Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma
About the book
Eleven-year-old Ash doesn’t have much to look forward to: maths tests, a naggy Mum, and an Ah Ma who doesn’t know much about her. That is, until she discovers something that will change her life—Ah Ma is a superhero! The best part is, Ash discovers that she has superpowers too!
Life is so much more exciting as a superhero-in-training. However, Ash can’t help but notice that Ah Ma sometimes gets a little absent-minded while showing her the ropes. Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma is a funny and heartwarming story about family and acceptance. Growing up and growing old is never easy—and all the more perplexing when secrets and superpowers are added to the mix.
• Heartwarming story about the special relationship between a girl and her grandmother.
• This book gently introduces young readers to ageing and dementia in a compelling superhero story.
• Full-colour graphic novel set in Southeast Asia, by creators from Southeast Asia.
Read an excerpt here.
For more resources on dementia, head to superheroahma.differenceengine.sg.
Praise for Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma
“Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma is a fun romp that is close to the realities of a child’s everyday life.”
—Lat, creator of The Kampung Boy
“Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma is a delightful graphic novel that can be enjoyed by readers both young and not so young. The story not only entertains but educates by touching on some serious topics in a manner that is delicate and that can be grasped by a younger audience. A great book that packs a whole lot of fun, adventure, but mostly, heart. I look forward to sharing more stories about Ash and her super Ah Ma with my children.”
—Leila Boukarim, author of Hello Goodbye Little Island
“The storyline is unique and captured my attention as a reader. I like that it portrays persons with dementia (PWD) in a positive light and seeing them as more than just PWD.”
—Tan Pei Qi, Adila Yusof and Nicodemus Ching, Social Workers of AWWA Health and Senior Care
Melanie is the author of the picture book series, "The Adventures of Squirky the Alien", which picked up the Crystal Kite Award (Middle East/India/Asia division) in 2016. She has also published “Imaginary Friends: 26 Whimsical Fables for Getting on in a Crazy World”, a collection of illustrated short stories together with Arif Rafhan. Besides books, Melanie writes content related to the arts, heritage and lifestyle for a variety of platforms including museums, documentaries, magazines and websites. In addition, she is Associate Faculty at the Singapore University of Social Sciences developing and teaching media writing courses.
Arif Rafhan is a comic artist, illustrator and pre-production artist. His work has been published in more than 10 books to date by MPH, Buku Fixi, Maple Comics, and Marshall Cavendish. These include comics, content illustrations and cover illustrations. He's been working closely with Lat since October 2018 for Lat's upcoming graphic novel (ongoing). He also works with various production companies creating pre-production visuals such as concept art, character designs, environment designs, and storyboards. At the moment, he's working with Sony Animation as a character designer for their upcoming feature animation.
Ash (Ashley Tan)
11-year-old Ash finds school stressful and boring. In particular, she doesn’t like Mathematics and is dreading next year’s National Exams. She is on the shy side, but can be loud and bold when the occasion calls for it. She loves her Mum and Ah Ma, although she wishes they could understand her better. Her superpowers are strength and speed.
Ah Ma (Annie Tan)
70-year-old Ah Ma is raising Ash while her daughter, Grace, works full-time. She is experiencing early symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss. With this, Ah Ma is making it a point to spend more quality time with Grace and Ash. However, she ends up revealing some life-changing secrets! Her superpowers are flight & flexibility.
Mum (Grace Tan)
42-year-old Grace is an accountant and the sole breadwinner of the family. She is constantly overwhelmed juggling work, family finances, Ash’s schoolwork, and her mother’s dementia. Despite her busyness, she is incredibly intuitive and tries to involve herself in the lives of Ah Ma and Ash as much as possible.
11-year-old Zoe is Ash’s best friend in school. She loves talking and is full of creative ideas! She is the first person to learn about Ash’s and Ah Ma’s superpowers and immediately starts working on a branding campaign for them.
12-year-old Buddy is Ash’s neighbour and childhood friend. He appears timid, but works hard for things that he strongly believes in. He is the second person to learn about Ash’s and Ah Ma’s superpowers, and volunteers to provide tech support for them.
The Flat Boys (Yusuf, Linus, Ravi & Ming)
The Flat Boys live a few blocks away from the Tan family. They have been going around the neighbourhood extorting toys and money from younger kids like Ash and Buddy.
Officer Lim is a friendly policeman who heads the neighbourhood police post. He has been receiving reports about the Flat Boys’ antics and wants to put a stop to these incidents soon.