The Book of Heroes.

Kate: What’s a hero, um. A hero-ings. Book of hero-ings?

Me: Let me see that. Book of Heroines. It’s a woman hero. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. It’s someone that…let me think. It’s a brave woman. A woman you admire or look up to.

Kate: Do you have one?

Me: A hero or heroine? Teachers used to ask me this when I was little. Hm, I never had one. I was never into superheroes.


When National Geographic Kids sends you books for your kids to review, you take a selfie. Ok, they didn’t say the selfie part. I’m sure they’re cool with it. 

As a National Geographic Kids Insider, it’s my job to tell you what’s going on at their headquarters in Washington, DC.

Also, don’t judge a book by its cover. Heroes and heroines are not always the super variety.

Kate ran off with The Book of Heroines because girls rule and boys drool, mom. You’ll hear her review after she runs for President in the year 2044.

The Book of Heroes sat on our kitchen counter.

National Geographic is earth’s great story-teller. National Geographic turns to the explorers hanging off cliffs, scientists testing the ocean floor, the astronauts circling earth, and the top photographers in the world to help tell earth’s story. And those top photographers don’t take selfies with an iPhone.

National Geographic Kids may have the harder job. Explaining the world to a 7-year-old is more difficult than explaining it to a 35-year-old. The big question every kid wants to know – why?  And they’ll whittle you down until you are trying to explain the meaning of life itself.

Why is he a hero? Why is she a heroine? Why is that person special? Why can’t I be like that person? Why don’t you have a hero? Why is Superman a hero? Why are humans not Superman? Why can’t that be you, mom?

I don’t care what you say, National Geographic Kids is magical. I had no intention of reading those books the day we received them. None. My kids are good readers; they don’t ask me to read a new book to them. I planned on reading the books later. I just had better plans for the night – a date night with Scott and a Redbox movie rental in our living room.

The Book of Heroes sat on the kitchen counter while Scott and I watched “Sully.”


You know Sully. The true story about Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot that performed an emergency landing using the Hudson river as a runway. All 155 passengers and crew survived on that January day in 2009.

The movie scared the hell out of us.

We live in a post 9/11 era where catastrophe on an airplane is not common but the nightmares are. 155 people were told they were going to be making an emergency water landing and to brace for impact. I can’t imagine one person on that plane thinking their story would later be told as a happy ending.

Katie Couric: People call you a hero.

Sully (played by Tom Hanks): I don’t feel like a hero.

Me: He’s totally a hero! How does he not see that?

Scott: He’s a hero. He doesn’t feel like it because he did his job.

Me: Or the airline is screwing with his head by going after him and his decision to land in the river. I can’t think of a bigger hero than Sully. If Tom Hanks ever plays you in a movie, you’re a damn hero.

When the movie ended, I placed the DVD in its container.

What a hero. Hero. Heroes. Heroines. The Book of Heroes.

I glanced at the kitchen table. The book was still there from earlier in the day. Boys drool.

I turned to the index. I was curious. There’s no way National Geographic Kids remembered to include Sully.


National Geographic Kids remembered to include Sully.

Without ever intending to open the kids’ books, I was reading about Sully, the pilot who kept his cool, because National Geographic Kids is magical to adults too.



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