Book Review: Hero, Mike Lupica

This light action adventure, perfect for the 9-13 year olds in your life, reminded me of a younger Percy Jackson with a real world twist. 

Billy is a 14 year old who just lost his dad in a mysterious plane crash. His dad, unbeknownst to the rest of the world was a superhero charged with assisting the president. The story begins with Billy's dad on assignment to capture "Vlad the Bad" and bring him back to London to receive justice. But somewhere along the way, the "Bads" got him. 

Now Billy, struggling with the loss of his father, is unconvinced that the plane crash was an accident. As he begins to search for answers, he starts to realize that he's changing... that he, like his dad, has powers, and these powers could lead him to his destiny - or to his demise. 

Along the way we are introduced to a number of characters, but the only one we feel we can truly trust is Billy's best friend, Kate (created in the vein of Hermione Granger). Kate is a smart cookie and a counterbalance to Billy. She becomes his voice of reason and understanding when the adults can no longer be trusted. 

Throughout the entire book, Billy is faced with a number of tests. Some challenge his new skills, some challenge how he perceives his world, his family, and his friends. All universal in their message to trust in yourself. 

The book will appeal to any kid who has ever wanted super powers to overcome a bully or a hard situation. It is set up perfectly for a series, one that those younger tweens will enjoy.

Goodreads readers give it 3.33 stars out of 5.
LibraryThing readers give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

The book will be in stores November 2, 2010.

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