Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: T. A. Barron
Publisher: Puffin Books
T. A. Barron takes readers on a mountain hike that is unlike any trail they have ever encountered. This climb is not about testing physical abilities or enjoying the view. This special path leads readers to the heights of true heroism. But that footpath needs to be strictly defined. The media is confusing youth with false tracks leading them to think that famous celebrities are real heroes. With Barron’s guiding hand, readers traverse a well-trodden, safe route showcasing the attributes of both past, present, and fictional heroes. These attributes are courage, perseverance, generosity, compassion, and hope. With each section of the road readers trek, they meet countless individuals whose inspiriting stories bring enlightenment, direction, and definition to the hero’s trail.
Barron’s story is a timely, motivational book that will have readers asking themselves how they can be genuine heroes to their families, friends, community, or to the world. There are heroes many readers would recognize like Abraham Lincoln, Jane Goodall, Lou Gehrig, Helen Keller, and Anna Frank. But most of the stories Barron uses are of unknown young people who saw a need and stood up to make a difference even in the face of physical limitations or negative criticism. Originally published in 2002, Barron has revised and updated his book to include current youth who are making a difference today. A great resource for teachers, librarians, and parents to illustrate how anyone and can make great strides on the hero’s path.