Author: Robert Cormier
Pages: 144 Pages
A provocative story about the return home of teenage war hero and war victim, Francis Joseph Cassavant. He is forced to confront his past – the youth leader he idolised and who betrayed him, and the girl he still loves. The book gets to the heart of human nature and the moral issues and choices we have to make. This is published in 1999 and re-issued in 2014
I needed to read Heroes by Robert Cormier because it is on the WJEC high school English curriculum. I work in a high school and the GCSE literature students studied it this year and are likely to next year. However, I hadn’t read it and was pretty much useless in their final revision lessons. Instead of stressing out about it I figured I should just give it a read. At only 144 pages I could have it finished in an afternoon. I’m awfully glad that I read it.
Looking at the book from a purely pleasurable read level Heroes is really good. Our protagonist, Francis Cassavant has returned home after serving in the Second World War. At only 18 years old he has been witness to more death and destruction than he cares to admit. After forging details on his birth certificate Frances is sent to a war that he was far too young to be in. He left for war a boy and returned a man. Disfigured and harbouring guilt, Frances has come home with one mission. That mission is murder.
Sounds good doesn’t it?
On an academic level, Heroes is a great book to dissect. Themes of heroism, brotherhood, forgiveness and what is right and what is wrong all feature heavily. It is easy to understand why it is a GCSE book to read.
If you like historical fiction – especially if it is set during wartime – then you must give Heroes a read. It is a book you can finish in a day but one that will leave you thinking about morality long after you have finished it.
Heroes by Robert Cormier is available now.