Heart of a Hero Book Review and Giveaway

     Hi!  This is Paul and I’m very excited to be doing my first book review here on the Sher A. Hart blog.  Oh, and if you are wondering, “Who’s this guy?” take a moment to read this.  I’ve chosen a middle grade book entitled Heart of a Hero by Billi Tiner.  So, without further ado, I’ll get to the review.

      Heart of a Hero is the title of the book and describes the main character, Lady.  An Irish Setter puppy living on an Ohio farm in the 1940’s, she wants nothing more than to be a hunting dog like her mom.  While she is waiting to be trained, a young man named Carl comes to work on the Thompson farm.  Lady falls in love with Carl and follows him everywhere.  The day arrives when Carl’s work on the farm is finished and Lady is heartbroken.  To her great surprise (and pleasure), Mr. Thompson gives her to Carl.

            Carl trains her to hunt and they spend every chance they have together until the day comes when Carl must head off to war.  This begins Lady’s association with the military and war.  After a letter arrives informing her and Carl’s dad that Carl has been killed, she is put into a U.S. Marine Corps training program.  She is shipped off for training to become a war dog messenger.  Lady faces numerous decisions between her own safety and protecting/helping those that she cares about.  It is in these situations that her heart of a hero shines through.  The lesson of bravery, friendship, loyalty, and love are depicted well by the unconditional love of a dog.  After being injured in the war along with her handler Steve, they are both discharged and head back to the states to live happily together.  Some time later, war intervenes again as Steve decides to reenlist in the Marines.  What will happen to Lady now?  I won’t give away the end of the story; you’ll have to read it to find out.
            The content of Heart of a Hero is appropriate for a middle grade audience.  I think that middle grade readers will fall in love with Lady and really connect with the lesson of love, loyalty, and sacrifice that Lady embodies.  Dog lovers of any age, for that matter, should enjoy this book.  Ms. Tiner’s experience with dogs (she’s a veterinarian) is apparent in this story and she does a wonderful job of creating a loveable, heroic character in Lady.  The only questionable part was the fact that it seemed like every one of Lady’s owners had to go to war.  This may very well have been the case, however, during World War II, since many young men were called to duty.  I don’t think it negatively impacts the story.
            Being a dog lover myself, and having lost my first dog and best friend almost two years ago, I must admit that there were times throughout the story where I had a tear in my eye.  A word of caution, have a tissue ready if you are going to read this story to your child—they (and you) might need it.  Heart of a Hero is a work of fiction, but is based on real events told to her by her grandmother.

Click here to purchase Heart of a Hero on Amazon.

Contact Ms. Tiner here
I’d like to thank Kathy for hosting this blog hop.

I’d also like to thank Candace and Lori for hosting the Saturday Situation blog hop.

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!  Don’t forget to leave a comment.  Now it’s time to go blog hopping!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Seems cool and truthful- pat

  2. Thanks Pat! Appreciate the comment, make sure that you enter to win!

    Paul R. Hewlett

  3. I teach 6th grade and this definitely sounds like a book they would enjoy reading. It seems at this age they still love stories that involve animals. Ancient World History is the topic for Social Studies and I was amazed at how interested the kids are especially with all the different wars and battles.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Lisa. I agree, 6th graders would certainly enjoy this book. The would story would be right up their alley and they would love Lady. That’s great to hear of your 6th graders interest in Ancient World History. Have a great day!

    Paul R. Hewlett

  5. Thanks for stopping by Gale, it is. Hope you entered and good luck. Have a great day.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  6. I’ve heard many great things about Ms. Tiner’s book. As a dog lover and author of a children’s dog book, I read anything ‘dog’ and would love to have HEART OF A HERO for my own.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I am a dog lover also & she does a great job, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Good luck in the promo!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  7. I love stories about dogs, especially ones that involve history too.
    I would love to read this. Thanks for giving me the chance.

  8. Thanks for the giveaway invite. Looks like an interesting book! Great review. Good luck all. =)

  9. Thanks for stopping by Crystal! I hope all is well with you. Have a great day:)

    Paul R. Hewlett

  10. Sounds like a great book and I’m posting your review on my FB Author Page!

  11. Thanks Sandra! It is, I really enjoyed it. Children and dog lovers alike will enjoy it. Good luck.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  12. Sounds like a great read, Paul. I don’t think I’ve come across too many stories about war dog messengers, so this is definitely an interesting pov to consider.

  13. I LOVE Dr. Tiner’s books Welcome Home and Friends for Life! I haven’t read this one yet. Great review Mr. Hewlett!

    • Thanks Erik! I appreciate you stopping by. I think you’ll like this one, I have to read Welcome Home myself. The dog on the front cover of that book looks a lot like my dog Joe:) Have a great day:)

      Paul R. Hewlett

  14. Who wouldn’t want to read a novel about a heart warming story? I’m a animal lover and would love to read this. I also work at a school and I’m sure the librarian as well as the 5th grade teachers would love to read it.

  15. Thanks for stopping Tammy! I agree, it’s a great story for all ages, particularly middle graders and dog lovers. I think it’s a great idea to suggest it to the librarian, 5th graders would love it! Have a great day.

    Paul R. Hewlett

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    All content is copyrighted and may not be used in any form without proper credit and links. For purposes other than charity or education, printed materials require prior written consent. Disclaimer: Most books were provided free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.