Heroes for My Son
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Heroes for My Son

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  461 ratings  ·  104 reviews
When Brad Meltzer's first son was born eight years ago, the bestselling writer and new father started compiling a list of heroes whose virtues and talents he wanted to share with his son: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Jim Henson, Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali . . . and so many more, each one an ordinary person who was able to achieve the extraordinary. The list grew to inclu...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Harper (first published 2010)
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Andrea
Brad Melzer's Heroes for my Sonbegan as a project that centered around words of advice for his firstborn son. When Melzer started making progress, he realized it wasn't turning out as he had hoped, and he also realized that it was the people around him--family members and those he has read about--that inspired him to be a better person. Therefore, this book is a compilation of heroes--from those we all think of (Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson) to those we may not have ever heard of (Dick and Ric...more
Laura
Opening lines:
I was stuck at a red light. It wasn’t a particularly long light. But I remember the moment because it was dark and it was quiet—the first moment of quiet on the day my son Jonas was born.


This is a collection of historical heroes who changed their lives in the benefit of the humanity.

I have read it at DailyLit but I couldn't find its own link to be posted here.
Allison
I read my coworker's copy of this that she bought for her son on my recommendation (after hearing Meltzer talk about it on NPR). This book is nothing short of a Fantastic Idea, well-executed. Every page turn provides a new hero to sit down with your son (or daughter; there's nothing gender-specific about this book besides the title) and have a conversation. In my view, you would read one hero per day with your child before bed and discuss what what your child does and doesn't understand, why tha...more
Tryn
Each page layout contains a photo of an influential person, alongside a brief tribute. A quote from each featured hero is also included. In such a format, there isn’t room for much detail about the person’s life, but what detail is included is well-chosen and telling.

What drew me to this book was the the concept of choosing real-life heroes for our children. Kids have enough superheroes. Here are real men and women, imperfect, but shinning examples of one or more qualities that make them great....more
Amy
A phenomenal piece of literature!

Brad Meltzer developed this "list" when his oldest child was born. The list is 50+ people who are teachers and / or inspirations to many. Some on the list are "usual" heroes: Washington, Lincoln, Mother Teresa, etc., while others may surprise you.

Each listing or entry is 2 pages long. At the top of the first page is the influence: innovator, dreamer, trailblazer, etc. Next is the name of the person and then how they are "known". In the middle of the page is a pi...more
Sarah InMI
I received this book for review, but having read some of Brad Meltzer's other work before, I was looking forward to this book.
This is not a novel, but rather a collection of vignettes, I suppose, about many people who he considered heroic because of their words, actions or (most likely) a combination of both.

However, rather than share the well known facts about these people that many of us are familiar with, Meltzer instead chose these fascinating details - and I found myself often reading snip...more
Maria
Brad Meltzer began collecting stories about heroes when he first son was born. This book is a collection of 50+ heroes with a picture a one page summary of their heroism and one or two quotes from them.

Why I picked it up: It was recommended in a library magazine that I read.

Why I finished it: Picture me crying in Jiffy Lube, I went this morning to get my oil changed and while I sat in their waiting room, I read this book and cried. It's very inspiring and I think that this would be an awesome g...more
Melissa
This wasn't the book I thought it was (I bought this thinking it was the book about the dying father who had his friends step in to teach his children about life. If anyone knows what that book is, please let me know). Anyhow, I thought I'd read this anyhow. It's a short book, each page includes a photo of the hero, a short paragraph or two about their feat, and a phrase. Some of the people were to be expected, some had new but interesting stories, some made me realize it's the little things tha...more
Gena
I am clearly in the minority here, but I was a bit disappointed in this book. I heard the author on NPR and I thought the heroes' stories would lead to some interesting conversations with my sons, but Meltzer just doesn't go far enough. Some of the heroes only get a few sentences about what makes them special. I found the the two pages given to each hero just didn't have enough information. I spent a lot of time giving background info to my kids about who these people were and additional details...more
Courtney
This book is without question the best book I have ever read. It tells the shocking and amazing stories of Gahndi, Mother Teresa, Jackie Robinson, Dr. Suess, and many more. These are people who swept the world away with being the first black major league baseball player, an actual angel, earning rights for India peacefully, and creating childrens books that will live on for decades. i f you haven't read this you need to. It will make you be greatful for what you have and want to change the world...more
Marcie
Sep 02, 2010 Marcie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marcie by: NYTimes
I can see using this with classes as a brief (read 1-3 each day) kind of thing. It also would be interesting to have students select the "hero" of their choice to find more information about. I liked the layout and use of a brief quote by each hero. Most interesting to me were the few heroes with whom I was unfamiliar. I guess I thought there would be more unusual ones after reading the preface. Still a useful book.
Danika
I liked the premise of this book- the author compiled a list of "heroes" to give to his son. I think there are 52 in the book, 2 pages per person. He includes people like Rosa Parks and George Washington. My complaint was that the snapshot of each hero is extremely superficial. I would have liked it more if each person was developed a bit better. Kind of more like a coffee table book due to its short-form format.
Kimberlee
I loved sharing this book with my tween son. Learning the back stories on some heroes I already knew and learning about new heroes that I was not aware of really inspired me to think about things that both my son and I do that are heroic. We shared some stories with the other members of our family, and I look forward to reading and sharing "Heroes for my Daughters" next.
Colleenish
I loved this book. It's just a collection of short facts about people that the author admires. The quotes and facts are interesting ones that I didn't necessarily know. I love the idea of teaching values through stories. I'm inspired to write my own book like this, and to read it to my little siblings. Everyone should know who Nelson Mandela etc is.
Maria
Mar 23, 2012 Maria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
This is honestly a beautiful little book. Brad Meltzer writes heroes, he knows heroes. But he chooses here to tell the story of 52 real heroes, historical and modern. It's surprising how just a few sentences can tell so much about these people he believes his sons, and all of us, should learn from.
Brenda
I used this book as a model for a writing/research project in my senior English class. The results were amazing! It was uplifting to see the heroes my students chose to record for their future children. I highly recommend this book. Meltzer puts an interesting twist on the genre of heroes.
Mary Kenyon
Fantastic little book! It would make a great gift for any kid in middle school or older. Each hero has a photo on the left hand page with a caption and then simple text on the right hand page that tells some interesting (and maybe unknown) attributes that make that person a hero.
Jess
May 13, 2014 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jess by: browsing
Found this while browsing my public library. It's the sort of book for May, given graduations and things of that sort.

It's an interesting flip-through of people Meltzer considers heroes. Each entry receives two pages. The first has a photo and a brief synopsis of the person. The second gives an example of why Meltzer considers the person a hero.

My main quibble is that the information paragraph(s) is too short. I wanted a little more of the story on most. Even keeping the same two-page format, t...more
John
This took about 30 minutes to read and didn't seem like much more than Wikipedia summaries of his list of heroes. As a personal project that you do for your son, it's great. As a book that you sell for real money it's kind of a disappointment.
Shea
I decided to read this after I read "Heroes for My Daughter," and after hearing this was book was being turned into a TV show. While I enjoyed this book, I found that I liked Meltzer's other book, Heroes for My Daughter, a lot better. Whether or not it's because I'm a female and therefore might relate or identify better with the "Daughter" book, I'm not sure. But, I do feel like the other book was more inspired and I liked the people he wrote about more.
With that being said, I love Meltzer's wri...more
Lee
It started out as a bargain bin buy. However, after reading about the Growth Mindset I needed validation that perseverance, hard work, and failure led to success. Brad Meltzer proves this through his inspiring book of all kinds of people: ordinary, famous, professional athletes, icons, etc.

This is the perfect pairing to the book Mindset By Carol Dweck. It will give you a ton of more examples of what the Growth Mindset looks like.
Marsha Hansen
I am in love with this book...every aspect of this book.It is a book to be shared. Though written for his son, Brad Meltzer's collection of heroes will be inspiring for girls as well. This is a warm and wonderful book full of wisdom.
Kristy
Everyone should read this book! The layout is very unique. When Brad Meltzer's first son was born, he starting writing notes about his heroes for his son to enjoy too. After his third child was born, he decided to publish his book of heroes. Each page offers a quick bio of each hero with his/her picture. I learned about some great people that I didn't know existed. The idea of this book really touched my heart, and I'd like to make something similar for my daughter. The heroes in this book may b...more
Dewi
" I was tired of my daughter thinking that reality TV stars and loud-mouthed sports players were heroes. I tell my kids all the time: That’s fame. Fame is different than being a hero. I wanted my kids to see real heroes. "

- Brad Meltzer -
Randy Christopher
I like the idea of this book a lot, and also read the Heroes for My Daughter as well. There are a lot of little stories about each of the people in this book that not many people probably knew. I also like the addition of people that a lot of people may not familiar with as well. There are people like the person behind the Make-a-Wish Foundation and then the ones you would expect like Abraham Lincoln. I am a teacher and plan on reading one of these each week to show my students some different re...more
Taro Yamashita
Nice collection of very interesting people in history. It's probably a better conversation-starter than just a book by itself. Some of the people listed may require a bit of research to have an intelligent discussion with, say, your child.

The underlying theme seems to be "courage." Just about every person included in the book displayed more courage, in some form, than seems "normal."

Perhaps the best idea that comes out of this book is that every parent might wish to consider putting together a b...more
Lynn
Very sweet. And I learned few surprising things.
Trung
Heroes are everything sometimes and Brad Meltzer has managed to collect a varied group together and share his thoughts about them to pass along to his son in hopes that he will be a decent human being. Of course, the idea of the "hero" and emulating that idea can be enough to create a decent person, but to really adhere to those kinds of principles throughout your life make you a great person.

Definitely a great read and a reminder that everyone who was extraordinary started off like you or me, j...more
Sarah
Loved this one...a Dad wanting to give his son a message about growing up, but not just wanting to write "be nice to the fat kid" decides it's more about learning from examples. So, he compiles stories of heroes, some famous, others not, whose lives/messages definitely show the values - courage, compassion, don't give up spirit, humbleness, making a difference,..etc...that we all hope our children will grow to learn, know, understand, live by, & embody.
I will want my boys to read this &...more
Jock Zollinger
This book feature famous people and what they did. I would recommend this book because it shows people that you might not have heard about and you might learn something new. I would rate this a 4 because I learned a lot about different people.
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Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Fate and The Book of Lies.

He is also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby—and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.

His...more
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