Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero

Crown. Aug. 2020. 208p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593121368.
Gr 3-7–Isaiah Dunn is a 10-year-old boy who loves writing poetry. He develops a severe case of writer’s block after his father’s death leads to his mother’s depression and his family’s housing instability. Isaiah is trying to keep a low profile at school, but clashes with a classmate keep landing him in the principal’s office. He’s forced to take a mediation class with his school enemy. Isaiah tries to learn how to make peace with her as he looks for a way to make money to change his family’s situation. His best friend, Sneaky, offers to let him in on his candy-selling side hustle at school. But that doesn’t bring in enough money for an apartment, and his mother’s depression is getting worse. Isaiah’s one comfort is the notebooks full of stories about “Isaiah Dunn, superhero” that his dad left. He’s hoping the notebooks will lead him to the help his family needs.
VERDICT An accessible story about a child facing loss and home instability. Isaiah is a likable character; readers will identify with his struggle to rise above his family’s housing issues to define himself. A great selection for school and public libraries.

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