Saturday, May 05, 2007

Exploits of a Reluctant Hero by Maureen Fergus

Exploits of a Reluctant Hero by Maureen Fergus is the story of a young teenager’s journey to save the local soup kitchen from shutting down. The beginning of the story paints a picture of an adventurous teenager and his many unusual endeavors. His family moves to Winnipeg because his father is taking over the family business in town, and he joins the local business manager association. After a failed attempt of swindling over $900 from his dad’s business, our “hero” is sentenced by his parents to serve at the local soup kitchen. Here he meets and gets to know Jerry, the head of the Holy Light Mission. As the story progresses, the protagonist begins to see past what is best for him and starts to do the right thing. After a near death experience with a local business owner, the business management organization blames the people who seek refuge at the mission. This sparks a debate that divides the small town into those who support the mission and those who want it closed. With his heritage on one side and his mentor on the other, our hero has to decide between his interests and what is right. With a surprising ending and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, Exploits of a Reluctant Hero by Maureen Fergus is a great story of a boy rallying support and of excess fried chicken eating in front of the TV.

This book was one of the most enjoyable, hilarious, and insightful stories I have ever read. The author uses humor and a story almost everyone can relate to in order to send a wonderful message. The subtlety of this message allows it to be entrenched in the reader's mind instead of pounding the typical "let's save the world" idea in our heads. Using the format of journal entries by tape recording, the story allows readers to enter the mind of the protagonist and understand his thinking. The end of the story was perhaps my favorite part. Even though things didn't work out, it didn't stop the "hero" from continuing to make a difference. This book made me laugh, and it made me realize that anyone, regardless of who you are, can make a difference for someone else. A fun and hysterical book that I definitely recommend.

Content:3 Sexual humor and references.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eden Prairie, Minnesota United States

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