Category: Themes: Animals
What does it mean to be a hero?
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561451593
  • Publication date: 09/01/1997
  • Page Count: 221
  • Size: 6"x 8-1/2"
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561454273
  • Publication date: 10/01/2007
  • Page Count: 221
  • Size: 5-1/4" x 8"
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561456086
  • Publication date: 05/15/2011
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 12-16
Buy from Peachtree


What does it mean to be a hero?

Heroes are hard to find, especially for Sean, who, at fifteen years old, has never had it easy. He’s estranged from his father and abused by his mother—Sean feels he has nowhere to turn. Suspended from school and with a mounting police record, he is one step away from serious trouble.

Sentenced to community service for violating curfew, Sean is sent to Mr. Hassler’s farm, where he’s forced to confront his fears and take charge of his own life. When Sean is faced with a dangerous situation that tests his true character, he learns just what it means to be a hero.

In an age where it seems that few heroes exist, S. L. Rottman has written a compelling and realistic portrayal of the conflicts that drive a young man toward his destiny.



S.L. Rottman


S.L. Rottman is a former teacher and the author of several young adult novels. A graduate of Colorado State University, Rottman lives in Colorado.


“Rottman makes a promising debut with this YA novel about an abused teenager who gradually comes to trust another human being…. The book concludes credibly-there are no easy answers. Sean has discovered the heroism in everyday acts of courage-and his message is a powerful one for adolescents.” —Publishers Weekly

“This earnest first novel…gives readers both a realistic picture of the damage done and reason to hope…. [Rottman] gives readers a convincing and difficult protagonist and a fresh perspective on what it means to be a hero.” —School Library Journal

“It hits the nail on the head about how our current society may be interpreted by our young people….excellent character development and plot sequencing.” —Chrisitan Library Journal


Best Books for Young Adults ―YALSA, 1999

Books for the Teen Age ―New York Public Library, 1998

Best Books for Young Teen Readers ―R. R. Bowker

Children’s Books Mean Business ―American Booksellers Association and Children’s Book Council Joint Committee, 2003

Battle of the Books (High School) ―Alaska Association of School Librarians, 2003

Nevada Young Readers’ Award (Young Adult Category) ―Nevada Library Association, 2001

Oklahoma Book Awards (Children/Young Adult Category) ―Oklahoma Center for the Book .1998

Tayshas High School Reading List ―Texas Library Association, 2000-2001

Sequoyah Book Awards (Young Adult Masterlist) ―Oklahoma Library Association, 1999-2000

Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (Nominee, Grades 6-9) ―Maryland Educational Media Organization, 1999-2000

South Carolina Young Adult Book Award (Nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians, 1999-2000


Resources: Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

More Details

AR Level: 4.4
F&P: X, Gr 6, Genre RF
Lexile: 720L
Themes: Child Abuse, Heroism, Horses, Relationships, Responsibility
BISAC 1: YAF058270 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Violence
BISAC 2: YAF058220 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
BISAC 3: YAF002010  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Animals / Horses