Svoboda’s inspirational offering begins with the story of a high school senior who bravely took the wheel of a school bus after the bus driver had a heart attack while driving. The author then asks her young readers to imagine what they would have done in that situation.
In an easy-to-read narrative, readers learn the myths of heroism and how it is truly the everyday acts of heroism that don’t make the news that matter. This book is for those that aspire to help the world, and it acts as a guide, providing chapters such as “Recognize Your Hero’s Journey,” which presents a condensed version of Joseph Campbell’s take on a hero’s evolution. Further chapters stress the importance of role models, giving examples of those that have already answered the call, like Phillip Zimbardo, who started the Heroic Imagination Project, which teaches young people to actively and confidently “do the right thing” when others are in need. The most inspiring chapter, “Transform Pain into Heroic Purpose,” coaches young people facing difficulty to transform their struggles into purpose by sharing their experiences in ways that can help others who are going through similar challenges.
Though there’s little new in this middle-grade self-help book, this strategic, confidence-building read is just enough to energize a young person who still feels hope to change the world one day at a time. (Nonfiction. 10-14)