Heroes for My Son and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $3.51 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Heroes for My Son has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Heroes for My Son Hardcover – May 11, 2010

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, May 11, 2010
$3.35 $0.01

Best Children's Books of 2014
The Best Books of the Year for Kids
See all of our editors' picks for the Best Children's Books of 2014 for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens.

Frequently Bought Together

Heroes for My Son + Heroes for My Daughter + I am Albert Einstein (Ordinary People Change World)
Price for all three: $41.05

Buy the selected items together

Kindle FreeTime Unlimited
Free one month trial
Get unlimited access to thousands of kid-safe books, apps and videos, for one low price, with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. Get started for free. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061905283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061905285
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Questions for Brad Meltzer on Heroes for My Son

Q: As an idea, where did Heroes for My Son come from?
A: It began the night my first son was born. I was stuck at a red light, and I remember looking up at the black sky and thinking of this baby boy we were just blessed with. That’s when I asked myself the question for the very first time: What kind of man did I want my son to be? I have three children now. I've long ago realized I have little say in the matter. But at that moment, I decided that I wanted to write a book over the course of my son's life--and then when I eventually gave it to him, he’d realize what a brilliant father I was. I'd assumed Norman Rockwell would of course be resurrected to paint the moment, because it would be that perfect.

But the book was just a list of silly platitudes--until a friend of mine told me this story about the Wright Brothers: Every day Orville and Wilbur Wright went out to fly their plane, they would bring enough materials for multiple crashes. That way, when they crashed, they could rebuild the plane and try again. Think about it a moment: every time they went out--every time--they knew they were going to fail. But that's what they did: Crash and rebuild. Crash and rebuild. And that's why they finally took off.

I loved that story. I still love that story. And that's the kind of story I wanted my son to hear: a story that wouldn't lecture to him, but would show him that if he was determined ... if he wasn't afraid to fail ... if he had persistence (and a side order of stubbornness), the impossible becomes possible.

Since that time, I've been collecting heroes for this book, which has been one of the most rewarding projects of my life.

Q: Who were some of your heroes growing up?
A: My Mom and my grandfather. After them, Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers always led the list. Sure, there are tons of others in the book--from Rosa Parks, to Gandhi, to Muhammad Ali--but Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers just always had the biggest impact on me. Maybe it was their kindness. Maybe it was Kermit and that idea of "making millions of people happy." Maybe it was just my obsession with idealistic puppets. But the idea of being the top of your game--at the cutting-edge of entertainment--and you can do anything, but instead, you give all of that to children's public television ... ? Yes. My heroes.

Q: Who were some of the people who didn't make the book?
A: Mussolini. And Hitler. No question, Hitler was at the top of the list of people we didn't want in the book. But as for people that were actually close to making it, it's hard. Especially when you're looking at people who are still alive. I mean, with one bad news day, even the biggest hero can suddenly become Tiger Woods (who I will say was never in the running for being in the book). And the last thing I want is to have someone like that in a book for my sons. Of course, there were other heroes like Winston Churchill, Susan B. Anthony, and Benjamin Franklin--some of whom we ran out of space for, and some who I saved for the book I'm doing for my daughter.

Q: What do you think is the overall message of the book?
A: There's a line I just wrote for my next novel. It says: History doesn't just pick people. History picks everyone. Every day. The only question is, do you pay attention ... do you put in the hard work ... do you hear that calling? Yes, I know that sounds all new age-y. And I'm not new age-y. I just believe in hard work and regular people. That's how every great historic change takes place.

Q: How was writing nonfiction different from fiction?
A: I have to say, it's far easier to make stuff up. But there's also nothing more inspiring than knowing the story really happened.

Q: The book uses a lot of photos, was there anything you found in the photographs of these heroes that influenced the book?
A: I was amazed when John Lennon's people said they didn't like the photo we picked (we didn't change it). And when we unearthed the Mr. Rogers photo, which hasn't been seen by the public in decades. I just love that shot.

Q: If you had to pick one quote from the book, what is your favorite quote?
A:There are two:

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."--Gandhi


"Not everyone is nice like that."--The receptionist in my Mom's doctor's office, when she heard my Mom had died from breast cancer. Always remember: The truth is what people say behind your back.

Q: What is going on with the Heroes for My Son blog and on Facebook? What are you doing there?
A: Finding more heroes. People send us new ones every day. I love sharing them with the world. If you have one, please send him or her along.

Q: Is there another book we can look forward to after Heroes for My Son?
A: I have a daughter. I've been working on hers since the day she was born (let it be known she asks every day, "Where’s my book?"). So Heroes for My Daughter is coming soon.

From the Back Cover

When Brad Meltzer's first son was born eight years ago, the bestselling writer and new father started compiling a list of heroes whose virtues and talents he wanted to share with his son: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Jim Henson, Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali . . . and so many more, each one an ordinary person who was able to achieve the extraordinary. The list grew to include the fifty-two amazing people now gathered in Heroes for My Son, a book that parents and their children—sons and daughters alike—can now enjoy together as they choose heroes of their own.

From the Wright Brothers, who brought extra building materials to every test flight, planning ahead for failure, to Miep Gies, who risked her life to protect Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II, Heroes for My Son brings well-known figures together with less famous ones, telling the inspiring, behind-the-scenes stories of the moment that made them great. They are a miraculous group with one thing in common: each is an example of the spectacular potential that can be found in all of us.

Heroes for My Son is an unforgettable book of timeless wisdom, one that families everywhere can share again and again.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This book is a great gift for the boys in your life.
Mama J
Everyday people can do accomplish great things...or as Gandhi is quoted in the book as saying, "In a gentle way, you can shake the World."
Stacey Says...
He is still young, but this book has a lot of good information about some very important people from our past and present.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By B. Sweetser on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I actually wanted it sooner than I would be able to get it, so I bought the Kindle version and read it on my iPhone.

I have to admit that at first I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more detail about each of the heroes, but it wasn't the purpose of this book to give a biography on each of the people in the book: it is the highlight what makes that person a hero. That is what is so genius about it. How do you filter down what each of these people did into the essence of what makes that person a hero? Brad Meltzer does just that and puts it together in a way that makes this book difficult to put down. I was familiar with some of the heroes he had, and not as familiar with others, but as I read about each, I wanted to learn more about them, also. Now I just need to determine where to start. The carrots have been dangled. :)

This is a book I will share with family and my child as he grows.

Thanks, Brad!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bradley J. Ricca on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Known for his best-selling mysteries, thrillers, and comic book writing, Meltzer brings to his latest book the same gifts of being able to see the 'big picture' of an elaborate plot with lots of colorful characters -- but this time to give his readers a series of snapshots of humanity -- some of them larger than life, some of them just our size -- to define just what makes an act, or even a thought, a heroic one. And how heroism doesn't necessarily require an interesting job or position of power or even a cape, but is more about what you stand for. Meltzer doesn't want his readers to idolize these people, but just to nod their heads and say "Wow." Not preachy or condescending (and always, always surprising) this book is not just a gift for dads or sons or daughters or moms, it's a good reminder of what we all are capable of.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By T. Taylor on May 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Are all of the people in this book heroes? Not necessarily.

I can certainly see some of the controversy in some of the selections. If anything, this is a problem with the title of the book more than the content. Each of the people listed in this book have something to teach the reader about life. I don't necessarily think they are all heroes but I did enjoy the perspective on how the author viewed these people.

I use this book as a nightly reader for my boys (8 and 9). We read about a person each night (I either read or I tell them what I know, sometimes both) and we talk about the person and the character trait. It was amazing to have an opportunity to talk about Miep Gies and explain to them the very human story of the very blurry concept they had of the holocaust and what it had meant.

The book is suitable for that but it is not one that I would necessarily leave on their bookshelf since, as others have noted, not all "heroes" are heroes I would choose for my sons.

But, that's what parents are for.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brown on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We sometimes say that there are no more heroes. Brad Meltzer throws that premise out the window and compiles a wonderful list of people and the qualities that make them a hero. Some are controversial and some are a given. Either way, this is a great book to give to a parent or to a child.

What a great way to say "Look at what is possible!". Kudos to Brad Meltzer!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mama Pancamo on July 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband bought this book to read to our 5 year old son. He had heard about it on the talk radio station and instantly came to amazon to order it. I have to say, I didnt think it was going to be something worth while. I was really impressed with it when we received it. It has great people in there for kids to look up to and even has pages in it for the kids and dad's to put their own heroes they have had in their lives. It is something great for fathers and sons to have and do together. It is creative and educational.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Moses on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 10 yr old grandson has read this book 3 times in about 6 months. The stories of the heroes are 2-pages long, most of them, and are great for night time reading just before nodding off. The book covers a range of heroes from history, sports, musicians.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jane Hurley Brant on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read Heroes for My Son straight through because Brad Meltzer quickly engaged me. The birth of his first child prompted this author to write about inspiring people to share with his son.

This small red and brown book is full of encouraging stories to follow your passions, take some chances, and explore your own curiosity. There are lessons in this book to believe in yourself, your dreams and your life. Brad Meltzer's people examples encourage generosity, kindness and courage as well as perseverance, humor and even cause-related marketing.

The heroes he cited were varied. Some I knew and admired: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman and Mahatma Gandhi. Some I knew little about: Aung San Suu Kyi and Lou Gehrig.

Some people in Heroes for My Son I knew absolutely nothing about such as Dick and Rick Hoyt. They are a father and son team who ran over a thousand marathons, triathlons and ironman competitions together. Young Rick has cerebral palsy and can't walk or speak so his dad pushes his special chair to the finish line. This young man typed out words to his father that when he is running it feels like his disability disappears. That story alone was worth my time and money.

I enjoyed the splashes of poignant quotes and dramatic pictures, too, and I will give this book to others whether child or adult. That's the beauty of a book written to inspire and champion, it's ageless.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?