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Hero Paperback – July 12, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-10–In a major departure from his YA sports fiction, the popular Lupica opts for a high-concept, high-octane action thriller. When the father he idolizes dies in a covert government operation, 14-year-old Billy Harriman is determined to find out who killed him, and why. In the course of his investigation he discovers that his father had superpowers, and that he has inherited them. Guided by a mysterious older man who identifies himself as Mr. Herbert, and supported by his wise and sassy girlfriend Kate, Billy begins to come to terms with his destiny. As his socially prominent mother assumes a leading role in the campaign of the presidential candidate his father had backed, Billy finds himself at odds with his father's old friend (and mother's current advisor). The teen eventually becomes convinced that Uncle John is allied with the forces responsible for his father's death. After he uses his superpowers to thwart an assassination attempt on the candidate, he confronts Uncle John, who remains evasive about his involvement with the shadowy organization that seems to have targeted Billy and his family. With all the major issues unresolved at the novel's end, the stage is set for a sequel to what looks like a surefire hit.–Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

Lupica, best known for his popular sports novels for youth, explores new territory in this title, which begins with a highly skilled American agent’s first-person account of a dangerous solo mission in the Balkans. By the second chapter, though, readers learn that the agent died during his mission, and the story is picked up by a new narrator, who shifts the telling to third person and the focus to the agent’s son, Billy. After learning that he is being pursued by shadowy bad guys, Billy is ambushed in New York’s Central Park. Luckily, though, he has recently discovered that he possesses supernatural powers, and he overcomes his attackers. Lupica effectively unfolds this high-adventure story, which sends Billy on a classic hero’s journey with two possible guides, one of whom turns out to be treacherous. At the end, Lupica implies that it’s going to take more than one book to tell Billy’s story, which should please the inevitable new fans this effort will attract. Pair this with William Boniface’s The Hero Revealed (2006). Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142419605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142419601
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superhero kid and more! This was on my son's list for reading this summer. I read it with him. He loved finding out about the main characters superhero powers and how he was going to use them. A lot of suspense.
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Format: Paperback
This book had SUCH PROMISE. It has promise that is unfulfilled, which is why I ended up giving it a lower rating than it might have elsewhere.

Told from the POV of 14 year old Zach, this is a boy coming-of-age story. Some of the issues (half) addressed here are grief, loss of respect, self-esteem, finding of self worth, abuse of power. I mean, we've got some HEAVY hitters! And it started out with so much promise to address at least some of these.

Take for example, the rival. Zach has a rival who bullies him. At one point, when Zach is starting to find his self-worth, he challenges said bully. And he loses ferociously. Still, this is eventually counted as a win, as the bully never bothers him again. What? I seriously doubt this would happen. The bully would rub salt in the wound. What's more, the turn of the loss to a win is dealt with in an off-hand thought. We never really even see anymore of the interaction to make this an obvious thought. What was pivotal in the first half of the book isn't even worth a paragraph by the end.

Another thing that REALLY annoyed me about this book was the ending. I will not spoil it, but I find that it does not hold. And upon full study, the beginning of the book does not hold if the ending is true. I could have believed the ending, had it been fleshed out more. But it simply looks like another wrong turn based on faulty teenage logic.

Finally, my pet peeve. There were several OBVIOUS typos. Wrong word usage, misspellings. It was frustrating in a published novel.

To summarize, I thoroughly enjoyed about 2/3 of this book. I think the author tried to bite off more than he could handle well in such a short telling. But I think most young teens and tweens would enjoy it.
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