Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2006

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My Hero - Extraordinary People on the Heroes Who Inspire Them
edited by The My Hero Project
Free Press (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN 0-7432-8345-7
Published October 2005 - Hardcover - 231 pages - $19.95

Nearly everyone has someone who means something to them.  Someone who made an impact and has an everlasting impression on them.  It may have been a teacher, a friend, a parent or grandparent, or a complete stranger who said or did something positive and which had an influence on their life.  This anthology is a collection of "hero" stories by "extraordinary" people in their own right.  People like, Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox, Dana Reeve, Paul Newman, Scott Hamilton, Wynton Marsalis, among others.  Each has something to say about how they found their hero and what they mean to them.  Most heroes we never meet - how many people can actually say they met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Yet, he is a hero to a great many people.  It's what they say and do that reaches us with an everlasting message.  The individual stories are varied and the respective heroes range across the board - a wife, teacher, personal friend, etc.  I don't really like the word "hero" - I prefer "inspiration".  Heroes for me are everyday people: policemen and women, firefighters, Emergency Room staff, and teachers.  So, it was great to read about Dennis Smith's heroes - first responders.  This is one of those books you can pick up and put down as you please.  Start and finish anywhere you like.  It's nice to be able to read a feel-good story when you need some encouragement.  My two "inspirations" in life?  Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey.
Visit the My Hero website at for more information.
Conclusion - Heartfelt stories that make for a nice read.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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