On a trip to the library recently, I picked up two little books that I ended up just loving. Author Brad Meltzer, who is well-known for his thrillers and mysteries, has written a book for his daughter and another one for his sons about inspirational people….our “heroes.” And he also has written a series of graphic novels about heroes. The series is called Ordinary People Change the World, and I’ve read a number of those and liked them very much, too. I definitely would have bought all of these books for my class library if I was still teaching.
In both Heroes for My Daughter and Heroes for My Son, there is a one word description of the character of each person he writes about. For his chapter on Dorothea Lange, the word is “Eyewitness.” For Wilma Rudolph, it is “Uncatchable.” And for Thurgood Marshall, it is “Trailblazer.” The last three stories are about his daughter’s Great-Grandmother (“Irrepressible”), and her Grandma (“Designer”), and her Mother (“Fighter”). He tells the story of each person so his daughter can understand what was/is special and heroic about the person, and he also includes direct quotes so that she can hear from each person directly.
The graphic novels are little biographies of different heroes, and are nicely written and nicely illustrated.
These are lovely, hopeful, inspiring books, and are certainly not just for children. They were inspiring to me, a nice antidote to the ugliness we see so much of these days.