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Heroes Mass Market Paperback – February 8, 2000
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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 the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the worst book I have ever read. Robert Cormier is the worst author in the world, worst than Stephanie Meyer. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Connor Goode
I washed this comforter ONE TIME and the black design faded out. I washed it according to manufacturers suggestion and it has faded. VERY UNHAPPY WITH THIS PURCHASEPublished 18 months ago by sterling mcpeek
Book in not the best condition very old looking and yellow. I was hoping for a book in better condition.Published on July 15, 2013 by angel
"Write about it, Francis. Maybe you can find the answer that way."
So he'll find that typewriter and get started.
Really a poignant narrative, this story. Read more
From the very first introduction to Francis Cassavant, I was taken with this powerful narrative. To have no face, to be misunderstood, to be anonymous, to have every action... Read morePublished on May 31, 2008 by Not Miss Havisham
I have heard great recommendations of this book. However, when I started it, I wasn't exactly thrilled. Read morePublished on February 22, 2007