Super Mom Saves the World
by Melanie Lynne Hauser

Published: 2007-03-06
Paperback : 300 pages
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"Escape into the world of Super Mom for a few hours...you'll be glad you did". - Meg Cabot, author of Queen of Babble.

"...provides a welcome break from the proliferation of urban mommy books. For those who rely on Fresh Direct and nannies to run a household, this will read like a ...

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"Escape into the world of Super Mom for a few hours...you'll be glad you did". - Meg Cabot, author of Queen of Babble.

"...provides a welcome break from the proliferation of urban mommy books. For those who rely on Fresh Direct and nannies to run a household, this will read like a foreign text. The women in Hauser's world clean their own toilets, volunteer for the PTA and bake a mean tuna casserole."- Kirkus Reviews

In this sequel to “Confessions of Super Mom”, It's six months after the Horrible Swiffer Accident that left her a superhero, and Birdie Lee is still adjusting. For starters, she's hearing voices and having lustful thoughts about Mr. Clean. Then there's the fact that her daughter is suddenly sporting a bright pink streak in her hair, courtesy of her new friend Vienna (and if recent history has taught us anything, we all know that a girl named after a foreign city is going to be trouble). Birdie's son is experiencing his first case of puppy love, her nerdy scientist love interest has just proposed marriage, and her annoying ex-husband is suddenly less annoying. Which can only mean he's up to no good.

But things get even more sinister when her hometown of Astro Park gets Little League fever in a big way. Rabid parents, performance-enhancing Gatorade and a domed stadium on shaky - potentially explosive - ground are just the beginning of Super Mom's problems; throw in a ticked off school janitor and a corrupt mayor, and Super Mom has her hands full.

Read SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD to find out how one woman - one mother - struggles to keep her teenagers in tow with one hand while saving her hometown from disaster with the other. While trying to find time for herself amidst the very real, very messy job of blending families as she plans her marriage to her very own Super Man.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Chapter 1

What happens when a normal, PTA-fearing mother of two teenagers suddenly finds herself thrust into a new career at the tender age of forty-one?

And what if that career happens to involve an entirely new wardrobe, including high heels (which she hasn't worn in decades) and underwire bras (ditto)?

Furthermore, what if the job description includes keeping the world safe for democracy and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with really evil villains with unusual names?

Well, apparently she starts hearing voices.

At least, that's what happened to me, after a full six months on the job as the newest kid on the superhero block, that maternal dynamo known as -

Super Mom. (That's me.)

I'd just come home from yet another busy day of fighting crime. I stumbled up to the back door tired, cranky because I'd forgotten my key, but then realized that it wasn't necessary because the extra set was dangling from the door knob, practically sending out an engraved invitation to any interested evil villains to c'mon in and take their best shot at me. I sighed, pulled the keys out of the door knob and pushed the door open with my shoulder, because it's old and it sticks. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the Author...

If you’re in a book club, or just looking for some things to ponder, I’ve put together a few discussion questions for SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD:

1. Considering all the other unsung heroes out there, why do you think a superhero honoring mothers was necessary in today’s society? Or do you think that mothers should be celebrated in this way?

2. As the book begins, Birdie is beginning to feel as if the town doesn’t appreciate all she does. Do you feel that women are typically underappreciated in this way, in the workplace and at home? Or do you think that Birdie is too sensitive about this?

3. The friendship between Carrie and Birdie is a very big part of these books, yet they’re both worried that it will change as their daughters grow apart. Do you feel that their bond is real, or was it a friendship that grew out of convenience, and will fade as their lives take them in different directions?

4. Blending families is an important theme of the book. Do you feel Birdie and Carl are too honest when they admit to each other that their own children will always come first? Will Carl replace Dr. Dan in Kelly’s and Martin’s lives, or do you believe Birdie will try to keep her ex-husband involved as a parent?

5. Dr. Dan’s attempt to win his ex-wife back fails. How selfish were his motives? Do you feel there was any genuine feeling or attraction on his part? Was Birdie ever truly tempted, or was the feeling she once had for him truly dead?

6. Birdie admits that her fears over her son dating are stronger than they were when her daughter was the same age. Why do you think this is? What role does gender and birth order play in her different approach to her children?

7. Despite her hatred of Mr. Derringer and the way he treats his son, Birdie is reluctant to truly intervene until the end. Do you feel she should have stepped in sooner, as Super Mom? Did the fact that she had no evidence of actual physical abuse make up for the obvious psychological damage she witnessed? What exactly is the line between abuse and poor parenting?

8. While the entire town is involved in the building of the new stadium, and the excitement of competitive sports, academic and music funding is slowly taken away. Do you think this is a true reflection of our society today?

9. The fundraising competition between the PTA and the Shriners is one of the more humorous parts of the book. However, do you think that school fundraising is an issue that needs to be addressed? Is the depiction of the PTA really that exaggerated in the book? Are the parents of Astro Park well-intentioned in their zealousness?

10. Who is the true villain of the book — Mayor Linseed, Jasper, Janitor Bingo, or Dr. Dan? Are any of these innocent of bad intent? Or is there some flaw in all of their characters?

11. Why do you think Birdie is so quick to overlook the fact that Janitor Bingo initially wanted to do her harm? Beyond their connection through cleaning, what is the bond that ties them? Why does Birdie feel so responsible for him?

12. Birdie and Carl talk about the fact that they were so busy being parents, they didn’t even remember to dance at their own wedding. Is this an indication that they need to do a better job balancing parenting with being in love? Or have they found a way to do that already? What do you think is the underlying strength of their relationship?

13. The end of the book suggests that Carl will soon be celebrated in his own right. How do you think they’ll manage a marriage between two celebrities? How will Carl react to his fame? How will Birdie?

14. When the book begins, Birdie is unable to fly. What is it that gives her the confidence to do so at the end? What in her life has changed? What do you think flying symbolizes to her? To all women?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

A Note from the Author:

Dear Reader,

I’m often asked why I chose to write women’s fiction from a superhero’s perspective. Contrary to popular belief (my family’s, anyway), it’s not because I wanted to be Wonder Woman when I grew up. (Queen of the Universe was my actual goal.) Although I do think that if you grew up in the United States during the 1960’s and 1970’s, you can’t help but have absorbed a lot of superhero mythology. Batman on TV, the Wonder Twins on Saturday mornings and yes, of course — Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman; pop culture icons, all.

But the truth is, I just wanted to write women’s fiction, period. I wanted to write about the issues we all face as women — juggling work, kids, spouses (ex or otherwise). Much of the “mommy lit” that I was reading at the time tended to place the heroine in a high powered job with personal assistants and nannies at her disposal. I wanted to write about more of a working class mom — the kind of woman I knew personally. But the truth is, writing about people you already know can be just a little, well — boring. What’s the fun in reading about characters that are exactly like the people you see at PTA meetings? I wanted to give readers something a bit more; characters whose every day lives were very much like theirs. But who had an element of fantasy, of fun, that mere mortals can only dream of. What better way to do that than write about a superhero? Better still — a mom. A Super Mom.

And what fun it all turned out to be! Daydreaming of powers that would make a real difference in my boring ol’ soccer mom life — now, that was exciting! It’s fine to be able to see through steel (Superman) or swing from building to building (Spider-Man). If you’re an idle bachelor who has nothing better to do. But if you’re a woman, a mother, with a messy house, no time for a personal life, and kids growing more distant by the year, swinging from building to building doesn’t really help out, you know? But being able to clean with the power of 10,000 Swiffers? Knowing exactly what your teenagers are up to, no matter how hard they try to hide it? The ability to put grown men into Super Time Outs with just a glance? Much more practical!

And the more I wrote about this part — the fun, superhero part — the more resonance it provided to the “real” part. I understood that there were many parallels between the journey that a superhero takes, and the journey that we women experience. Gaining new powers, juggling secret identities, learning to embrace our strengths — I ended up realizing that women really are the true superheroes in life. Only we don’t always take the time to rejoice in it. Until now.

So that’s why I don’t really think that I’m writing women’s fiction from a superhero’s perspective. I’m just writing women’s fiction. Period. Exploring issues that women face, trying to find humor in the ordinary events of our lives. So what if my heroine wears a cape, Spandex and leaps over tall buildings at a single bound?

Sooner or later, don’t we all?

* * * * *

Obviously, I could go on and on about these parallels — in fact, I think there are lot of things to talk about here, as in all women’s fiction, and I hope that you do, too.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Light, Fun, enjoyable read (Confessions of Super Mom)"by Christal F. (see profile) 02/17/09

The actual book we read is called "Confessions of Super Mom" not this title.

While there is some discussion, it's mostly just a light, fun read. Highly enjoyable. Our group needed a les

... (read more)

  "What an Unexpected Delight!"by Betty S. (see profile) 04/20/07

I thought this would be too "light", but I was totally wrong. This book is very well written, with some very funny parts and some very touching moments. I will read this one again.

  "This book is a great one to choose when the club needs a real pick-me-up. The story is warm, the writing and characters awesome and it's full of laughs and tears."by Denise M. (see profile) 03/18/07

We read the first book in this series last year and loved it. It was great to see what happens to the characters we came to love in the first one.

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