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THEY CALL ME A HERO by Daniel Hernandez


A Memoir of My Youth

by Daniel Hernandez with Susan Goldman Rubin

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-6228-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The young political intern who provided first aid to Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords after her shooting, likely saving her life, steps forward to tell his story.

This account—written by Rubin, but based on lengthy interviews and cast in Hernandez’s first person—hits all the right notes. Insisting that he’s not as heroic as people who devote their entire lives to public service (though he vows to do just that), Hernandez describes the attack and immediate aftermath in sharp detail. He then goes on to chronicle the next six months of memorial and other ceremonies, meetings with President Barack Obama and speeches and news interviews by the hundreds as his background and personal details (he is a gay Latino) draw widespread public attention. He rounds out the narrative with snapshots (both textual and visual) of his south Tucson childhood, schooling and experiences in local campaigns, both for others and for himself (running and losing for university student-body president, running and winning for his school board). Throughout, he comes across as self-assured but not full of himself, conscious of but not obsessed with his image and his status as a multiple role model, opinionated but not angry or preachy.

An absorbing eyewitness view of a shocking event wrapped in a fluent, engaging self-portrait. (bibliography) (Memoir. 11-15)