Hero

by Perry Moore

Paper Book, 2007

Description

Thom Creed, the gay son of a disowned superhero, finds that he, too, has special powers and is asked to join the very League that rejected his father, and it is there that Thom finds other misfits whom he can finally trust.

Status

Available

Call number

813/.6

Publication

New York : Hyperion, c2007.

Media reviews

User reviews

LibraryThing member callmecayce
I first added this to my TBR list a few months ago after reading a review (in PW or maybe Booklist), but I didn't remember what it was about when I picked it up. I just remembered that the premise sounded interesting. Hero turned out to be so much more that interesting. It's a fantasy tale
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(superheroes existing in our world kind of thing) that is really more than that. It's the story of Thom, a boy trying to find himself in a world where he doesn't fit in.

I've read a lot of criticism of the book, and I can see where people are coming from, but I don't agree. Hero is, first and foremost, a YA book. It's written clearly for a YA audience, but not in such a way that you feel (as an adult) like the story is being dumbed down for you. It's clear that Moore respects his YA readers, though if you start reading the expected it to be a thesis on gay young adults, you're reading the wrong book. Instead, it's the story of Thom, as I've said, trying to find himself. Of course, unlike most gay teens, Thom has an extra set of worries -- his father is a washed up superhero. Of course, like so many teens, Thom has a secret -- only in his case it's two. He thinks he might be a superhero, but even more importantly, he knows he's gay.

Perry Moore does covers a lot of topics in this book -- dealing with bigots (against both homosexuals and superheroes), with being a child in a single parent household (Thom's mother left Thom and his father), and with being seen as an outsider. Though the sometimes the plot was a bit too predictable (especially at the very end) I thought this did not take away from the storyline. It ended exactly the way I wanted, and that was more than good enough for me. There's something to be said for finding oneself, and Moore certainly has a way with words.
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
In a world where superheroes are real, Thom dreams about joining The League, a band of A-list good guys who protect the citizens of their fair city. He also dreams about one of the most famous (and dreamiest) superheroes, Uberman. Thom's keeping a lot of secrets, not the least of which is that he's
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got superpowers and has been invited to try out for The League. He knows his dad would flip if he found out. His dad used to be a hero, one of the greats. But then he was maimed in a catastrophic accident during a rescue mission that went terribly awry. Now Thom's dad is a pariah and blamed for hundreds of deaths. He's sworn off the hero stuff for good and Thom knows that there's no way he'd let him join The League.

Throw in a zany cast of outcast potential superheroes, a dark stranger following Thom everywhere he goes, and a disappearing mom and you've got Hero. The book has issues to spare... family issues, abandonment, sexuality, and characters facing death every other day... Through it all, Thom is learning to trust who he is, to show who he is, and to see beyond the faces that everyone else shows the world.

I really enjoyed this novel. It had a lot going on and it's a book you can really sink your teeth into. I loved the superhero world that Moore created. I loved that Thom was gay, but the book was about more than that.
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LibraryThing member FFortuna
Thom Creed's father is a disgraced superhero. There's a lot Thom can't talk to his father about--like how he's developing superpowers, that the superhero League wants him to join them, and especially not that he's gay.

I read the whole book in one day. 428 pages, only breaking for food and the water
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closet. It was just that good. It's *sob* *pause* *gasp* over and over the whole way.

Thom is a totally relatable character that I loved to cheer on, especially speaking as a teenager. He makes mistakes, and he doesn't always have a very realistic image of himself, but he never gives up. He goes after what he wants, and he doesn't mind working for it. The other characters mostly made me want to tackle them and hug them to death, but even the characters I didn't like were fascinating. Most of the established heroes are thinly veiled versions of DC heroes--Uberman, Warrior Woman-- but they became archetypes to work from and ideas to explore, rather than the parodies I was worried about.

The plot was intricate, 428 pages is long for a YA novel, but it was easy to follow, one event flowing naturally into the next. Perry Moore slammed right to the heart of what superheroes mean, both the fantastic and the terrible but mostly the amazing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. YA, otherwise, superhero fan, otherwise, GLBT, otherwise, whatever. I hear there's a TV series in the works and I can't wait... I'm sure I'll be mentioning this book in other reviews, but as yet I don't have anything I can recommend that wouldn't fall flat after reading this. Maybe go read the classic graphic novels.
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LibraryThing member bikerevolution
Gay superheroes? Awesome!! Although "Hero" could be a bit fluffy (like most young adult lit), it also had its dark moments. Our young hero alternates between total confusion and feelings of isolation and persecution over being queer, but also about his not-so-brady bunch family life. A short, fun
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read.
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LibraryThing member HelloAnnie
Overall, an enjoyable novel about Thom, a gay superhero and basketball star. Thom is both a perfect kid (basketball star, volunteers with kids, loves his Dad) and an everyman (he's a klutz, awkward and unsure). Moore really did a good job of creating beautiful and memorable and believable
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characters (even the superheros!) and an interesting plot that helps to propel the story along.

There are some major plotholes and parts are very predictable (even for a young adult novel). If you can look past them, you're in. The feminist in me also bristled at some of the language in the text- one woman is described as a bitch, another a spinster and it is assumed that the Mom will give up her life as a superhero to stay home once she marries and has Thom.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of Thom's real life (dating, basketball, figuring out himself, school, friends, etc.) and less of Thom's superhero life and the fight scenes, but I know that isn't the purpose of the novel. The passages where Thom is an everyday teen spoke to me more than the passages where he is a superhero.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
Moore, Perry . (2007). Hero. New York: Hyperion. 432 pp. ISBN 1-4231-0195-2 (Hardcover); $16.99.

This is the most unusual superhero book I have read! Thom wants to become a superhero. His father is a legendary, no longer active superhero, who absolutely does not want his son following in his
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footsteps. Thom's description of playing basketball while his father watches is like watching Clark Kent enter the phone booth. The teasing out of superhero lore sounds so real in this book that it allows me to see past some details that don't work as well for me--like Thom's mom. Woven into the story is the mystery behind who is killing the superheroes. Moore handles the details well (the rings as the agent for control--with Thom's group giving up theirs to Ruth). Thom fights not only to hide from his father his desire to become a superhero, but also his sexuality. Two strikes, in his father’s eyes. When Thom is forced to admit that he is gay to clear the name of a bad guy (because truth is an essential superhero quality), we are reading the stuff of legend and heroes. A nice change of pace!
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LibraryThing member sooziebeaker
One part Geography Club, one part Teen Titans, and one part wholly original. Moore deftly blends these distinct genres into a masterpiece capable of moving both young and old alike.
LibraryThing member ohioyalibrarian
This is the story of Thom, a gay teen superhero, or at least a gay teen in the process of becoming a superhero. He has the power to heal and is accepted into a superhero training program. He hides this fact, along with his homosexuality, from his dad, who is a retired superhero with a flawed
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reputation. His mother disappeared years ago. Amidst a crisis in the superhero community (heroes are being murdered) which escalates into a crisis for the world, Thom must come to grips with himself, his relationships (friends and love interests alike), and his relationships with his parents, whose history is revealed to him along the way. An interesting read!
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LibraryThing member veevoxvoom
Thom Creed’s father is a disgraced superhero and they live together in shabby circumstances after the disappearance of Thom’s mother. When Thom realizes that he has superpowers of his own, he doesn’t dare tell his father, so he sneaks behind his father’s back to try out for the League.
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Meanwhile there are other secrets floating around in the Creed family, secrets to Thom’s parents’ pasts, and Thom’s homosexuality.

There is a lot to like about Hero. Thom is a great narrator, just the right amount of humour, determination, and teenage embarrassment. The scenes where he trips over himself trying to impress the League are hilarious. But where there is humour there is also heartache, and Hero is particularly good at portraying the lives of superheroes especially when they fall from fame. Thom’s father is probably the best realized character in the book. Even when he’s being aggressive or homophobic, he tugs at your heartstrings.

There is a lot about this book that made it poignant. Seeing Thom and his father struggle for money and respect felt very real, as did Thom’s situation with his sexuality. Or the stories of Thom’s superhero comrades like Scarlett or Ruth. This isn’t your typical wham-bam adventure. These are real people that the reader can understand.

However, the second half of the book wasn’t as good as the first half. Thom’s romance with a fellow basketball player, while thrilling to start with, was resolved unconvincingly. The plot twist about the bad guy also came too quickly, and I would have liked to have seen more about Thom’s mother and her motives. But even as Hero left me feeling frustrating in some areas, it is still an overwhelmingly excellent novel.
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LibraryThing member Kaoden39
Thank you Mr Moore, you satisfied my comic book geek inside of me and the woman I have become.

Thom is great as a main character, he is human. In that I mean that he has insecurities, at times tends to think he is the only one that has problems and I can go on but I won't. I think that the fact that
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Thom is so human helps to make this book as good as it is. And he is like so many teenagers and doesn't realize that no matter what your parents love you unconditionally.

I also applaud Mr Moore because the character of Dark Hero was a mystery to me until near the end and I figured it out and I think I was even late on that. So honestly I think that there is a future for you in writing mysteries if you should so decided to write them.

The character interaction is good, and watching Thom grow and in the end learn to trust other people is good. I felt so sorry for Thom and what I think was his own embarrassment at his sexuality. He was sure that his father would hate him and by the end of the book he was surprised when his Dad didn't.

His friendship with Ruth was his salvation in so many ways, she helped him to become the man he was able to be. She taught him to look a little deeper, first in her and then in Scarlett, and then everyone else.

There is so much more that I would like to write down but, I am not doing a book report and I want people to enjoy it as much as I did
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LibraryThing member tipsister
I didn’t read Hero, I listened to the audio book, and I loved it. Thom Creed is a super hero. His powers are new, not quite controlled, and he is on probationary status with The League. He’s also gay and a teenager. All those things mixed together cause a bit of angst.

I love superheroes and I
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think that Thom makes a great addition to the genre. He’s growing and learning, becoming more powerful all the time, and is scared to tell his father that he’s gay. He’s so absolutely human. He wants his father’s approval so badly and I think many of us can relate to that feeling.

The book is emotional, hilarious, and exciting. Pretty much everything that a good book needs. I definitely recommend Hero highly. Just a note, it’s a young adult book but really should be read by older teens. The language can be raw at times and there is one scene that might not be appropriate for younger readers - even though it’s very tame.

I’d like to mention that the audio book was read by Michael Urie and he did a fabulous job.
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LibraryThing member stephmo
Thom's had a difficult go of things - his father's previous career has ended in shame, his mother disappeared, he has an unexplained seizure disorder and any respect that he may have gained in basketball has been negated by the homophobic jeers and taunts that are only masking what he can't talk to
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anyone about just yet. One would think burgeoning super powers might help the situation. But if there's anything that Thom knows would disappoint his father more than a gay son, it's the thought of a son with superpowers after what happened with the League all those years ago...

And so Perry Moore lays the foundation for a novel that proves to be more than a quick gimmick. Thom's story is, very simply, about finding out who you are under difficult circumstances. Except the story reveals that Thom's circumstances may not be the most difficult, nor the hardest to resolve when it comes to the search for true self. And isn't this the truth in any good coming-of-age tale?

There is terrific attention paid to the heroes and the League that protect the city. The supervillians and heroes with their varying powers and objectives are reminiscent of Kurt Busiek's Astro City graphic novel series - a series that aimed to make more adult stories of the superhero set. I look forward to further adventures with Thom an the League, as Perry Moore has indicated in interviews that he's planned a sequel.
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LibraryThing member frood42
Thom is keeping two big secrets from his father: first, he is gay; second, he has a superhuman ability to heal people and is trying out to join the League superheroes. Thom does not need to keep his abilities secret because the would wouldn't accept his powers-- in this book's universe, super
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abilities are fairly common and superheroes are often in the spotlight. The conflict with his father instead stems from his father's own shadowy past as Major Might, a hero without any extraordinary powers, who became shunned and disgraced. Major Might's backstory is hinted at early in the novel, and revealed slowly, hooking the reader and compelling them to read on.

Suspense builds around whether Thom's father will learn his secrets and how he will respond, whether Thom can join the league, and the identity of the mysterious Dark Hero. Thom narrates like a typical teen and his struggles with his superpower and sexual identity and his relationship with his father and absent mother, are paired with exciting scenes of heroes battling villains, and an epic battle at the end. Sometimes, however, the plot does not quite stack up. For instance, the murder of several superheroes drove the story until the evil mastermind was revealed, at which point the murder subplot was dropped, and while most observant readers would realize that murdering superheroes is actually counterproductive to the villain's master plan, the murders were never satisfactorily reconciled with the book's climax. However, Thom and his story are interesting enough that plot flaws don't ruin the story. Scenes of fairly graphic violence and strong language make this book appropriate for older teens.
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LibraryThing member omphalos02
I really wanted to like this book. I feel that the premise - that of a gay teen-aged superhero - could be important and even wonderful to teens. But Moore does not have the skills necessary to pull it off. The plot is poorly executed and patchy. He employs every hackneyed device possible to build
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"suspense" and this gives the book a false feeling. This could have been funny and sweet and gut-wrenching. At its best it is only a heartfelt whimper at what might have been.
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LibraryThing member cinf0master
Thom Creed’s attempts to hide both his homosexuality and superpowers from his father are challenged when they are called upon to save the world. Moore crams 9/11, gay teens, moral ambiguity, and social struggles into what should be a lighthearted read. The plot is nonsensical, with disappearances
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and murders occurring with little or no explanation. The characters are bloated compilations; superpowers, weaknesses, emotions are packed onto the page and prevent any personality development. Too many problems on too many pages with too many people will frustrate teen readers who are looking for “The Incredibles” in a story.
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LibraryThing member rfewell
Good story, but some clunky writing and underdeveloped characters.
LibraryThing member penwing
I read it but really the best I can say about it is "meh". It's based on the type of comic book I find inane - the perfect costumed superhero. *Kapow* *Bash* *Yawn* etc.
LibraryThing member vasfunny
Hero, an unbelievable read that not only will leave you breathless, but also begging for more. Thom a homosexural boy that has speacal powers. Who later joins the a team of super heros. But struggles with both bad guys and family problems. The story tends to stray away from certen plot points, but
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over all its highly recommended for everyone!
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LibraryThing member ada-adjoa
Think this is a good book for a young guy in the closet to read. There is sexuality, but what 17 guy isn't sexual? I found the situations refreshing and believable. They weren't extremely explicit. I liked the happy ending.
LibraryThing member emma_mc
Delightfully fresh. Takes on stereotypes and melts them away with laser vision or heat waves. Topics are ones often shied away from: homosexuality, cancer, poverty, etc. Very enjoyable and fun to read.
LibraryThing member amwo
Basically I was very excited to read this book. And it definitely did not disappoint. Anyways, imagine a motley group of superheroes. One is gay, with the power of healing. Another is old and psychic, and a third has the power to make you really sick. Then there is extremely touchy Scarlett, who is
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angry all the time, and the team leader Golden boy, who has been put on probation from the League because of one teensy mistake. Imagine that, and you have Thom Creed's team. Thom is the son of an ex-superhero(who never had powers) who is fighting the secrets that he hides from his father. It doesn't exactly help that he is gay, has a thing for superheroes, and a dad who is the social outcast of the town(and really judgemental just FYI) because of a catastrophic event in the past. Thom's life changes when he starts to develop superpowers and is invited to try out for the League, a prestigious league of superheroes. And the others that have tried out are every bit as much of a misfit as he is. You will fall in love with this cast of D list superheroes that are unorganized yet miraculously save the day. I personally loved Typhoid Larry and Ruth (the person who makes people sick and the psychic.) Typhoid Larry was just adorable in all of his insecurities, and Ruth was the cool but crazy Grandma who knew the answer to everything (if not because she's wise, then because of her psychicness.) Moore wove a beautiful story with characters dancing (and sometimes stumbling) in and out of conflict throughout the whole thing. He also wrote a wonderful love interest, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of love in this story. What shocked me the most, was how I reacted to all the superheroes. Read this book and go to Geeky heaven, because even if they aren't real superheroes, I like them better than your basic Spiderman or Batman. (Too many "mans", luckily there was only the one Uberman in this book.) The writing in this book was was a perfect blend of witty and hearfelt at all the right moments. A choice quote? "And Golden Boy, if you weren't so busy trying to be a one man rescue machine... Well, there may be no 'I' in team, but apparently there's a real big one in 'Kevin.'" And the ending, the ending had me on the edge of my seat! You find out who the villain is (a surprise, but not really if you paid attention like me), who the mysterious 'Dark Hero' (a possibly bad, possibly good mystery guy) is, and everyone resolves their character vs. character issues! The ending was beautiful, the characters were beautiful, the writing was beautiful, this whole freaking book was beautiful. I might use this for my July Challenge, not sure yet. Anyways, go read this freaking fantastical book!
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LibraryThing member anyanwubutler
Thom Creed is a teen with problems. His dad is an ex-superhero, now factory worker. His mom left them and dad won't talk about any of it. And Thom's superpowers are asserting themselves. The League asks him to try-outs. He's trying not to think too much about Uberman, because he's gay. A very
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normal kid, Thom is a great superhero. Hero is a great book.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
This book did not interest me. Not my kind of book. Q2P2 AHS/Jenna G.
LibraryThing member revslick
One word - Awesome!!! A friend passed this to me saying it was a great superhero novel with a twist. I read the back and thought it sounded cheesy. I then chunked it in my trunk where it lay dormant. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't sleep and saw it peeking under my gym shoes. I thought it would
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put me to sleep, but instead I spent the night zipping through this fast-paced, action-packed, gay, super hero novel. There's some great fanboy homage throughout!
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
A wonderful story with truly unique characters. The backstory is great as is the build up. I like that it deals with a homosexual protagonist, but doesn't focus on it; it's just part of who he is, not WHO he is. It's also nice that it doesn't blatantly advertise itself as LGBT literature; it makes
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it more approachable to teens.
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Awards

Lambda Literary Award (Winner — 2007)
Gaylactic Spectrum Award (Shortlist — Novel — 2008)
Green Mountain Book Award (Nominee — 2011)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Recommended — 2011)

Language

Original publication date

2007

ISBN

1423101952 / 9781423101956
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