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Heroby Perry Moore
A fast-paced action-packed thrill-ride of a book! Thom Creed is an average high school student who discovers that he has superpowers. He tries to blend in at school, and hide all his secrets from his father, all the while falling in love. An excellent cast of characters (including Typhoid Larry, whose superpower is the ability to make anyone violently ill) makes this book nearly impossible to put down.
"Complex emotional themes and fast-paced action sequences lay the base for Perry Moore's debut novel, Hero. Set in what can be best described as a vibrant modern-day comic, Moore's fantastical universe is filled with heroes, villains, and of course, The League, the ultimate band of world saviors. Moore, executive producer of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is no stranger to emotional complexities and imaginative settings, and his success is proven throughout this novel." Sarah Miller, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Thom Creed is used to being on his own. Even as a high school basketball star, he has to keep his distance because of his father. Hal Creed had once been one of the greatest and most beloved superheroes of The League — until the Wilson Towers incident. After that Thom's mother disappeared and his proud father became an outcast.
The last thing in the world Thom would ever want is to disappoint his father. So Thom keeps two secrets from him: First is that he's gay. The second is that he has the power to heal people. Initially, Thom had trouble controlling his powers. But with trail and error he improves, until he gets so good that he catches the attention of the League and is asked to join. Even though he knows it would kill his dad, Thom can't resist. When he joins the League, he meets a motley crew of other heroes, including tough-talking Scarlett, who has the power of fire from growing up near a nuclear power plant; Typhoid Larry, who makes everyone sick by touching them, but is actually a really sweet guy; and wise Ruth, who has the power to see the future. Together these unlikely heroes become friends and begin to uncover a plot to kill the superheroes.
Along the way, Thom falls in love, and discovers the difficult truth about his parents' past. This is a moving, funny, and wonderfully original novel that shows that things are not always what they seem, and love can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
"With a mother who has inexplicably disappeared, nascent superpowers and a burgeoning understanding of his gay sexuality, Thom Creed's life is anything but normal. Moore (an executive producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films) gives his debut novel a contemporary setting, albeit one rife with superheroes and villains straight out of the Golden Age of comic books. Thom is elated when the League, the foremost organization of superheroes, invites him to join as a probationary member. However, because his father, a disgraced former hero, detests super-heroes and gays ('These people will never have a normal life. They are the ultimate downfall of our society'), Thom hides both aspects of his identity. Essentially, much of this will be familiar from comics or The Incredibles: humorous details include an illness-inducing hero named Typhoid Larry and the media savvy of the superheroes. Ultimately, the novel misses its mark, with an abundance of two-dimensional characters and contrived situations. Additionally, conspicuous similarities between secondary characters and comic icons like Superman and Wonder Woman seem less like homage and more like imitation. While some may be glad to see a gay hero come out of the closet just in time to save the world, others may wish the situations felt less clichd. Ages 13-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Capes, X-ray vision, tights and cheesy superhero spoofs run amuck. Despite a few half-hearted attempts at realism, the book reads like a complicated yet quick-moving adult novel." Kirkus Reviews
"The story tackles love, friendship, and the eternal struggle to come to terms with who we really are in a tactful, interesting, and well-developed manner." School Library Journal
"Filled with complex, inexorable villains and dogged, disillusioned heroes, this reinvention of the superhero genre spans glory and angst, isolation and romance for a larger-than-life coming of age." Horn Book Magazine
"Moore's casting of a gay teen hero in a high-concept fantasy marks an significant expansion of GLBTQ literature into genres that reflect teens' diverse reading interests; given the mainstream popularity of comics-inspired tales, the average, ordinary, gay teen superhero who comes out and saves the world will raise cheers from within the GLBTQ community and beyond." Booklist
The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father's pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he's been asked to join the League the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he's gay.
But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.
To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his father's past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.
Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.
But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be, Scott begins to question his role. With the help of a fellow sidekick, once his nemesis, Scott must decide if growing up means being loyal or stepping boldly to the center of things.
About the Author
Jack D. Ferraiolo is the author of The Big Splash. He grew up in southern Connecticut and lives in northern Massachusetts. As the head of development at a childrens animation production company, he has developed and writes for WordGirl on PBS, for which he won an Emmy. Visit him online at www.jackferraiolo.com.
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