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Heroes Mass Market Paperback – February 8, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books; Reprint edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440227690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440227694
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Eighteen-year-old Francis Cassavant has returned from World War II an unwilling hero. Although he can still see and hear, a grenade has blown away his nose, his ears, his teeth, and his cheeks, leaving him faceless. Hiding his ghastly wounds with bandages and a white silk scarf, Francis welcomes the anonymity his mutilation brings him, for he has returned to his hometown with a secret mission--a plot for revenge (against his enemy Larry LaSalle) that he values more than his own life. Francis's eerily matter-of-fact acceptance of his hideous mien, along with his sweetness and selflessness, contrast sharply with his obsessive need for vengeance. No one recognizes him as the quiet kid who once loved Nicole Renard and hung out with fellow teens at the Wreck Center. LaSalle, formerly a charismatic youth leader, has also come back from the war a hero, and only Francis knows the dark side of this older man's concern for young people. But does LaSalle's one evil act wipe out all the good he has done? And is Francis just as guilty because he could have prevented it and didn't?

Robert Cormier--winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award and many other honors--has once again crafted a riveting yarn of psychological suspense. Francis's story is revealed only gradually in hints that keep the reader guessing. Young teens will find it a quick and absorbing read, and older adolescents (and full-fledged adults, too) will relish pondering the many-sided ethical questions Cormier raises about heroism, guilt, and forgiveness. (Ages 13 to 16) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

According to PW's starred review, this dark story of a WWII veteran who seeks revenge on an old mentor "will hold fans from first page to last, and set them thinking about what really lurks behind the face of a hero." Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jon Clyncke on April 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Francis Casavant is an eighteen-year old boy who tells about his life since world war two. Throughout the book you experience the horrors of walking down the streets of French Town with half a face!
Francis goes into a depression after letting his true love down when she needed him the most. He joined the military hoping to bring an end to his life. His chance came when a grenade lands in his platoon's bunker, with no hesitation he dives on the grenade. He saved many lives and even his own! Even after receiving a Silver Star for his heroic effort, Francis is convinced he is not a hero. Now he is on a new mission, to kill the man that destroyed his life!
When I first started reading this novel I was immediately enthralled. The author's style of first person writing makes this book fun, easy to read and understand. Although the book is small, I feel that it's descriptive and to the point.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Luciano VINE VOICE on February 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Francis has just returned home from World War II, to the town where he grew up. No one knows he has returned, though. His family is no longer living there, and Francis has lost most of his face. He fell on a grenade in France and the parts of his face that are still intact he keeps covered with a scarf. Francis has not just returned to live out his life. He has returned to kill the man who was his childhood hero, the director of activities at the town's recreation center where he spent much of his time as a child.

Over the course of this book, as Francis waits for this hero to return to town, he tells the story of his younger years in town and explains why this man must die. He also reexamines the idea of heroism, especially when people refer to him as a hero.

This story was intriguing and thought-provoking, but like most of Cormier's books the tone was so dark and full of absolute despair, it left me feeling depressed by the time I finished it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reviewer on May 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heroes by Robert Cormier is a very good book. I like this book because it has two exciting, deceitful, and twisted confusing plots. You can be reading along and all of a sudden the whole plot will take a completely unexpected turn leaving you no room to try and guess to yourself what will happen next.

The first of the two plots is the one of a young lover. Francis Cassavant a young boy who lives in the small town of Frenchtown is shy, lonely, and unpopular until two things happen. First Francis meets a girl named Nicole Renard who was to be the love of his life until Larry stepped into the picture. Larry Lasalle, a cunning, rich, and handsome actor starts an after school program to show girls how to dance and boys how to play table tennis, but what went wrong?

The second plot the one of revenge, pain, suffering, and of course death. The day after Larry's return from war Francis lies about his age and signs on to fight himself, but why? Francis is shipped to Europe to fight. While he is there he loses a lot of his friends in a fire-fight and when a grenade is thrown into the alley they are taking shelter in Francis throws himself on top of it to prevent any more death, but was that the only reason?

Now Francis is back in Frenchtown with half his face missing from the grenade. What will Nicole think of his new look, what happened to Larry, why does Francis still hold a grudge? Read this book to find out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen Simpson on October 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit that I'm not the target audience for this book (being forty something) but that's certainly not stopped me enjoying other books aimed at teenagers. This however, whilst keeping my interest, isn't one of my favourites although it IS thought provoking.

The story highlights the innocence of youth and how impotent we can be when we're young. Our emotions and feelings can be confusing during those teenage years and this particular story highlights how some adults abuse the trust put in them.

The title of the book plays on the concept of what a hero is. Some people we admire and consider to be our heroes aren't heroes at all, they're weak and disappoint us...yet without them would we be the people we are? Others are more ordinary in our eyes and we don't always consider them to be heroic...but are they the real heroes?

Even as an adult I had conflicting feelings about one of the main characters and one line in particular made me think.
"Does that one sin of mine wipe away all the good things?" Instinctively the answer is yes, yet it's a little more complex than that.

This is a sombre book which deals with the pain of growing up, guilt and disappointment. Although the ending cannot be described as uplifting and didn't end happily ever after as I think we instinctively would like sometimes - I like to think it was hopeful and that Francis went on to learn from his experiences and get over his guilt - the guilt he didn't deserve to carry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katherine A Goff on December 6, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Heroes" by Robert Cormier is, in my opinion, a great book for young adults to read. It has mystery, suspense, and a very interesting take on a moral dilemma. It is a fascinating story about a young man returning home from World War II. His war experiences have changed his life drastically. He no longer has a face because of a grenade and because of that he is no longer recognizable in his home town.
To look at Francais Cassavant you would think that the war had destroyed him, but the truth is he had been destroyed before he even enlisted. He had lost the only person in the world he loved Nicole Renard. The worst part is that he knows that he could have helped her when she needed it.
Robert Cormier is a fantastic writer. I felt every pain that Francais felt. I wanted to seek revenge on Larry LaSalle and I also understood why Francais hated himself.
It was interesting from beginning to end. I liked how it made reference to a war that the kids today are so far removed from and taken to a place where they get an idea of how horrible it was. I liked a lot the moral question of what a hero is and what makes a person one.
I would definitely recommend this book.
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