. Also . . . Muzza, you need to try to make eye contact with the ball carrier before they pass. That way they’ll know you’re ready to receive it.”
“Sure thing,” Muzza replied.
Andrea sheltered under a towel she’d found in Tana’s sports bag, listening to some music while the others ran around.
THONK! A flying ball hit her on the head and knocked the towel onto the grass.
“Oops, sorry,” Muzza apologised as he ran over to collect it.
“My bad. I’m a bit of a butterfingers in the rain.”
Andrea pulled the towel back over her head. “With your skills, you couldn’t catch a cold.”
Scotty sighed. “Mate, do you think she’s here to watch us or make fun of us?”
Tana squinted over at her. “Dunno. But at least we have one more spectator than we usually do.”
Tana shoved his fingers in his mouth and whistled noisily. “Okay guys, I need to see who’s the fastest runner here today.”
They all lined up under the goalposts.
“First one to the other end of the field could one day end up being our new left winger.”
Zinnia’s face lit up.
Muzza shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t look hopeful. “Do you get points for participation?” he asked.
Tana ignored him and crouched into a starting position. “ON YOUR MARKS . . . GET SET . . .”
A powerful explosion knocked the players off their feet.
“WHOA!” Tana felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. He looked up at the mass of dark thunder clouds above. “D-did you feel that? It was like a bomb went off.” He quickly jumped up. The dark clouds were moving in swirling patterns, casting huge, spooky shadows across the field.
Scotty tapped Tana on the shoulder.
“Hey ... didn’t this ground get hit by a massive lightning storm years ago?”
Tana nodded and pointed at the damaged scoreboard. “Yep, it was epic. The scoreboard timer’s never worked since.”
“YIKES.” Muzza shivered. “Shouldn’t we get out of here then? Maybe this isn’t the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.”
“Nah, she’ll be right,” Scotty said unconvincingly.“Lighting never strikes in the same place twice.”
Zinnia yawned. “Thunder schmunder – who cares? If it hails, we’ll just use it for dodging practice.”
As she finished speaking, the field was thrown into pitch-black night.
“Hey – who turned the lights off?” Scotty wailed.
Andrea’s phone torch beneath her towel was the only light. She stood up and moved towards them nervously.
“Guys, is this some weird solar eclipse?” Muzza said quietly.
“No idea,” Scotty muttered.
Suddenly there was a FLASH, and a scorching bolt of lightning blasted down, lighting up the field like a fireworks display. The goalposts glowed bright white and Tana, Scotty, Zinnia, Muzza and Andrea all collapsed to the ground ... and turned a ghostly neon blue.
Excerpt published by permission from The Invincibles: Power Up! by Peter Millett, published by Scholastic NZ, 2019
THE INVINCIBLES: POWER UP!
by Peter Millett, illustrations by Myles Lawford
Published by Scholastic NZ