Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 7 to 12
- Grade: 2 to 6
- Reading age: 6 to 12
A girl who founded a charity for girls’ education, a boy who raised money with every baseball he could hit. True stories of children who opened up their hearts and minds to the unfairness of the world and decided to try and make a difference, because everyone deserves to be happy.
Andrew Adansi-Bonnah from Ghana raised thousands of dollars for refugee children in Somalia after seeing their terrible situation on the news. Jonathan Lee from South Korea was given special permission to travel to North Korea to talk about the environment. Mimi Ausland from the USA, nicknamed “Dr. Doolittle,” started a website to collect donations for shelter animals. All of them are everyday heroes, and you can be one too.
About the author
Janet Wilson is an award-winning artist and a published author, holding over 50 publishing copyrights in the children's literature field. She graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design as a mature student, the mother of two little boys. Janet's love of books combined with a particular talent for drawing children has brought her into the world of "kidlit." Her more realistic style lends itself to interpreting the stories of children's favorite authors in producing picture books. Sensitivity to the nuances of facial expressions helps young readers grasp subjects ranging from dealing with death, the arrival of a new baby, the tragedy of war or just wishing your new dress was a different colour. Her awards include Best Illustrated Book in the United States in 2004 for Jasper's Day, Canadian Information Book of the Year for her artwork in In Flanders Fields, and she is the first non-native artist to be awarded the Native Reading Week Award for her illustrations in Solomon's Tree. Janet is a career artist known for her fine art commissioned portraits and still life paintings.
- Short-listed, Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Express Award
Wilson’s book has a clean, attractive design with a portrait and photos that readers can trust – they show the kids at work, on the spot, giving hope, making headlines... Our Heroes will be an excellent choice for discussions among young people anxious to right some wrongs.
[Wilson] beautifully captures each child’s spirit and tugs at my heartstrings. Our Heroes is inspiring, powerful and thought-provoking.
Children's Books Heal
As a teacher, I have been at a loss, at times, to know what to say when students want me to explain the injustice they see in the world. Our Heroes is an optimistic and empowering book for children who want to make a change.
This is a wonderful book that can be used to inspire children and adults to treat each other with kindness and do what we can to help one another. The children in this book all followed different paths to make a difference, but the underlying message is that the path you choose is not important but the act of giving is.
Canadian Children's Book News
Themes of bullying, class bias and others may overlap with those in Wilson's previous work (Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World, 2013) but that doesn't make these stories any less inspirational. The swift portraits seize readers, leaving them not only wanting to know more, but to do more. An admirable effort to engage today's youth.
The book is informative without being overwhelming....It is definitely inspiring, as well as refreshing to give students role models who are not just celebrities, but normal children that they can identify with.
Kutztown University Book Review
This book would be a wonderful introduction to community service or to teach students empathy as well as encouraging them to feel empowered and able to make a change in their own small corners of the world.
Other titles by Janet Wilson
How Kids are Taking Action
In Flanders Fields
The Story of the Poem by John McCrae
Severn and the Day She Silenced the World
How kids are changing the world
Shannen and the Dream for a School
How kids are saving the planet
True Stories of Young Activists