How to Be Super: The Violet Crown (Book One)

How to Be Super: The Violet Crown (Book One)

Regular price
Sale price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

The Violet Crown is an epic tale of powerful heroes who defy the ambitious gods of that land. They are stories of discovery, friendship, battle and betrayal.

And they all take place in modern-day downtown Austin, Texas.

At the center of the Violet Crown stories is Dante Lee, a misfit 12-year-old from the Crestview neighborhood in Austin TX, who discovers that he is actually one of 5 initiates into a secretive band of superheroes called the Violet Crown.

Ages 9+

This book is comprised of 20 individual stories, totaling more than 10 hours of listening adventure!


About the Stories

"Part 1: The Welcome Wall"

In which we are introduced to Dante and his single mother and learn that on the morning of his twelfth birthday, he experiences something incredible: he is struck by lightning. He is fine, but it begins a series of events that leads him to the neighborhood welcome wall where he receives a message that changes everything.

"Part 2: The Restaurant"

In which we are introduced to Dante’s grandfather who gives him a birthday present: a week in a summer ‘wayfinding’ camp where he will be with kids like him – kids who like maps. But when he gets home, he discovers that this camp is much more than just about maps.

"Part 3: The Museum"

In which Dante closes out his sixth grade school year with a trip to the Elisabet Ney Museum, the famous Victorian Sculptress. When he inquires about a painting of what looks like a Violet Crown, the docent quietly singles him out and invites him to a special event at the University Campus – an event that should explain everything.

"Part 4: The Sculptures"

In which Dante is introduced to the four other 12-year-olds that are being inducted into the Violet Crown: Lance, Selena, Manny, and Kate. They gather by a series of sculptures and learn what they all have in common.

"Part 5: The Tower"

In which Dante and his new friends learn about the history of the Violet Crown, and meet their trainers: Lizzie - a kind college student, El Arma – a dynamic graffiti and hip-hop artist, Mona – a sweet older woman who seems to live on the street, and Bruce Donaldson – a long-haired and bearded old-school Austin musician.

"Part 6: The Return"

In which Virgil spends a year in West Texas developing a new business built on acquiring and storing top secret information. He then returns to Austin in a position of power - and he offers to work with the Violet Crown, under certain conditions…

"Part 7: The Back Room"

In which Dante finally goes to his first day of Superhero Camp. He sees his friends again and is introduced to the final trainer, the intense and powerful Miss Marshall - who seems to know everything about them. He learns that they all were born during a Violet Crown sunset and they all have special powers. But they won't know what those powers are until the end of the week.

"Part 8: The Owl's Nest"

In which Lizzie takes the 'first years' to the top of the University Tower, where they learn the First of four Protocols "Keep your eyes open". Each of them notices something different, but Dante makes several connections influential Austinites of the 1890's and present day superheroes. He also learns that his grandfather is back in the hospital.

"Part 9: The Battle Oaks"

In which El Arma introduces them to the second part of the protocol, "Believe it". For this exercise, Dante is paired with Kate, who no longer seems so moody. As they start the exercise, Dante is torn - he wants to become a superhero - but he is also very worried about his Grandfather.

"Part 10: The Drag"

In which Dante and Kate 'tag' various spots along the drag with their uniquely colored bits of yarn. They learn that they both learned they were special through the girl with the red hair and Kate wonders if he knows about the Olympians. Dante does not but Kate says no more. Then at the end of the day, El Arma gives them advice in the form of popular 80's songs.

"Part 11: The University Hospital"

In which Dante is eager to see his grandfather who was being cared for at the University Hospital. When he arrives, his grandfather tells him in earnest that he is not only Dante's grandfather, but also an oracle for the Violet Crown. Dante is, of course, shocked - but nothing prepares him for what he learns next.

"Part 12: The Scottish Rite Temple"

In which Dante learns the third step in the Protocol: "Do Something Brave." He learns that this step is grounded more in fear and weakness than in strength and courage — and this is confusing at first. But when an unexpected event propels him into action, he understands not only the third step, but what his "super power" might be.

"Part 13: The Capitol Building"

Where Dante makes sense of his first experience of "Doing Something Brave." Bruce immediately takes him to a safe place (and famous place) where he can learn Step Four: "Tell No One." When they arrive, Dante meets two other Superheroes who agree to chaperone him for a very exciting day.

"Part 14: Congress Avenue"

In which Carmelo and Stephanie teach Dante the value of the Fourth Protocol: "Tell No One” — and he experiences the disaster that comes when it is not followed.

"Part 15: Wooldridge Park"

In which Dante learns about the conflict between the Violet Crown and the Olympians that took place a century ago. Then, just as he and Bruce are about to explore a prominent building in Austin, a car pulls up and Dante has a spontaneous introduction with someone that he has been both dreading...and seeking.

"Part 16: Stepping into Something New"

In which Dante and his friends share what they learned on Day Three and what new powers they have discovered. Dante learns that Kate has left the Violet Crown — but no one knows why.

"Part 17: Dionysus"

In which Dante attempts to recruit the rest of the Violet Crown, starting with Lizzie and El Arma and Miss Marshall. When he meets with Bruce, the incarnation of Dionysus, he is quite surprised by his answer — and what happens next.

"Part 18: The Bench"

In which Dante reflects on his morning at Barking Springs: the information he gathered about the Ancient Greek heroes, gods, or monsters each of his friends is now representing, and the reason Kate left the Violet Crown. When he sees his mother later that day, he learns that his “father" has crossed the line and must finally be dealt with.

"Part 19: The Plan"

In which Dante completes his mental map and sets a plan in motion — one with the intention of getting to his father and finally telling him to leave him and his mother alone.

"Part 20: The Frost Tower"

In which Dante and his friends go to battle with a team of "monsters" guarding the entrance to the Frost Tower. Dante eventually makes it inside, but not without some personal and community sacrifices. After learning a great deal more about the Olympians, Austin history, and his father, he is faced with a very difficult decision: should he leave or should he stay?