Picturing Heroes

7 Oct

As part of my Year ‘Heroes’ unit for Year 7, I want to offer students an opportunity to engage with picture books that represent different types of heroes and various heroic qualities.  In particular, I am keen for them to engage with historical heroes.

Below are a list of picture books that engage with the concept of ‘Heroes’ and my rationale for why I want to use them as part of the unit:

  • Freedom on the Menu (Carole Boston Weatherford): Explores the notion that heroism involves bravery and staying true to one’s beliefs.
  • The Other Side (Jacqueline Woodson): Emphasises that children can be heroes too.  Also, discusses the idea that heroism is about addressing unfairness and inequality.
  • The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Mordicai Gerstein): Heroism can involve feats of physical daring and charting new territory.
  • One Boy’s War (Lynn Huggins-Cooper & Ian Benfold Haywood): Engages with the notion that heroism involves persevering despite challenging circumstances.  As this narrative is about war, there is also an opening to discuss how perceptions of heroism might differ depending on perspective.
  • Rose Blanche (Roberto Innocenti & Ian McEwan): Again, the hero here is a child.  Suggests that heroism might involve taking risks and acting in accordance with one’s conscience.
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