From the author of A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, comes an action-filled adventure about friendship, imagination, and what it means to be a hero, perfect for fans of classic dog and friendship stories like Because of Winn-Dixie and Shiloh.
The short length makes Hero a great pick for reluctant readers and readers who have just graduated from chapter books, but its themes of bullying and finding courage to stand up for what's right mean the story is meaty enough for more advanced readers, too.
Leo is invincible when he's pretending to be a gladiator in his imagination, but in real life, he struggles to make friends—unless you count his neighbor's little dog, Jack Pepper. So Leo is thrilled when the cool kids invite him to hang out, even though they sometimes pressure him to do mean things.
When Leo accidentally does something that makes the whole town think he's a hero, he rolls with it—it feels nice to be celebrated, even if it's a lie. But when Jack Pepper needs Leo's help, can Leo find it in himself to be a genuine hero?
About the Author
Sarah Lean lives in England with her husband, son, and dog. She is the author of A Dog Called Homeless and A Hundred Horses. She has worked as a page planner for a newspaper, a stencil maker, a gardener, and a primary school teacher, among various other things.
“Lean has crafted a touching portrait of a good-hearted, loyal, and boundlessly imaginative boy who makes some realistic missteps in his efforts to succeed in the ‘real world.’” — Publishers Weekly
“Tightly structured and plotted, the novel’s every element and development move the story forward. A compelling, thought-provoking story about the fights and brave acts-big and small, acclaimed and unattributed-that define us.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Lean has written a charming, affecting story of a boy whose love for a dog challenges him to find the best in himself. Ingeniously plotted and populated with appealing characters—including, of course, a lovable canine—this is a treat for dog-lovers and would-be heroes alike.” — ALA Booklist
Praise for Sarah Lean’s A Hundred Horses:“Friendship, self-discovery, a dreamlike middle-of-the-night horseback ride, and a satisfying ending make for certain reader appeal.” — Booklist (starred review)
Praise for Sarah Lean’s A Hundred Horses: “Lean’s imagination runs wild, but her descriptions of a girl who rediscovers hope and wholeness remain firmly rooted in truth.” — New York Times Book Review
Praise for Schneider Family Book Award-winning A Dog Called Homeless: “Ever so gently, this fine debut effort explores the power of human kindness as Cally and her father find effective ways to cope with their loss.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Praise for Sarah Lean’s A Dog Called Homeless: “Truly a lesson in the power of love and loss, this story shows that learning how to listen is more important than what’s being said. This is a thought-provoking story that will speak to readers of all ages.” — School Library Journal
Praise for Sarah Lean’s A Dog Called Homeless: “Lean’s first novel stands out for its clean and evocative prose. [...] Readers drawn to stories of adversity will find this one rewarding, and all readers should look forward to Lean’s next novel.” — The Horn Book