Hero

Sarah Lean. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-212238-4
Eleven-year-old Leo Biggs is an inveterate daydreamer, forever imagining himself in fierce battles with Roman gladiators, presided over by the god Jupiter (“like a tower block in a toga, he loomed in the sky at the end of Clarendon Road”). One day, while Leo is trying to ingratiate himself with a group of popular classmates, a dog belonging to Leo’s neighbor’s daughter gets injured. Leo decides to cover up what happened, claiming that he rescued the dog, Jack Pepper, from drowning in a pond. Leo initially enjoys the attention that this invented good deed brings him, but the guilt of feeling like a “fake hero” and a disastrous incident involving a meteor help him step up to the plate and save Jack Pepper for real. While the meteor strike and what it reveals are an unlikely vehicle for Leo’s growth, Lean (A Dog Called Homeless) has crafted a touching portrait of a good-hearted, loyal, and boundlessly imaginative boy who makes some realistic missteps in his efforts to succeed in the “real world.” Ages 8–12. Agent: Julia Churchill, A.M. Heath. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/22/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-06-212240-7
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