The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves




Series Information

Book 1- Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born

Book 2- Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council

Book 3- Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers
 
Book 4- Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure
 
Book 5- Nikki Powergloves- The Power Council vs. The Power Outlaws
 
Book 6- Nikki Powergloves and the Power Giver


Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born Synopsis

Perfect for kids aged 7-10 or advanced younger readers aged 4-6!!

Nikki Nickerson hates her name and her boring life as a nine-year-old in the small town of Cragglyville. That is, until she finds a disappearing path into a forest that is rumored to be haunted. At the end of the trail, she and her dog, Mr. Miyagi, find a beautiful treasure chest, standing ready for her to claim.

What does the chest contain? Gold? No. Diamonds? Nah. Money? Not even close. The chest contains twelve multi-colored gloves. Nikki’s disappointment quickly morphs into delight when she discovers that the gloves are much more than just a cheesy fashion accessory. You see, each pair of gloves gives her a different power, such as stopping time or super-strength.

With a little help from her best friend, Spencer Quick, Nikki Nickerson is transformed into Nikki Powergloves, crime-fighting superhero. But every hero needs a villain and she soon finds hers in the form of Jimmy Powerboots, a smug and misguided youth who uncovers a similar treasure and chooses to use his newfound powers for evil. Nikki must find a way to de-boot her arch nemesis and stop his maniacal plans.


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Nikki Powergloves Sneak Peek

1
The man-eating porcupine-beaver
Nikki Nickerson hated her name. Not so much her first name, Nikki was fine, but when combined with Nickerson it was dreadful! What were her mom and dad thinking? The only thing that saved her from constant teasing at school was a boy named George George. His name was definitely worse than hers, but having the second worst name at school was still nothing to be proud of. When she grew up, one of the first things she would do would be to change her name to something cool, like Shakira or Elektra.
Nikki was also bored of being nine-years-old. Nothing exciting ever happened in her life. She hated to complain, because her life wasn’t too bad as far as lives go; she lived in a small, but nice house, with a small, but nice family. Without any brothers or sisters, Nikki had to entertain herself much of the time during the long summer holiday from school.
First, she tried playing with friends from school, but all the girls ever wanted to do was try on their moms’ makeup and pretend that they were older than they really were. When she asked the boys if she could play with them, they refused; building forts and wrestling was far too difficult for a girl to do, they told her.
Next she tried TV, but her mom said, “That stuff will rot your brain, Nikki. Go outside.”
So outside she went, ready to explore the world! After two hours, she realized that there wasn’t much to see in her little town of Cragglyville. She visited the old museum, but when she tried to touch one of the Native American exhibits, the security man said, “No touching. Get lost, kid!”
She wanted to get lost. At least getting lost would be more exciting than her life, but instead she decided to go down to the old mill on the river. That proved to be even more boring than the museum; she wasn’t allowed inside, and watching the waterwheel churn the muddy water was only cool for about the first five minutes.
She left the mill and went back to town to see if she could get into trouble there.
Like Nikki’s house and family, the town of Cragglyville was small, but nice. The roads were kept clean by a weekly street sweeper and the sidewalks were tended to by Old Man Smithy, the local litter collector. The layout of the town was basic; the flat topography allowed a grid pattern to be used, with one main street running down the town center—the name of the road was Main Street, no joke—while various cross streets intersected it at one block intervals. The town had a rustic feel to it, like it had never been touched by the Industrial Revolution. At any second, one might expect a gang of outlaws to ride up on their black horses and start a gunfight with the local sheriff. Surprisingly, there were no tumbleweeds bouncing along Main Street, but mainly because Smithy was so good at his job.
The town had one of each of the basic necessities: a post office for snail-mail; a Town Hall for government functions; a bakery for tasty treats; a diner for coffee, flapjacks, and gossip—the coffee and pancakes were good, but the gossip was the tastiest of all—a police station to keep order; a hospital for bumps, bruises and the flu; and a bank, of course, as an alternative for keeping your money in a piggy-bank or under your mattress.
Nikki had just walked past the old bank, which was on the corner of Main Street and Rooster Road, when she stopped and scratched her head. Robbing a bank could be exciting, she thought. She could be like Jessie James and Billy the Kid. An outlaw, always one step ahead of the law! No way, the much wiser part of her brain said, your parents will ground you for a month if you rob a bank.
So robbing a bank was out. That left what? A whole lot of nothing, that’s what. Nikki decided to head for home to see if she could find a tree to climb or a bike to ride.
Upon reaching Plantation Road, she cut across the street and off of the sidewalk, opting to take the “short” cut, along the edge of the woods and around the cornfields. In reality, this route wasn’t really shorter, but Nikki found it far more interesting than walking on the same roads, past the same houses.
While she walked along, Nikki picked up a sturdy branch that had fallen from a tree overhanging the fields. Using it as a hiking stick, she imagined that she was a famous explorer discovering the land for the first time. “Discovering what?” she asked herself out loud. A bunch of cornfields, she thought, not very exciting at all. She needed to find an adventure to have!
Nikki stopped and gazed at the endless rows of corn marching into the distance. She hated corn—the look, the taste, the feel. Yuck! Turning in the other direction, toward the woods, she peered into the gloom. How could it be so dark in there when it was so bright outside? The sun rose high above her and she was hot and sweaty from trudging all over town. The forest looked cool and quiet. A light breeze wafted through the crisscross of branches, slowly moving them up and down, as if they were inviting her into their world.
There was a rumor going around school that the forest was haunted. By what, no one knew, but the kids were sure that it was dangerous. Maybe something dangerous is exactly what I need, Nikki thought. “No, Nikki,” the responsible part of her mind said. “It is far too dangerous and your parents would not want you to go in there.”
“Be quiet, why can’t I have any fun?” Nikki muttered to herself. She took another long look at the forest before allowing the cowardly part of her brain to win the argument. Just as she began to walk away, she heard a loud cracking sound from the trees behind her.
She froze.
Slowly turning her head, she looked to see what had caused the noise. That’s when she saw the path. It was not some small, overgrown trail that you might expect to see leading into a forest, but instead, was a wide, clear corridor. Nikki had passed by this way a hundred times before and had never seen this path. Where had it come from?
The ground was almost completely free of branches and leaves, like it had been swept clean by a caretaker, or maybe Smithy; it was as smooth as the marble floor in an art gallery. And sitting directly in the center of the path was a large, fat animal, resembling a cross between a porcupine and a beaver. The furry mammal was sitting atop a broken branch, having fallen from the trees high above. So this was the source of the cracking sound, Nikki realized.
The animal growled, its mouth opening wide to reveal several sets of razor sharp teeth.
2
The disappearing path into the haunted forest

Nikki ran harder than she had ever run. She tripped once, scrambled to her feet, and tripped again. Her legs felt like jelly. Lying face down on the ground, she waited to be torn to shreds by the savage beast. Twenty seconds passed, and then thirty, but the attack never came.

A million questions rattled through Nikki’s brain like, “What if the animal is just really slow and is still coming after me?” or, “I wonder what it feels like to be dinner for a man-eating porcupine-beaver?”

Wanting to find out whether she was still being chased, Nikki rolled over onto her back and sat up, pulling her legs under her to sit cross-legged on the ground. She looked back toward the woods where the path had first appeared. Scanning the tree line, she couldn’t see the opening anymore. She would need to take a closer look.

Nikki marched bravely back to the forest and crept along the edge, watching for any signs of movement. After she had tiptoed about a hundred steps or so, she realized that the path into the forest had disappeared.
***

Later that day, Nikki lay on her bed staring at the ceiling. Her mind raced back to the cornfields, to the cracking noise, to the mysterious disappearing path, and finally, to the strange animal with the shark-like teeth. Had she imagined it?

A low whine sounded from under her arm. She jumped, startled by the noise. “Oh, Mr. Miyagi, I’m sorry. I forgot you were there.” Mr. Miyagi was Nikki’s dog. He had been hers since she was five-years-old and so, for the last four years, they had grown up together. The playful and obedient Scottie was named after the famous karate instructor from the movie, The Karate Kid. As she gently stroked the fur of her black Scottish terrier, she wondered again whether the events of the day had just been a particularly imaginative daydream.

Nikki’s mom regularly told her that she had an especially overactive imagination, and that sometimes she needed to focus more on what was real. Nikki wished that her best friend, Spencer, was with her, because he could’ve been a second witness to the unbelievable story.

Nikki had known Spencer Quick her entire life. He lived on the same street, went to the same school, and liked doing the same things as she did. Sadly, his parents had divorced three years earlier and so, each summer he spent a month with his dad, who lived in New York. He had only been gone for a week so far, but Nikki already missed him very much. She needed to tell him what had happened.

Grabbing her cell phone from the bedside table, she found Spencer’s name in her address book and pressed the CALL button. The satisfying chirp of the phone ringing clucked in her ear. After three rings with no answer, Nikki began muttering, “Pick up, pick up, pick up. C’mon, Spencer!”

On the fourth ring, she heard the call connect and a voice say, “ET phone home! Hi, Nikks.”

Frustrated, Nikki said, “What took you so long to answer, Spence?”

“Oh, sorry about that. I was just watching ET on TV with my dad. I can’t stay on for too long, we’re having an intermission so he can scoop some ice cream for us while I talk to you.”

Nikki’s stomach growled. Ice cream sounded good. She had barely touched her food at dinner, because she was too worried about what had happened, but now her appetite came roaring back at Spencer’s mention of her favorite cold treat. “That’s okay, Spence. But listen, I have an emergency here that I need your advice for.”
“Okay, shoot.”
Nikki rushed through the story and waited for his reply. She heard him humming to himself. Spencer always hummed whenever he was thinking hard about something; he said it was his way of concentrating. In the background, she heard a voice yell, “Spencerrrr! Come on back down now, your ice cream’s melting!”

“Oh shoot, I gotta go, woowoo!” he said. “Listen, don’t do anything until I get back to Cragglyville. We can figure things out together.”

“Spence, that’s three weeks away, I don’t think I can wait that long!” Nikki practically shrieked.

“Just try, okay? Gotta run. Over and out.” Before she could respond, he had hung up and she could hear the monotonous drone of the dial tone in her ear.

“Well that just stinks,” Nikki complained to herself. She slumped down on her bed and flipped over onto her stomach to think things through. Surely there couldn’t be a dangerous animal roaming freely in their little forest. Nikki had never heard of any animal attacks in Cragglyville. “I don’t care if Spencer wants me to wait for him,” Nikki mumbled, as a plan began to form in her head.
3
Nikki and Mr. Miyagi go on an adventure
 
The next day, Nikki jumped out of bed at seven o’clock in the morning, threw on some clothes, brushed her teeth, made her bed, and bounded down the stairs with Mr. Miyagi hot on her heels. She hadn’t felt so excited for the start of a new day since summer began two weeks earlier.
“Aren’t you an early bird today,” Nikki’s mom said when she saw her daughter practically burst into the kitchen.
“Uh, yeah, Mom. I’m just taking your advice and getting outside to enjoy the summer,” Nikki answered tentatively—her mom could usually see straight through her lies.
This time she didn’t though.
“That’s great, Nikki. If you come back around noon, I can make you lunch when I get back from my book club.”
Mrs. Nickerson was short, with shoulder-length, reddish-brown hair. An eternal optimist, she was always able to find the silver lining in even the worst situations. She was a stay-at-home mom who, once Nikki started school, began to join clubs to keep herself busy. Not just a couple of clubs, but a club for every day of the week. She had running club on Mondays, Spanish club on Wednesdays, arts and crafts club on Thursdays, dog training club on Fridays, and bridge club on Saturdays, where she played a weird card game that Nikki didn’t understand at all. She even joined a chess club that met on Sundays. Today was Tuesday, which was book club day.
Nikki thought that her mom overdid it a bit, but her activities seemed to make her happy, so Nikki didn’t say anything. Her mom constantly invited Nikki to come along, but as a rule, she always said no. What nine-year-old girl wanted to hang out with a bunch of old people doing boring things? There was only one exception to her rule: dog training club.
Nikki went with her mom to dog training club as often as possible. She loved watching all of the different breeds learn skills, from as basic as sitting or rolling over, to as complex as collecting the newspaper or pushing a stroller. There was even a particularly clever collie that had learned how to press the speed dial for emergency services on her owner’s cell phone. Mr. Miyagi was somewhere in the middle of his training class and Nikki hoped that one day he would be the smartest dog in the club.
“Sounds great, Mom, but I may just take my allowance for the week and buy something in town.” Nikki tried to avoid eye contact as she poured her cereal, added extra sugar, and filled a bowl with minced beef kibbles for Mr. Miyagi.
“Okay, sweetie, but be careful and don’t be home too late.”
“Sure,” Nikki said, stuffing a large spoonful of Cheerios into her mouth. She crunched loudly, appreciative of the first few bites of cereal, before the milk made the small O’s too mushy to crunch. Her mom turned back to the local newspaper she was reading.
“Hmmm,” Mrs. Nickerson murmured, reacting to something she had read.
“What is it, Mom?” Nikki asked in between mouthfuls.
“Nothing really, it’s just the usual problems with the groundhogs getting into Farmer Miller’s cornfields again. But the odd thing is that the bite marks on the damaged ears they found are different than what a groundhog’s teeth usually look like. Apparently they are much sharper looking. Isn’t that strange?”
Nikki’s mouth stopped chewing in mid-bite. Sharp bite marks! Farmer Miller’s cornfield! That’s where she had seen the creature! Trying to keep a straight face, Nikki replied, “Yeah, that’s strange, Mom. Do they think it could be a different kind of animal?”
Her mom shrugged. “They’re not sure yet, but it’s probably nothing to worry about. If the animal is eating corn, then it’s probably just an herbivore anyway.”
Nikki’s heart skipped a beat. Why hadn’t she thought of that? If it was eating corn it must be a veggie-eater. That would also explain why the pudgy creature hadn’t chased her. It had probably just growled because it was afraid of her. Having no reason to be scared now, she became even more eager to investigate the hidden path into the forest.
Skipping the last few bites of cereal, she emptied her bowl down the garbage disposal and rushed for the door.
“Wait just one minute, young lady, aren’t you forgetting something?” her mom asked.
Nikki tried to remember each of her chores and whether she had done them. Make her bed, check. Brush her teeth, check. Clean her room, check. Her mind drew a blank.
Her mom gave her a clue: “Well, besides saying goodbye to me, isn’t there a certain four-legged furry creature that needs some attention?”
Nikki’s jaw dropped, thinking that her mom was referring to the animal from the forest. Then she remembered. Mr. Miyagi. “Oops! Sorry, Mom, I forgot to walk him. Maybe I could just take him with me for the day?”
Mrs. Nickerson thought about it for a minute and then said, “You know what, Nikks, I think that’s a great idea, just make sure you keep him on the leash and that he gets plenty of water. Here, I’ll pack you a bag of doggie treats in case he gets hungry.”
Nikki added the dog supplies to her small backpack, kissed her mom goodbye, and held the door to let Mr. Miyagi out. He scampered through the doorway and down the stairs, and then waited obediently for her to catch up when he reached the end of his leash.
The pair jogged down the street and past Spencer’s house. His voice from the night before rang in her ear: Don’t do anything until I get back…we can figure things out together. She tried to ignore the voice in her head and continued to the end of the block and around the corner. Once out of her neighborhood, she turned left on Plantation Road, but instead of going all the way to the end, she led Mr. Miyagi off the road to the right before they reached Farmer Miller’s place.
Crazy Miller, as the kids at school called him, was a stern, giant of a man, who had earned his reputation for being a bit loony by chasing children out of his garden with a pitchfork. Even though he appeared to be childless, there was a rumor going around that he kept four or five kids locked up in his barn to use as manual labor for his farm. A common dare amongst the boys in her grade was to see who could get the closest to touching his barn before freaking out and running away.
Nikki, on the other hand, knew Mr. Miller well, as he had been a friend of the family for as long as she could remember. Contrary to the talk at school, he was a nice man, and he and his wife would regularly stop by the Nickerson’s house to deliver freshly made apple and pumpkin pies. Nikki was one of the few children that Mr. Miller would allow to walk around his fields, and she took great pride in having the privilege to do so.
Just as Nikki and her dog started past the first few rows of corn, Nikki heard a loud voice boom, “Helloooooo, Nikkiiiii!” A smile burst onto her face as she whipped her head around in the direction of the sound.
Farmer Miller was pushing a wheelbarrow filled with sacks of something along the edge of the cornfield. As he approached, Mr. Miyagi strained at the leash. “Be patient, little one,” Nikki cooed. “Your friend will be here in a second.” Every time Mr. Miyagi saw Farmer Miller he reacted the same way—it could only be described as sheer excitement. It made sense because every time Farmer Miller was near Nikki’s dog, he shamefully spoiled him with belly rubs and doggie treats.
“Hi, Mr. Miller,” Nikki said when he arrived.
“Hi there, Nikks. What are you up to on this beautiful, sunny day? Not getting into any trouble are you?” As he spoke, Mr. Miller lowered the heavy-looking wheelbarrow to the ground. His powerful arm muscles were bulging from the effort and he was sweating so much that the salty liquid had soaked straight through his bright red t-shirt and dusty overalls.
While Nikki wasn’t scared of Farmer Miller like the other kids were, she couldn’t help but treat him with the utmost respect, considering he was about four times the size of her. Looking up at him now, she felt tiny, like an ant that could be squashed with a single step. Her head barely reached his waist, and each of his legs was as thick as her entire body. But when she looked at his face, she saw a kind, caring man. A gentle giant. His eyes twinkled and his smile was cheerful and happy.
“No, Mr. Miller. We were just going on an adventure.”
“Ahh, I see.” Although it seemed impossible, his eyes twinkled even more and his smile widened even broader. “An adventure, huh? I used to go on quite a few of those myself. Many years ago….” He gazed wistfully into the distant fields, as if a flood of memories had just rushed into his head.
Nikki waited patiently for him to continue. And waited. And waited. Finally, when it appeared he might just stare into the fields all day, Nikki said, “Uh, Mr. Miller?”
His head jerked toward her, like she had surprised him out of a deep, deep sleep. “Sorry, Nikks. I was just thinking about something.”
“That’s okay. But we better get going as we have a lot to do today.”
“Hold on now. You can’t possibly walk through my fields without joining me for a piece of apple pie and some fresh squeezed apple cider.”
“It’s not even eight in the morning yet, Mr. Miller.”
“We’re not talking about whiskey here. It’s never too early for some pie and cider, Nikks. Just don’t tell your mom, okay?” He winked at her, his smile returning wider than ever.
Nikki grinned. “I won’t.”
With a big scoop of his arm, he picked Mr. Miyagi up and placed him on top of the sacks in the wheelbarrow. The dog wagged his tail happily.
As they walked toward the farmhouse, Nikki asked, “What’s in these sacks anyway?”
“Seeds. For the veggie garden. Time to start plantin’ again,” he replied.
“Oh.”
Upon arriving at the house, the door opened and a plump, smiling woman emerged. Her hands were covered by oven mitts and she wore a neat, simple red apron. “Hi, Nikki!” she said enthusiastically.
“Hi, Mrs. Miller,” Nikki replied. “I couldn’t slip by without Mr. Miller inviting me over.”
“Well, he’s right, of course. Without your help, we would never be able to eat all these pies I’ve been baking. And then I would grow as big as the house!”
Nikki laughed. The Millers were always able to make her laugh. She had never heard either of them say anything mean to each other or to her, or anyone else for that matter. They were good people. The kind of people you wanted to spend time with.
Twenty minutes and two pieces of apple pie, a glass of cider, and a whole lot of laughs later, Nikki had forgotten all about adventures and strange, toothy creatures, until Farmer Miller said, “I’d better get out there and start plantin’. I have a full day ahead of me. And I still have to set traps for those darn groundhogs.”
Nikki’s eyes widened. Groundhogs! “What groundhogs, Mr. Miller?” she asked, pretending that she hadn’t heard the news.
“Oh, it’s nothing to worry about, honey. They’ve only eaten a few ears of corn so far, but if I don’t stop them they’ll devour every last kernel.”
“Oh.” She grabbed her backpack and Mr. Miyagi’s leash and said, “Thanks again for the pie, it was really yummy. See you later!”
“Bye, dear,” Mrs. Miller said. “Don’t be a stranger.”
“And don’t get into any trouble,” Mr. Miller added.
“I won’t,” Nikki promised, replying to both of them.
She dashed out the door, with Mr. Miyagi’s little legs scrambling to keep up. Now that her mind was back on her plans, her heart began to beat faster, in anticipation of the adventure that was possibly just around the corner. In her head, she reminded herself that there was nothing to be scared of, because the animal she had seen was probably just as docile as her very own pet. As she approached the forest, she tried to act normal, like she was just passing through, with the hope that the events of the previous day would repeat themselves.
Knowing that they had to be close to the exact spot she had stopped the last time, Nikki stopped again, and tiptoed toward the edge of the forest. Without warning, her typically quiet and even-tempered dog began barking madly, while pulling the leash, along with Nikki, back away from the trees.
“Mr. Miyagi! What’s gotten in to you?” Nikki shouted. “Quiet, quiet! I’m moving back now!”
As soon as she stepped away from the border between the field and the trees, Mr. Miyagi stopped barking, sat down on his hind legs, and acted completely normal, as if he had just been sitting patiently the entire time. Nikki crouched next to him and stroked him under the chin, “What’s the matter, puppy?” she asked.
Her bearded friend just looked at her, his tongue hanging out of his mouth in response to the hot, sunny day. “Are you thirsty?” Nikki guessed. She unzipped her backpack and pulled out a bottle of water and a small dish she had brought.
Mr. Miyagi greedily emptied the bowl nearly as fast as his owner filled it, while Nikki gulped down the rest of the bottle. Without warning, a sharp cracking sound rose from the forest. Nikki whipped her head around to see what had caused it. Sure enough, a wide trail had magically appeared, with the peculiar, roundish animal balanced on a broken branch in the middle of the entrance.
Mr. Miyagi leapt from his haunches and charged for the path, ripping the leash from Nikki’s loose grip. Time began to move in slow motion as Nikki clambered to her feet and raced after him, yelling, “Nooo, Mr. Miyagi! Come back!!” Her usually responsive dog ignored her request and raced straight for the creature, which seemed completely unperturbed by the streaking canine headed its way.
Just before the Scottie collided with it, the animal deftly rolled to the side, out of harm’s way. Mr. Miyagi skidded to a stop, and before he could turn to charge again, the creature rolled off down the path, much faster than Nikki would have thought possible from such a pudgy little mammal. Within seconds it was out of sight; the only evidence that it had ever been there at all was the broken branch and a tiny track in the dirt, left by its pointy fur as it rolled down the trail, like a bowling ball headed for a cluster of pins.
Mr. Miyagi stood still and stared into the forest, his tail wagging expectantly, as if he believed the animal would return as quickly as it had left. Finally catching up, Nikki slowly picked up the leash, regaining control of her pet. She glanced at her blue waterproof watch and saw that it was not even nine o’clock in the morning yet! She hadn’t been awake for two hours and already her day had more excitement than she had ever had in her entire life. This is shaping up to be the best day ever, she thought.
Nikki sat down to think about what to do next. One thing was certain: She would follow the animal’s tracks, even if it took her directly into the face of danger.

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