It’s always refreshing to discover a new author and Eran Gadot is a real “find”! Supernatural Hero is a very down-to-Earth yet mystical tale that should appeal to all ages – certainly the young people it’s intended for, but also those of a slightly older (ok, in my case, considerably older!) age range. The overall message of the book is to believe in yourself, face your fears, and never stop believing that things are possible. But the book holds a very special message for those young people who might have special supernatural abilities but are afraid to face them or admit them to others. As a longtime researcher and writer in the paranormal field, I can say that Eran Gadot definitely got it right in accurately portraying the matters of seeing and hearing spirits and what happens to us once we “die.”
Young sixth-grade student Andy is the main character in the book and a classic “nerd” – big glasses, skinny, not good at sports, and perhaps most discouraging in his young mind – he never gets invited to birthday parties. He’s also seriously in love with popular girl Zoe, but figures he never stands a chance with her. He’s bullied at school and even at home, by his older sister. His parents no doubt love him, but don’t really express that love and never really take time for him. It’s a scenario that sadly many young people go through on a daily basis.
To add to his feelings that he’s unusual, Andy secretly knows that he’s been communicating with his grandma, who passed away many years ago. And with the impending passing of his beloved grandpa, the one person who understands him better than anyone else, will he find a sympathetic spirit guide once Grandpa moves to the spirit world? At the risk of providing a SPOILER — yes, he does indeed inherit a kindly spirit who will help teach him about life and love.
Gadot makes references to Harry Potter, perhaps most of all in the characterization of Andy shown on the book’s cover. This is a wise move in the sense that young people will identify with the concept of a boy who is somewhat like Harry. But the book stands on its own with no further need to compare itself to anything. In fact, in some ways it is a much more honest book than the Potter series. It keeps the mystical quality but brings it to a level that can — and does — actually happen in real life. Gadot is a beautiful writer, and illustrations by Salit Krac, while a little dark and perhaps a bit homespun, feel totally appropriate for the book and will no doubt resonate with young people.
I can’t say enough good about Supernatural Hero. It deserves attention and a place in the home library of people young and old. Author Gadot got everything “dead on” in this Volume I of a series.