An intentionally diverse collection of stories about “everyday heroes” that kids come across in their daily lives, people who are heroic in ways that don’t involve “special powers.”
In Juana Medina’s “Los Abuelos, Two Bright Minds,” young Juani spends the day with her grandparents, who inspire her with their loving connection and tales of immigrating from Bogotá, Colombia, to the United States. Stevie, the young hero of the story “Thrown,” by Mike Jung, is autistic and has just been promoted to the teens-and-adults aikido class; the special treat of this change is that his new sensei is also autistic. In “Home,” Hena Khan’s protagonist, Aleena, gets a new adopted brother, Hakeem, whom she and her parents pick up from an orphanage in Morocco. Soon the realities of a new little brother show her how annoying a younger sibling can be, but it’s Aleena who teaches Hakeem the true meaning of home. Compiled by Rhuday-Perkovich in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, the collection offers a vivid and vibrant assemblage of authors, experiences, and constructions of heroism. Other contributors include Lamar Giles, Ellen Oh, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith, R.J. Palacio, William Alexander, Rita Williams-Garcia, Ronald L. Smith, Linda Sue Park and her daughter, Anna Dobbin, and Suma Subramaniam.
A stellar collection that, in celebrating heroes, helps readers find the universal in the specific. (Short stories. 8-12)