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Hero Hardcover – August 28, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1423101956 ISBN-10: 1423101952 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423101952
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423101956
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—At the same time that he's coming to terms with his sexual orientation, basketball star Thom Creed is trying to figure out exactly what his untrained superpowers can do. In an attempt to break away from his seemingly non-understanding father (an ex-hero with something to hide) and homophobic community, Thom runs away, only to find himself in the middle of a multi-hero rescue operation. Using his ability to heal, he keeps an injured woman alive until the League superheroes arrive and impresses them enough to get an invitation to try out for a hero apprentice position. Thom is teamed with an old woman who can see into the future, a spiteful girl who unleashes her power through fire, a sickly boy who is able to inflict disease on anyone, and a demoted hero with insane speed. With superheroes dying in mysterious circumstances, Thom is forced to admit publicly that he is gay in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice, but finds himself cast out of the League. He organizes his ragtag team to figure out what is really going on and to fight society's prejudices as well as the criminal element of the town. The story tackles love, friendship, and the eternal struggle to come to terms with who we really are in a tactful, interesting, and well-developed manner. Although the beginning is a little slow, there are subtle hooks that will keep readers' interest, and once the action picks up, Hero becomes a real page-turner that is worth the wait.—Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Thom Creed tries not to disappoint his dad, a disgraced caped crusader who now toils as a factory drudge, so he keeps his gay identity and his developing superpowers under wraps. Then he secretly tries out for the prestigious League, joining aspiring heroes in villain-busting adventures that escalate alongside more private discoveries. Written in a wry, first-person voice realistically peppered with occasional slang and slurs, this ambitious first novel from a Hollywood producer doesn't entirely cohere. The alternate-reality framework is too cursory, and the more realistic strands feel overstuffed with problems, even as they incorporate many well-chosen scenes (including Thom's awkward, anonymous first pickup, which goes only as far as a kiss). Still, Moore's casting of a gay teen hero in a high-concept fantasy marks an significant expansion of GLBTQ literature into genres that reflect teens' diverse reading interests; given the mainstream popularity of comics-inspired tales, the average, ordinary, gay teen superhero who comes out and saves the world will raise cheers from within the GLBTQ community and beyond. Mattson, Jennifer

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Customer Reviews

I'd recommend this book to anyone, gay or straight.
C. P. Halliday
In this book, you really get a feel for how the people are just like anyone else, even though they have incredible abilities.
Crain Snyder
Very well written and engaging story, I found that I couldn't put this book down.
Byron K. Webb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Ramey on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after reading it's review in People magazine for my daughter and I to read...she was busy rereading a Harry Potter book, so I decided to read it first. GOOD THING! This book is much more appropriate for LATE teen and adult readers. It is a beautifully powerful book about the strains of growing up different, and really not feeling accepted. Set in a familiar world of comic book reality, it's points are not missed and you really want to hold the main character as he proceeds through this minefield of life as he makes his way in very extreme conditions. Even when the scenerios become outlandish, this book captivates you...I didn't want to put it down. I would caution that you may not like this book if you are conservative in your views of family and sexual relationships, but this book might help you to open your mind a bit if you are!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Open-Minded Educator on September 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with the thought that I might use it during a social justice unit in my middle school English class. While the book proved to be a little too mature for my students (strong language, some pretty explicit sexual remarks), it would be excellent for a high school humanities or senior English class. The book dives into themes that are rarely explored in children's literature. By paralleling the protagonist's struggle with his own sexual orientation with the discovery that he possesses superhuman powers, the reader starts to connect the different ways in which people are outcast in our own, non-comic book society. I strongly recommend this book to anybody, be they a teacher, a student, or just a regular reader who wants to expand their understanding about tolerance and coming of age.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By gossymer on October 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I went on a reading binge, and struck gold with "Hero". This book is incredibly easy to fall into. The voice of the main character, Thom, has clarity and depth - in some ways he's your typical budding super hero teen, easy to relate to and connect with.

The story itself is over 400 pages but is so smooth that I read it in one sitting - the pace was steady and between the family relationships, the super powers, the new teammates and situations, there wasn't a single dull moment. It was easy to see this transferred into a movie or graphic novel, but as a story, it really allowed you to just immerse yourself in Thom's world.

The plot lines are tied up and the relationships settled by the novel's conclusion, but the style is such that when you close the book, you can't help hoping for a sequel, 'cause it's just that good.

If you enjoy reading slash fiction and/or fanfiction, comics books or heck just enjoy a good superhero romp, this book might just click perfectly with you. Do give it a try.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
on 11/09/2007

Thom Creed has a lot of issues. You'd think that everyone would love him because of his basketball skills. Not so. His ex-superhero father is a pariah, despised by the public for his role in a horrific tragedy. Thom lives in the shadow of his father's greatest failure. Now that shadow is spreading.

Thom has two secrets from his father. The emergence of a super power has caught the attention of the very League that abandoned his father. The desire to be a hero is at odds with Thom's loyalty to his father. Then there's the other, deeper secret: Thom is gay. In a homophobic community, the truth would hurt his dad as bad as the guilt that dogs the former hero.

Thom's mettle as a superhero will be put to a larger test than many will face in a lifetime. Public scorn is nothing compared to the danger that Thom and his motley team of heroes will encounter in order to save the world. Sometime a gay teen superhero just can't catch a break.

Perry Moore's debut novel is a mixed bag of teen angst, fantasy, action, and social issues. His lofty aim is promising in theory but falls short of spectacular. What could have been a thoroughly original work is watered down by thinly veiled DC® characters, plot gaps, and a handful of disjointed scenes. The core people are well constructed, but they are often outweighed by cliché situations and characters.

Setting aside the superhero plots, there is the story of Thom's sexuality. In many ways, Moore presents a believable face to Thom's journey. Fear of discovery, the hope of finding true love, and, most important, the need for his father's acceptance are the very human aspects to this character.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Good genre fiction is able to transcend its genre and help its readers resolve real life conflicts. I think of Star Wars telling the story of how a group of self-involved young adults finds a sense of purpose in the world at large and fights to save the Empire all against the backdrop of star fighters and space stations. Buffy the Vampire Slayer which carefully employs the horror and fantasy genre to weave a coming of age story to which any teenage girl could relate, complete with the fated Romeo and Juliet romance between a vampire slayer and a vampire. And now, we have Perry Moore's Hero, a story which juxtaposes our modern world with a world of superheroes with superpowers - a world where, much like our world, young gay men must surmount seemingly impenetrable obstacles to find peace within themselves.

Hero tells the story of Thom Creed, son of a mother who has done a family vanishing act, and a valor-and-superhero-stripped father who is credited as the disgrace of the superhero Justice League. Thom is an average teen: he plays for his basketball team, has a crush on a local celebrity, does household chores, and has a hard time talking to his father. Although we know from the beginning that Thom is gay, it is never a driving force of the novel - a mistake so many glbt (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) genre writers fall into. Like anyone else, being gay is not the center of Thom's universe, but rather, it is merely an event mixed in with so many other events in Thom's ever-changing, ever-eventful life. It is for this reason that I could not put this book down for a minute - this book is real.

Developing superpowers for Thom is a familial taboo, so when Thom realizes he does have a power, he is afraid to tell his father.
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