A Hero Like Me by Jen Reid; Angela Joy
Empower children to stand up for what is right with this picture book inspired by the real-life events around the statue of a slave trader, its toppling and heroic replacement.
They call him ‘HERO’, but he’s no HERO – not to me.
A Hero Like Me is inspired by the events of 7 June 2020, when a statue of seventeenth-century slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour during an anti-racism protest. Co-author Jen Reid was one of the protesters that day, and despite being afraid of heights, she spontaneously climbed onto the empty plinth and raised her fist high above her head – a moment that was captured on camera and shared around the world.
On the morning of 15 July, a statue of Jen by Marc Quinn was added to the empty plinth. It was called A Surge of Power and it gained national attention for the 24 hours it was in place, and beyond.
This inspiring picture book tells the story of these events through the eyes of a little girl who, every day, on her way to school, sees a towering statue. A statue of a man who sold freedom for cotton and tea. The world around her says this man is a hero. But she knows he’s not a hero – not a real one.
Heroes are hard to find. She looks for them around corners, under rocks, and on TV, but there are none that she can see. And so, the little girl marches and shouts for them instead. And that statue – he doesn’t belong. He doesn’t stand for Kindness. He doesn’t stand for Peace.
Maybe he shouldn’t stand at all.
A Hero Like Me empowers children to have courage to stand up for what is right and be their own hero. It shows every child that they have a voice in their community and a say in who is on their streets. That they too have power, just like Jen.
A Hero Like Me is an inspiring picture book that follows a young girl on her daily journey to school past the towering statue of a slave trader, who the world calls a hero, but she knows better. Through a series of remarkable events, this little girl learns about courage, resilience and justice as she discovers what it truly means to be a hero.
Beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated, this picture book is an important story of hope, activism and self-empowerment. It will leave readers with a renewed faith in humanity, a greater appreciation of those who take a stand, and the understanding that it takes more than just a hero to make a change.
I was gifted my copy in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
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