Review Blog

Oct 15 2019

Hapless hero Henrie by Petra James

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Illus. by A. Vi. House of heroes series. Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760650834.
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Themes: Adventure, Gender, Humour. Twelve-year-old Henrie was totally unexpected, no girl had been born for over two hundred years into the Melchior family, only boys. After all the House of Melchior is about heroes and everyone knows that heroes are boys not girls. Octavia Melchior, head of the House of Melchior (HoMe) is appalled, how can their family business proceed with a girl?
This is the premise of the first in this exciting new adventure series for younger readers. Its 240 pages are sprinkled with asides, jokes, tips, diagrams, quizzes and illustrations, while the tale itself is exciting, has a wonderful self deprecating main character in Henrie and an adventurous side kick, and a cast of not so nice villains to avoid.
The hapless hero herself, Henrie, tells the reader how she was taken from her family at birth by her aunt Ellie who feared for her future. The Melchiors stick to the old style tradition and their successful investigative business revolves around the basic tenet that only boys can be heroes and inherit the business.Henrie has been kept in the dark about her background but at twelve, she decides it is time she knew the truth. The arrival of a postcard sees Henrie taking action to solve her problem, facing off her boy cousins n the process.
The first in a laugh out loud series for middle school readers.
Fran Knight

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