Heroes for My Daughter By Brad Meltzer Harper. 124 pp. $19.99
Reviewed by Jeff Ayers
Brad Meltzer's follow-up to his amazing Heroes for My Son features more talented individuals who prove that one person truly can change the world.
From the introduction of Heroes for My Daughter, where Meltzer delivers a personal message to his young daughter, the reader immediately understands how deeply personal this book is for the author.
He wants his daughter to understand that anything is possible. What better way to demonstrate that belief than by using stories of people who have defied the odds or spoken up when they were told to be quiet? The subjects are diverse, from Helen Keller and Rosa Parks to Carol Burnett and Bart Simpson's sister, Lisa. After reading the text accompanying the hero, it makes perfect sense.
One of the best stories tells of Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace, players on the women's softball team of Central Washington University. During an important game, Western Oregon University senior Sara Tucholsky hit her very first home run.
While running around the bases, she missed first base. She turned back to touch the base and tore a ligament in her leg. She crawled back to first and couldn't move.
A pinch runner would negate the run, and if her teammates helped her, she would be called out. Holtman and Wallace checked with the umpires to make sure it was OK if they carried Tucholsky around the bases so she could have her home run. That run cost Central Washington University the game and a playoff spot. But the team gained something more valuable, and provided a lesson for us all.
Heroes for My Daughter is the perfect book to read aloud to your children. The discussions generated from talking about these individuals will spark creativity and provide concrete examples that prove a hero doesn't have to be wealthy or pretty. It's all about standing up for what's right against all odds.
Meltzer sums it up best to his daughter: "Always remember: The truth is what people say behind your back."
Jeff Ayers reviews books for the Associated Press.