Book Review | Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
by Marc Tyler Nobleman

Score: 3.5

The liner notes of this book start out: “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Siegel and Shuster!” Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two young, Jewish residents of Cleveland, were the creators of Superman. However, with the exception of a paragraph in the book’s Afterword that refers to Jerry Siegel’s Jewishness being ridiculed by the Nazi Press, states that Joe was also Jewish and mentions the fact that Superman’s Kryptonian name is Kal-El, Hebrew for “all that is God”, this book has no real Jewish content.

That being said, this well-written and superbly illustrated book belongs in every Jewish library for the simple fact that Superman and his Jewish creators are a part of Jewish American history. Learning how Superman’s creation evolved with the lives of Jerry and Joe, how they persisted in developing the idea of a superhero for their time and place and how they ultimately made their dream a reality is as engaging as reading a Superman comic book. Boys especially will want to read this book about the effort it took to bring Superman to life and how he captured the imagination of the entire country. The Afterword provides “the rest of the story” and demonstrates how persistence paid off for Superman’s creators even as they faced almost insurmountable odds in reclaiming the rights to Superman in their later years.

This is a fascinating and riveting story that deserves shelf space in every Jewish library.

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