Monday, October 4, 2010

Hero by Mike Lupica

Despite the fact that Billy Harriman's father is a national hero, what he actually does remains top secret. So when he suddenly dies in a plane crash, Billy mourns both the loss of his dad and the exciting action stories he used to tell before bedtime. Billy also doesn't think the crash was a mistake. A short trip out to the crash site and Billy runs into a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Herbert, who tells Billy that he has the same magic in him as his father did. Suddenly Billy is discovering incredible powers he never knew he had. Together with his best friend Kate, Billy travels all over New York City trying to figuring out what is happening to him and who he can really trust.

In all these years, I have never read a book by Mike Lupica. Hard to believe, right? I'm glad this was my first though, because I really liked it! There have been a ton of superhero YA books to come out in the recent years, but I thought this one had a nice flavor of it's own. Billy is anxious to test his limits and see what he can do, but I liked how ultimately he discovered his powers slowly. I thought it was clever that Lupica didn't rush the reader right into being all powerful after being completely normal a moment before. I found myself wanting to see more of the school bully Spence. He was a cool antagonist in the beginning but then he dropped away somewhere in the middle. Lupica inserts a subtle message to readers teaching them to think more about their political candidates. The references are very relevant to today's news stories. I also liked the giant mystery Billy is trying to figure out surrounding who is and where he comes from. And with Lupica's background in sports writing, the action scenes ROCK! Hero is sure to snag that elusive young male reader. Check it out!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

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