Hero by Perry Moore
About the book:
Thom Creed is used to being on his own. Even though he’s a basketball star, his classmates keep their distance. They pick up on something different about Thom. Plus, he can’t escape his father’s history. Hal Creed had been one of the greatest and most beloved superheroes of all time, until a catastrophic event left him disfigured and a pariah—and led to the disappearance of Thom’s mother.
The last thing in the world Thom wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like tat he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that disowned Hal. The most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself, much less admit to anyone else. To make matters worse, he know someone’s been following him. Someone who knows everything.
But joining the League opens up a new world to Thom. There he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide, but they’ll have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.
To survive, Thom will have to face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be. This groundbreaking novel tells an unforgettable story about love, loss and redemption.
About the author:
Perry Moore grew up in Virginia. His father, a Vietnam veteran, inspired the character Hal Creed. Perry is the executive producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films, and his book about the making of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a New York Times best seller. With his partner, Hunter Hill, Perry recently wrote and directed his first feature film, Lake City, starring Sissy Spacek. This is Perry’s first novel. He lives in New York City.
- What’s your writing process like? Do you plot first or dive right into the writing?
- Despite the fantasy elements this is a real look into the thoughts of a gay teen. How hard was it to go back to that place? Do your own experiences mirror Thom’s in any way?
- What are you working on next?
- After reading chapter one, discuss all that you’ve learned about Thom so far. What is his family situation, what are his challenges and gifts? Predict what you think Thom will learn over the course of the novel and how he might change.
- Why does coach tell Thom that he can no longer be on the team? How would you have handled this situation? How would your parents react?
- Explain how Thom ends up being invited to try out for the League. What does he realize about his own powers and potential? Do we all have gifts that we don’t know how to either tap or control? How do we develop them?
- Would you want to join the League? What superpowers would you most like to have? How would you use them? Do you think extraordinary powers like this could corrupt someone even easier than typical people? Why or why not?
- What are the secrets that rule life in the Creed house? Does your family avoid talking about certain issues or events too? Why do you think so many families operate like this? What does Thom learn about his parents?
- How do Thom’s dad’s expectations differ from the dreams he holds for himself? What expectations weigh you down? Can they ever be positive too?
- Describe how Goran and Thom’s friendship develop over time. At first they dislike each other. Why? How do men’s friendships differ from women’s? How do they come to trust each other?
- The novel is replete with odd characters with quirky skills and habits. Which character is your favorite? Why? Who would you most like to become friends with? What does he learn about himself and relationships from each member of his team?
- Ruth tells Thom, “You can’t go on like you’re going to start lving one day, like all this is some preamble to some great life that’s magically going to appear… Don’t Wait.” What is she telling Thom to do? Is there anything you are waiting for to make you happy? How can you be in charge of your own happiness?
- Why is Hal Creed leading a life in disgrace? What happened that fateful day? What do you think it would be like to live as a pariah in your community? How difficult would it be as his son? Despite his public persona, how is Hal a real hero to his family? What is he willing to suffer to provide for his son? What does he finally learn about his father’s true role in the events?
- “Everyone in the world should have at least one moment in their lifetime when an entire crowd of people cheers them on for something, one moment to feel exceptional, one moment that lets you know you really do mean something to the universe.”(p. 191) Do you think this happens for most people or not? How will it happen for you? What would you gain if it did?
- Would you have forgiven Thom’s mom for her disappearance in his life or not? How do kids deal with abandonment? Is there ever a good reason to leave? How does she try to redeem herself in the end? Is it enough?
- Compare your first true kiss with that of Thom’s. How are they similar? Describe the perfect first. Is it possible? Like Thom, have you ever held a crush on a famous figure? Why do you think we have crushes?
- In the end how do things turn out with Goran? Do you think their relationship has a better chance of surviving because of what they’ve been through together or not?
- Describe the showdown scene at Memorial Tower. Who are the major players in the action? How is it finally resolved? Which part was your favorite? Did you visualize the events like a movie as you read?
Create a reader’s theater script for one of the scenes in the novel. Then, act it out!
Design one of the hero’s costumes. Or, find a location in your neighborhood or city that would work for the film. Take video or create a detailed sketch of the location. On the back, describe which scene would be filmed here and why you chose the location.
Create a playlist for the hero’s training or the movie soundtrack.