Sunday, December 27, 2020

MG Debut Accessible and Empowering

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Isaiah Dunn's father dies unexpectedly, it throws his family a devastating curveball.  Four months later, Isaiah's mom is drinking too much, his little sister is needier than ever, and the whole family is living in a dingy hotel room that smells like smoke.  With the constant threat of homelessness hanging over their heads, 10-year-old Isaiah knows he needs to do something.  He's trying to stay out of trouble at school and find a lucrative part-time job, neither of which is working out too well.  Isaiah's father thought Isaiah was a super hero—he even wrote stories about it—but Isaiah just feels like a failure.  How can he save his family?  He needs the super human skills of all the Avengers combined to pull this one off, but all he has is himself.  Isaiah is just a child.  How can he save the day?

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero, a debut novel by Kelly J. Baptist, is a slim novel that packs a big punch.  It deals with some tough subjects, but it does so in an accessible, age-appropriate, and hopeful way.  Isaiah is a relatable character who's sympathetic and admirable while still feeling real.  His story teaches many lessons about being yourself, working toward goals, using your talents, and asking for help when you need it.  Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero is a poignant, touching, empowering novel that I enjoyed very much.

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for difficult subject matter (alcoholism, homelessness, poverty, etc.)

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. I think books like this are so good for MG kids as they go through their own struggles and can relate to the characters.

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  2. I just read this one and was quite impressed. A very good MG book with some great messages. Your description is right on the money. I did have a few tears reading this one.

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