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Hall of Heroes

by Jeri Massi
204 pages, Contemporary
Reviewed by JTWinkle

A funny, moving, insightful book with a lot of slapstick comedy.

Plot

The plot breaks into two plot lines: one is comedic, in which a gang of friends try to outwit a group of bullies and are defeated again and again. The second is serious, in which first the youngest and the oldest member of the group of friends reach out to a woman in their church who is dying of cancer.

Morality

At first the "bad guys" appear to win, but by the end the balance is restored, and the good kids emerge triumphant. They are also wiser. Issues of Christian charity are highlighted and examined.

Spiritual Content

The topics of death, faith, suffering, and joy vs happiness are addressed, but not too overwhelming for the age group. Good introduction to missions and the work of translators of the Bible.

Violence

More suggested than depicted. Snowball fights, and in one scene the bullies tip over a shed where the children are having a meeting. Bullies trick several children into accidentally super-gluing themselves to things. One child has to go to the hospital.

Drug and Alcohol Content

An ill adult in the story rejects narcotic pain killers and remarks on this as a personal decision.

Sexual Content

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None

Conclusion

A very funny and thought-provoking book, showing the human side of a woman who has been a missionary and translator. The book has a lot of physical comedy among the children, and this is balanced against one plot line of a Christian woman who is ill and is facing death with faith and courage. Told from the POV of one of the children, aged 10.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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