In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

HERO by Mike Lupica

copyright date: November 2010
primarily marketed for: grade 6 and up

Hero by Mike Lupica was a refreshingly fast-paced exciting book to read after slogging through Matthew Cody’s Powerless as a class read aloud to prepare for our author visit with the author.  Although both books are appropriate for a 6th grade audience, Hero is much more appealing for students beyond 6th grade. 

Hero starts out describing a few moments of Zach’s father’s life, from his father’s point of view.  The rest of the book flips to a third person account of Zach’s adventures after his father is gone.  Zach begins to discover he has superpowers, but Lupica manages to tell this superhero story so well that it almost seems plausible. 

The story is set in New York City. Being a fan of the city, I enjoyed the talk about landmarks and the city feel to the book.  Not to mention, how fun it is to imagine living Zach’s life as the child of parents who serve the president and presidential hopefuls.  It is a charmed life, and he even has a live-in caretaker whose daughter is conveniently Zach’s best friend.

Although the action of this story is wrapped up at the end, and we are sure we know who to trust and who is a “Bad,” it is clear by the ending of this book that Lupica is planning a sequel (maybe even a series). 

I enjoyed this departure from his usual sports themed stories.  If you are into the idea of superheroes, you are sure to like Hero.   

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