Remembrance Day Review: "Heroes", by Robert Cormier

Title: Heroes
Author: Robert Cormier
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Published: February 2000 (First Published 1998)

Taken from Goodreads

Francis Joseph Cassavant is eighteen. He has just returned home from the Second World War, and he has no face. He does have a gun and a mission: to murder his childhood hero.

Francis lost most of his face when he fell on a grenade in France. He received the Silver Star for bravery, but was it really an act of heroism? Now, having survived, he is looking for a man he once admired and respected, a man adored by many people, a man who also received a Silver Star for bravery. A man who destroyed Francis's life.


As it's Remembrance Day, I thought I'd do a (very short) post about a truly amazing book. Once upon a time, in my former life as a teacher, I had the pleasure of teaching this book as a GCSE text, and I loved the experience. The book follows Francis, a young man whose endeavours in WWII left him with a Silver Star and a dreadfully deformed face. The book begins:

"My name is Francis Joseph Cassavant and I have just returned to Frenchtown in Monument and the war is over and I have no face."

How's that for an opening line? In just one sentence, Cormier establishes setting, introduces character and creates a sense of intrigue. The lack of punctuation indicates Cassavant's loss of control and his somewhat desperate state of mind. It's in this style that Cormier packs so much into this fairly slim tome. 

This is one of those books which demonstrates just how powerful writing for young adults can be. This book deals with love, war, betrayal, abuse, identity, heroism, community, youth... and so much more. 

Like I said, this is a short post. I'm just dipping my toe in the blogging waters as I've been awayfor a while. Instead of a lengthy write up. I made this as an intro to the book, back in my teaching days. I hope you enjoy, for the song if nothing else!

1 comment:

  1. Wow that opening line. So simple and yet so powerful.


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