Almost a Hero by Jhn Neufeld

April 14, 2011
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The global issues book Almost a Hero by John Neufeld would be a great book to feature in your magazine. Although the original publication date is 1995, its message about the reality of homelessness is still strong today.
As a middle school student, I would recommend this book to my peers for a number of reasons. One reason being the books moral value based on the harsh reality of homelessness. For example, in the book the main character Ben Derby is assigned to volunteer at the Sidewalk’s End over spring break (8). While there he learns about many things such as child abuse and homelessness that never meant much to him before. He also gains an understanding and appreciation for the people that push through the despair of poverty and not having a place to call home.
Ben quickly sees the struggles that the children from Sidewalk’s End go through once he begins volunteering. One child named Stephanie was heavily abused and was afraid of any man that came near her (23). Ben also believes that a child named Batista is being physically abused by his mother and goes looking for him. While looking through homeless shelters, Ben sees how dirty and just plain horrible the living conditions are at these shelters (87). Lastly, Ben discovers that one of his own friends, Teddy, is homeless and after all of his new experiences he is eager to do all he can to help Teddy and his family (134).
As you can see, there is a lot of moral value and a strong message in the book Almost a Hero and it would be a great book to feature in your magazine.

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