Monday, November 21, 2011

Hero by Perry Moore

This is the cover art that I like best

I found this book while searching through GLBT YA lists on Amazon and Goodreads for the GLBT challenge that I'm taking part in this year.  The premise was unique and all in all the book sounded interesting.  A gay superhero.  Here is the Goodreads blurb:
The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father's pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he's been asked to join the League - the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he's gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his father's past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.

this is the cover art on my copy
I did not get to read this before Perry Moore passed away unexpectedly in February but I really hope that someone will carry on his legacy in regards to having more superheroes that represent GLBT people appropriately.  It is SO important, I think, that teens and children have the opportunity to see themselves in their heroes.  Perry Moore also brings up the point that most times in comics when you see a GLBT hero, they don't last long or they are there to be objectified, sexually, by straight people (usually men).  For example, the most famous gay super of all time was brutally murdered in three different realities- once by Wolverine.  Some of them are tortured, beaten, impaled or rewritten as a straight character.  Most instances of lesbians in comics are there for the reading pleasure of teenage boys and not to show that lesbians can also be butt kicking superheroes.  All of this violence towards GLBT people in comics, what is it teaching our kids/teens?  That that kind of thing is what does or should happen to these people.  I, for one, do not want my children raised to find that kind of thing acceptable.  And what do GLBT teens/kids see when they read these comics?  Well, not that they can be heroes.  Not that people will respect them for who they are.  The great Stan Lee was working with Perry Moore to get Hero made into a tv series as well as a book series- this did not occur, however, before Moore's death.  If Stan Lee sees the need for change in the industry, then change is needed.  I'd love to see Wally West's Flash or Kid Flash character get involved with Dick Grayson's Robin or Nightwing character.  I think it is time that main characters be put out there as heroes for GLBT youth.  ALL kids deserve to beleive that they can change the world.  I know I'd love to see a world where no one bats an eye when two men walk together hand in hand or two women take their daughter on a school field trip.  We all need to be more live and let live, I think.  For the sake of our kids and their futures.  More peace and less hostility.

Now, off the Perry- Moore- Is- A-Genius soapbox.  I loved Hero.  I really did.  It was worth every penny spent on it and if I could, I'd buy a copy for every library in the US.  Thom was a likable guy who isn't perfect by any means but he's willing to but himself on the line to do the right thing and that is what makes a hero.  His  house is broken into and he finds a crack pipe in his yard so he decides to volunteer at the local youth center. He finds he has powers and is invited to try out for the superhero league and he goes out for it, knowing that he may embarrass the heck out of himself and get in big trouble with his dad.  He just wants to make a difference.  Thom also keeps trying even in the face of defeat.  He's also a good role model, I think, for GLBT teens because he is not willing to lie when confronted about his sexuality.  It would make his life easier in some ways if he hid who he was but he does.  When it's brought up, he doesn't lie about it.  He knows who he is and he deals with it.  This book is also not just about Thom as a gay hero.  There are other "misfit" heroes who prove that they have worth and that ANYONE who tries hard enough can be a hero.  We also learn about the love that parents have for their children.  Thom's dad seems to be ashamed of him but when it comes down to it, Thom learns that there is more to it than that.  We also learn about love and the concept of what we think we want versus what we need.  Thom learns that love is something that grows over time and that looks are not the be all end all of attraction and relationships.

All in all, this book was amazing.  It greatly saddens me that there will probably not be anymore Thom Creed books.  I would suggest this for readers over the ago of 14 as there are mentions of pornography, masturbation, kissing, underage drinking, and violence.  Honestly though, there is nothing in this book that even comes close to what teens are discussing in the hallways at your local high school.  I think that everyone should read this book.  It moved me in ways that I can't even describe.  I really hope you'll give it a chance.  Click here to add Hero to your Goodreads.  Click here to visit the Perry Moore website and find out more about gay superheroes from the world of comics.

Hero earns 5 Fairies from me for unexpected heroes and all around greatness!

1 comment:

Sally Bibrary said...

I've had this on my shelf for far too long now. The premise sounds like a geek dream come true, but I have such a hard time getting past the YA label. I think you've convinced me to shuffle it to the top of the TBR pile, though.

Oh, and I completely agree on the idea of Wally West's Flash getting together with Dick Grayson's Nightwing - brilliant! :)