Hero Maker

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A teen haunted by dreams discovers that he has special powers, revealing that superheroes are hidden among us every day.

A 16-year-old with exceptional abilities is thrust into a life of danger in this fascinating YA magical realism story.

Sixteen-year-old Adam is haunted by dreams that leave him exhausted and confused. When a memory of a long-forgotten experience comes back to him, tying him to someone's perilous escape from death, his special power comes flooding back to him -- the power to make heroes from everyday people.

Adam has had frightening dreams his whole life, yet he somehow knows not to tell anyone about them. They are his secret. It began when he was seven, when Adam had a dream in which he helped six-year-old Jimmy jump from a burning building. The fearsome dreams continue, plaguing Adam with what seem like horrifying memories. When Adam is sixteen, everything changes. It happens when he and his cousin Chris are unwrapping packages in their family's store. The pair come across an old newspaper article about the fire of Adam's long-ago dream, and the boy who jumped to safety. Adam is reeling as the memory of the long-forgotten experience comes back to him.

With the help of his aunt Rose and family friend Sam, Adam learns what he thought were dreams are actual experiences, and that the people he's helped are real. Adam has a special power which enables him to help others who are in some sort of danger. He jumps into their bodies and becomes them, feeling their fear and their pain. He helps them perform the brave acts that they thought they couldn't do. The people Adam helps don't know that he has helped them. All they know is that they have done something brave. They feel like heroes.

I was in a car that lay upside down on the side of a road somewhere. I was hanging by my seat belt...The car was on fire, which was where the heat was coming from. I couldn't tell the age of the boy whose body I was in, but his screams sounded young...I saw it all through the boy's memory-the windshield wipers, the horn, the screeching of the brakes, his father yelling, his mother screaming. Then the crash that sent the car skidding off the highway and flipping over in the mud.

Adam is initially excited about his new power, but complications arise. He gets involved with a boy, Kip, who is kidnapped by his dangerous stepfather, a girl, Valerie, who is cruelly bullied by the "mean girls" at her high school, and Jimmy, the boy in the fire, who suddenly reappears in his life, but now with new problems. Adam's attempts to help Jimmy, Valerie, and Kip lead him on a wild ride which ends with him dangling over Niagara Falls. As Adam uses his special abilities to make others heroes, he learns valuable lessons about courage, decency, and the true meaning being a hero .

"Tom Starace revitalizes the superhero origin story for the 21st century. Rife with exciting action and diverse characters, HERO MAKER also sings in its intimate small-town scenes. A must-read for anyone who seeks out heroes in the world in which they live."

--John Sazaklis, New York Times bestselling author of SPIDER-MAN UNMASKED! and SECRETS OF THE BATCAVE.

Publisher: Fiddler's Bridge Press
Pub date:
Length:
314 pages
Format: Paperback