Hero is the latest book by the author Sarah Lean and it tells the story of 'a little dog with the heart of a lion' named Jack Pepper.
Most suited to youngsters aged around 7-12, Hero is a sweet tale with a focus on courage and helpfulness. With nearly 300 pages this is a proper book for a fairly confident reader, but the language used and format are nice and gentle, so it's not beyond most 8 year olds who enjoy reading.
Although you'd perhaps make the initial assumption that a book about a dog would be more girlish, this book doesn't favour either boys or girls in my opinion. It's an emotional story which will bring a lump to the throat of most readers, but the lead role is a boy named Leo.
Hero has lots of interesting characters who are introduced quite slowly into the story - boys, girls, adults and canine. It also features interesting topics that encourage the reader to find out more and explore a bit - Jupiter, Roman Centurians, even baking. It doesn't condescend, but it doesn't stretch too far. I've read some to my 5 1/2 year old, and I've paused and explained at times, but he's not given up, he's learnt.
Sarah Lean is also contributing to this year's World Book Day on 6th March, with a release called Jack Pepper, which is available to buy for £1 or with your World Book Day token from school. Jack Pepper is a prequel to Hero, a little add-on story which fits into the series nicely, but can also be read on it's own.
Hero is released on February 27th 2014, with a recommended retail price of £6.99 and is currently available to pre-order on Amazon for £5.80.
HarperCollins have kindly offered a copy of Hero as a prize for one of my readers. Entry is by rafflecopter below. The first entry is mandatory and the answer needs to be posted as a comment on this page, and you can earn additional entries by completing extra tasks. UK entries only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We were sent a copy of Hero by Sarah Lean for review.