The Hero Handbook

Magination. Jan. 2021. 168p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781433827969.
Gr 7 Up–Langdon utilizes a combination of theory and practical advice to illustrate the biology and psychology of leadership in action and how anyone can retrain their brain to be a hero. Scientific concepts are discussed using examples from Langdon’s life and school-age people who are making a difference. Exercises at the end of each chapter help readers explore the idea of power in the context of knowing oneself and confidently exercising kindness. A teen audience will find the chapter on the literary archetypes that friends often fulfill particularly entertaining. A weak goal-setting chapter and the fact that highlighted pull quotes are from predominately white men is the text’s only small detraction. This guide covers many disciplines (biology, psychology, anthropology, and literature) and would be useful in a variety of academic subjects. Informational sidebars explain sophisticated ideas in accessible language. Key vocabulary found in the glossary is in boldface. There is also a chapter by chapter bibliography, which links to the journal articles and books that were used to crystallize Langdon’s inspirational message.
VERDICT A solid starting point of inspiration for school libraries looking to build a self-help section.

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