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106 Reviews
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3 star:
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent super hero fiction for boys (and girls)
What young kid doesn't wish they were a super hero? Zach Harriman believes his dad is a super hero of sorts: he works for the President of the US, was a college sports star, and is a great dad. But, after his dad's dies in an airplane accident, Zach learns there are things that he didn't know about his father, a real super hero connection they both share. Now Zach has...
Published on November 2, 2010 by nicholas newcomb

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably Bad - There's no there, there
Mike Lupica has had great success with his sports themed books for young readers, and I guess he figured it was time to tap into the superhero/fantasy market. Well, this effort is an embarrassment.

There is no book here. The entire story is: Dad was a superhero and now Zach finds out he has super powers, too. Bad guys, (called, I kid you not, "the Bads"), want...
Published on October 23, 2011 by Pop Bop


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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent super hero fiction for boys (and girls), November 2, 2010
By 
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
What young kid doesn't wish they were a super hero? Zach Harriman believes his dad is a super hero of sorts: he works for the President of the US, was a college sports star, and is a great dad. But, after his dad's dies in an airplane accident, Zach learns there are things that he didn't know about his father, a real super hero connection they both share. Now Zach has bigger responsibilities than most 14 year olds, including filling in for his father and protecting the President of the US.

Mike Lupica has done it again. Zach's character is spot-on in his language, conflicted feelings, and temperment. And, Zach's best friend Kate is his perfect compliment. A great, fast-paced read that shows kids are capable of big things. I can't wait for the sequel!!
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lupica's best work yet!, November 3, 2010
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
This is the coolest book Mike Lupica has ever written. My first Lupica novel was Travel Team, which might still be my favorite of all his sports novels. But when I found out he'd written one that wasn't about sports, that he'd given one of his main characters superpowers for the first time, I had to give it a try. I bought it yesterday afternoon, started reading it.....and finished it this morning! I think everybody who read his other books is going to love Zach Harriman, and Kate, and the old wizard he meets along with all of the cool stuff Zach can do. Most of all the way, you love the way he becomes a Hero as a way of trying to avenge his dad's death at the start of the book. When I finished the book? I had the same reaction everybody is going to have. How long do I have to wait for a sequel?
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for kids -- and adults who want to instill a love of reading in kids, November 3, 2010
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
A friend of mine gave me this book in galley form. And I passed it along to my niece, who has read all of Mike Lupica's novels for kids. She loved it. And passed it back to me. And I loved it1 For years, I have heard how Mr. Lupica wants to find a way to get kids to want to read in a digital world. With Hero, he's surely done it. Somehow, with all the superpowers he gives his main character, he has written a wonderful, coming-of-age story about a young man dealing with the loss of his father, about friendship and courage. I recommend this book completely to any young reader looking for a great story. Or any adult trying to instill the magic of reading in a child.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably Bad - There's no there, there, October 23, 2011
By 
Pop Bop "Pause and Reflect" (Denver, Colorado, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hero (Paperback)
Mike Lupica has had great success with his sports themed books for young readers, and I guess he figured it was time to tap into the superhero/fantasy market. Well, this effort is an embarrassment.

There is no book here. The entire story is: Dad was a superhero and now Zach finds out he has super powers, too. Bad guys, (called, I kid you not, "the Bads"), want to use him and it's hard to figure out whom to trust. That's it.

The book is basically Spiderman-lite, complete with girlfriend, shallow teen angst, and a lame reluctant protagonist. (One of the characters actually quotes a line from Spiderman.) The vocabulary and the writing border on the childish. In all seriousness, this could be a book handed in by a sixth-grader as a creative writing project.

There are a lot of really good entry level teen/hero thrillers out there. You could try Horowitz's Alex Rider books, or any of a dozen different fantasy series. Some have strong characters, some have ingenious plots, some have good atmospheric writing, some have a genial good humor, but any of them are better than this effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read Travle Team Instead, June 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
I ordered Travel Team and Hero by the same author Mike Lupica mainly for the book Hero which I had seen in a store and Travel Team because while researching Hero on Amazon.com it had good reviews. When they arrived luckily I picked up Travel Team and read it first. I thought it was a great young adult fiction book. I loved the characters and the story and was disappointed when it ended it left me wanting more and there were unaswered questions. After finishing the book I went back to Amzon.com and discovered thre was a second book Summer Ball which I am now reading. After finishing Travel Team I read Hero, a big disappointment. Thank,goodness I didn't read it first. For suspense the main character keeps going back and forth asking "Uncle John" and Mr. Edmond questions about his father and his death and they keep giving him cryptic vague double-speak answers that I guess is suspose to be suspenseful. Do people realy answer questions that way with vague nonsenesical answers. Also for a book with the title Hero there is very little action. Read Travel Team and skip Hero
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I need a hero!, November 2, 2010
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
I am a mom to 2 sports loving active boys. They have read all of Mike's books, as have most of their friends have. They cannot read them fast enough and as their mother I could not be more pleased to have them learn important, yet simple, values through an entertaining story with believable characters. In his new book, "Hero", Mike has developed an entirely different and fantastic story line. Clearly, one must suspend some belief to read this book, and who better to do that then young adults? With all the crazy movies, video games and television shows that ask kids to suspend belief, this book does it in a "real" and caring way. After reading the book, my boys and I realized we would hear from Billy(main character) again and there was something about that, that made us happy...because who wants a great story to end?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Super, November 2, 2010
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
What a great tale. I felt like I was the one with supernatural powers after I read this. I always buy Mike Lupica books for the sports-loving kids in the family so I was a bit surprised to see his latest book go from sports heroes to super heroes, but I like this new twist...a lot.
To me, the best part is that the story makes 14-year-old Zach's mysterious powers seem plausible. There is just enough fantasy mixed with real-life references. Plus the mystery surrounding the father's death will intrigue readers while still providing them with an underdog character to root for and relate to. Usually I don't like it when a good story comes to an end, but fortunately it feels like this one is just getting started and it could be the first in a long line of Super Zach adventures. I sure hope so.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pass this book faster than a speeding bullet., December 13, 2010
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
I was excited at the premise: a young teen superhero! Sounds fun, fast-paced and exciting, right? WRONG.

The dialogue (which most of this book is) is very simple and fake. The language is supposedly modern slang i.e. "They banged some fist and he left." and "Something's on your mind. Spill." Nothing anyone says is interesting and moves the plot nowhere.

The "plot", if you want to call this loose, watered-down story a plot, is so slow and uninteresting. Even inteded for young adults, it was very dull (I myself am 16). These powers (super-speed, advanced fighting abilities, hightened senses) come out of nowhere, and the protagonist Zach simply accepts them. His thoughts or feelings are hardly expressed. In fact, by the end of this story the powers are never explained. Just referred to as "magic".

There were so many plot details left out; too many questions. What really happened to Zach's father? Who exactly killed him? Who are the "Bads" really? What is Zach's purpose as a hero?

There isn't even an antagonist, only mentioned as a mysterious group of evil do-ers that wait in the shadows. There had been no examples of that. No henchmen, no mastermind, not even a single name.

The characters are paper thin and unrelateable. Zach is a spoiled rich kid who lives in a lavish New York City penthouse. He treats Central Park like it's his private backyard. He has a bully problem, but, much like the rest of the story, it fizzles out and just disappears. It was treated as such a big problem for him, and then all of a sudden it was just forgotten. His "friend" Kate is as well a spoiled know-it-all who says nothing intereseting nor helpful.

The constant reference of sports was really annoying to me. The author uses a lot a basketball references and terms, as well as player names. I was attracted to this story because I'm more of a comic-geek and the story is about a super-hero. But with all this sports lingo I was bored, lost, and utterly annoyed. I didn't even know who the Knicks were, let alone who plays for them, and they werre talked about more than the actual plot. I know Lupica is a sports writer, which helps my point as to why he couldn't make this story work.

There is no action in this story. There are about three encounters in which Zach has to fight physically, but these parts are breifly told and not described in detail. His powers and hardly described either. There was a paragraph explaining him going down certain streets and seeing different buildings in New York. Its pace and language were as if he was casually walking to these places. You later learn that he had simply jumped up and flew there.

Basically the whole story was all introduction. The rising action is in the last two chapters and then is followed by a boring, extremely instant event that is supposed to be considered its climax. The falling action takes place in about the last two pages of the book. You're left unsatisfied.

I know this could've been better, and I'm sure there are many problems I've left out. There are way better stories out there like Ender's Game, where a young boy is placed in extreme and unordinary situations.

I am severly disappointed with this book and wouldn't reccommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Lupica Book, March 2, 2013
This review is from: Hero (Kindle Edition)
I have read a lot of Mike Lupica's books but to me this was the most suspenseful and exciting book. I liked how the author really made me think that I was there. At some points the book was a little hard to understand but by the end of the book every thing was sorted out. The reason I didn't give it five stars is the ending. The ending was kind of a big cliff hanger so unless they make a second one I the end will kind of be blah. But that's my opinion. Don't get me wrong I like cliff hangers just that one was a little to suspenseful.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but not spectacular, November 27, 2010
By 
Rachel (Columbus, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hero (Hardcover)
Hero is a young adult fantasy novel appropriate for 11-14 year old boys. It is a cute story about a boy who learns that he is a super-hero as he is coping with the sudden death of his father. It has a lot of sports talk in it (which was way over my head)...but that would be fine for teenage boys. The sentence structure is stilted, thus distracting from the story, but this problem would be more annoying to adult readers than children. Overall, cute story, poor writing.
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Hero
Hero by Mike Lupica
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