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Paperback Book Details
  • 1737687046
  • pages
  • $
Cyndi "Go Go" Merritt
Author
Becoming a Hero

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Sometimes kids can be mean to each other, often without even realizing it. Fortunately, kids can also be kind at heart and accepting without realizing it. Their everyday acts of kindness can make a huge difference, and the impact can be life changing for both the giver and the receiver. Follow Daniel and his friends as they discover the difference they make every day.
Reviews
Merritt (Becoming Santa) offers an uplifting story about inclusivity and treating people with a disability with respect, providing a valuable lesson for young readers. Sandy-haired Daniel is a typical middle school student who kids around with his friends in class. His teacher, Mrs. Harper, assigns the children to write an essay about someone they consider a hero. Daniel puts off writing his essay, and instead helps his bespeckled friend Charlie with his math homework, defends Charlie against a dark-haired bully, and at recess plays catch with him with a baseball, even though Charlie isn’t very good at it. Daniel also takes care of his little cousin, Amelia, and makes sure she’s safe on the bus. Charlie remarks often that “Daniel was just being nice.”

Merritt portrays Daniel as helpful, cheerful, and strong of character, fending off bullies and devoted to his friends and family. The revelation at the end of the story is that Charlie is in a wheelchair, the result of an unnamed disease. When Charlie reads his essay in front of the class, he declares that Daniel is his hero, saying, “He sticks up for me and treats me like I’m just a normal kid.” Merritt highlights that children can learn to be respectful, accepting, and kind to others who may have physical limitations.

Illustrator Oliver Kryzz Bundoc uses simple drawings boldly colored to show the happy children active at school and at play. Bundoc uses subtle hints to deftly incorporate Charlie’s wheelchair into the scenes. Occasional discontinuity might confuse some readers, such as when the text mentions peanut-butter crackers while the illustration depicts chocolate-chip cookies, and the story at times is wordy. Still, the important message about showing people with disabilities understanding and kindness is imparted with clarity and warmth, and the book will resonate with parents teaching their children life lessons.

Takeaway: Parents will find the lesson of treating people with a disability with respect and kindness valuable.

Great for fans of: Aneta Cruz’s Juan Has the Jitters, Bob Sornson’s Stand in My Shoes.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 1737687046
  • pages
  • $

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