Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules!

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Member Reviews

I'm all for fun adaptations of mythology for children, and this one is great fun for kids! Hercules' funny failing attempts at being helpful are great. I'd suggest this book to fans of captain underpants that are growing up and need their mind nourished without losing that goofy read
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a fantastic little children's book and a great introduction to the greek myths. Lots of fun and I enjoyed reading it aloud with my kids who enjoyed it just as much as me!
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I’ve been looking for an appropriate fiction text to link with the Ancient Greeks for Year 3 and I think I’ve found one. Would love to share this with my class!
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A fun chapter book or read-aloud to introduce kids to Greek mythology.  It reminds me a bit of the Magic Treehouse series -- an easy read with likeable characters that provides a bit of educational value to boot.
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If you have a reader that loves all things mythology than grab this series they will enjoy the books so much. If you have reluctant reader than grab this series because I think this might just be a book they find the joy of reading with. The series are well written, likable characters and full of fun and adventure.
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This is the story of Tim Baker, a quiet middle-schooler, who has an unlikely adventure. He is sometimes teased by other kids because he is often home alone responsible for chores while his mother is off working two jobs. While cleaning one day he accidentally breaks an ancient Greek vase belonging to his mother. Suddenly the Hercules depicted on the vase comes to life and causes all kinds of trouble.

I really liked this story and I think children will find it funny. Hercules wants to help Tim, but only as a hero could help, which means he often causes bigger problems. I'm a big fan of Greek mythology and I think this book brought up some characters and stories in a funny and relatable way. I feel that the book got better as it went on and in the end it sets you up for a sequel, which I will definitely read. I have two boys age 7 and 9 and I think they would both enjoy this story. I would recommend for intermediate readers, fans of Greek mythology, and fans of humorous situations.

Special thanks to NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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This is a cute chapter book about Hercules. Tim Baker thinks he’s in big trouble when he breaks one of his mom’s favorite vases, but that was just the start of  more trouble than Tim could imagine. When the vase cracks a demigod is released from a spell and Hercules appears. This is a really cute and entertaining story as Tim is the only that can see Hercules. Hercules thinks he’s helping Tim but keeps creating problem after problem for Tim and his mom is buying the Hercules story.
I would definitely recommend this book to a young reader. It’s also a great introduction to Greek Mythology.
Thank you to Sweet Cherry Publishing and NetGalley for this wonderful children’s book, I can’t wait to read the next book in this Hopeless Heroes Series!
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This is such a fun book! Tim gets teased at school because he has to help his mum with chores around the house. But when he accidentally smashes her most precious vase and releases Hercules into his house, things are about to get a lot more interesting …

I really loved this! I thought it was a great take on a mythological hero – particularly in that he tries his hardest to help Tim and actually keeps making things worse. It would be a great introduction to Greek mythology for young children, as Hercules’ story is weaved in and out of Tim’s without making it boring or dragging it down. It's great that it's part of a series!
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I love any and all versions of mythology. It's telling to see how people choose to interpret them. And how their versions differ from the versions we learned. Everyone learned the myth from somewhere and like the game of telephone versions change so much so quickly. While I think Tarakson's stories are cute and great for children, they're a very common and simplified version of the source.
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What a lovely little book for younger readers, subtly introducing them to the world of myth, but maintaining a contemporary setting. Making Hercules a buffoon not only affords comic escapades but his boasts allow the author to parse sections of legends enough for children to want to find out more for themselves. 

By having his mum working hard out of the house it also lets the story proceed but additionally gives a poignant message to other kids who don't get the time they'd like with a parent. 

Clever, witty, with a cool cliffhanger for book 2.
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This is a great start to a book series that introduces kids to Greek mythology. My daughters loved me reading it to them. It is fun and engaging.
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Tim Baker's mom has to work two jobs, so he has to help out at home. He does some of the housework and helps in the garden and does what he can until his mother sells her stories and becomes a published writer. But when he accidentally breaks her antique Greek vase, his whole life gets turned upside down. 

The broken vase released Hercules, who had been trapped there by Hera. He was so grateful to Tim for releasing him that he offers to help out with the chores. With Hercules to help, those household chores will get done in no time! Only, following directions isn't really his thing. So once the garden has been destroyed and then set on fire, once the tiger rug has been ripped almost in two, once Tim has lost all patience with his new hero friend, he decides that Hercules maybe doesn't need to help him with the chores any more. 

Through the next few days, Hercules "helps" Tim with his school bully, steals all of his classmates' snacks, sweeps the house, and cleans the kitchen after making a huge mess of pancakes, and Tim isn't sure how to survive his friendship with Herc. He's in trouble with his mom for what happened to the garden. He's in trouble at school. His bully is extra mad at him and promising revenge. And worst of all, Tim's mom's story got rejected again. 

Tim notices that there is some writing on the vase, once he glued it back together. He can't read it because it's in Greek, and Hercules refuses to read it to him. Herc's depressed because he just wants to go home to his wife and daughter. But Tim keeps thinking that it's important, and if he could just figure out what it says, he could find a way to turn everything around. Can he do it? 

Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules! is a charming early chapter book for kids around 7-9. Not only is it a fun story with modern themes like dealing with bullies and helping out single parents who have to work a lot, it's also a good introduction to the ancient Greek and Roman gods and the myths that surround them. Stella Tarakson has written an entertaining story that is also educational, and it's just the first in the series. An excellent book for kids!

I found Here Comes Hercules! to be delightful, with realistic characters (the modern ones, anyway) and lots of honest emotion. It also has a really good amount of humor and an engaging story, This book is lots of fun!

Galleys for Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules! were provided by Sweet Cherry Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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This was a really fun read, first in a new series which I am going to encourage my grandchildren to read. Thank you Netgalley.
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About: Here Comes Hercules is a children’s book written by Stella Tarakson and illustrated by Nick Roberts. It was published on 2/22/18 by Sweet Cherry Publishing, 208 pages. The genres are children’s book, mythology, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 6 and up and it is book 1 to a series of two books. 

My Experience: I started reading Here Comes Hercules as a bedtime story for my 6 years old son on 4/9/18 and we finished it on 4/20/18. This book is an awesome read! My son loves how Hercules deal with the bully. I like that Tim helps his mom around the house and corrects Hercules when he does it incorrectly. I like Tim’s mom’s failed attempts at getting published. As I read and reviewed many debuts and how easily their book made the NY Times Bestsellers’ List, I thought getting published is easy. This book reveals the reality of debut writers. I like that Tim respects his mom enough to make the house looks presentable before she comes home. I like how Tim tries to tell the truth first.

This book is told in the third person point of view following Timothy (Tim) Baker as he goes about his chores at home feeling like a Cinderella while his mom works late. He helps his mom around the house doing cleaning, dusting, weeding, etc and while dusting an old vase, he was distracted by the telephone ringing and accidentally dropped the vase. It breaks to pieces. As he worries about how he’s going to patch the pieces of the vase back together before his mom comes home, he sees a big muscular man appear near the broken vase. The big man tells Tim that he’s a hero named Hercules and that he can kill many things with his bare hands. Tim thought Hercules was a genie and wish him to help with the chores. Hercules attack each chores as if he’s in a battle and the outcome, well, is more than Tim asked for. The destruction at home angered Tim’s mother so he decided to bring Hercules to school with him. At school, Tim finds himself being sent to the principle’s office for calling the lunch lady fat, but no one see that he was telling Hercules to stop eating so much.

A well written book, Here Comes Hercules is an excellent reading adventures for kids! My son and I love the riddle but we couldn’t solve it and when it reveals, we thought duh! 😂 My son also laughs a lot at how Hercules want Tim to beat the bully. I like how Tim finally is able to stand up to the bully. I like the illustrations, very on point to the story. I don’t like those “stupid, dumb & idiot” words in kids’ stories. I think naughty or other substitute words will still make the story interesting. Besides that, my son enjoys this book a lot and I highly recommend everyone to read it.

Pro: fast paced, page turner, humor, hero, Greek mythology, actions and adventures, illustrations

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Stella Tarakson, publisher Sweet Cherry Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
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This is a fun and light way to learn about hercules. Liked it and recommend
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'Here Comes Hercules' by Stella Tarakson is the first book in a new young reader series featuring hopeless heroes trying to help youngsters.

Tim Baker lives with his mom and tries to help out around the house.  When he accidentally breaks her favorite Greek vase, he helps Hercules to escape.  Rather than the kind of helpful hero that Tim would need, Hercules seems to make more messes than he cleans up.  Added to that, Tim is the only one who can see Hercules, so the school bullies have even more to tease him about.  Tim needs to find a way to get Hercules out of his life before things are even more out of control.

I thought it was a pretty cute story.  There are fun illustrations, and I loved that Hercules looks like he would on a Greek vase.  I think it's a good start to a series, and one I'd recommend to young readers.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Sweet Cherry Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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What a fun and unique book! I loved the mix of mythology, mystery and humour. The writing is sharp and engaging and the illustrations really added to the fun of the story.
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My eight year old daughter really enjoyed this book. She quickly became absorbed in it and found it entertaining and engaging. It sparked an interest in Greek mythology, a topic that she had no prior knowledge of. The book is humorous and well-written and presents interesting historical facts in an easy to read story.
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The Greek vase was the only thing in the house that was worth any money. It was very, very old - thousands of years - and that made it valuable. Sometimes Mum talked about selling it. It would bring in enough money for her to quit her second job, giving her more time at home with Tim. She could never bring herself to do it, however: the vase was the last thing Dad had given her before he died.

And now it was smashed, scattered in pieces across the living room floor.

And it was all Tim's fault.

I wanted to read this for two reasons: I love Greek mythology and I am currently teaching the Greek myths to Year 3 (Age 7 -8) and this book looked like it would be perfect for this age range, either as a class reader or for independent reading. Luckily, my predictions were correct and I am sure that this will be a massive hit with my pupils when I share it with them next week.

The story follows Tim who is doing his best to help his Mum makes ends meet, when he accidentally smashes an Ancient Greek vase and possibly the most valuable thing they own. Things really get strange when the hero pictured on the vase appears in real-life...yet only Tim seems able to see him!

Unfortunately, things in modern-day Britain are a bit different from Ancient Greece meaning that Hercule's heroic deeds turn out more hopeless than helpful. What should Tim do?

What I liked: Tim is a wonderful character who really tries to do the best he possibly can. I liked the sympathetic portrayal of a single-parent working. The humour will be popular with the target audience and it dripfeeds in some important facts and stories from Greek mythology.

Even better if: I'm glad that this is the start of a series because there are so many big personalities and fascinating stories to be explored in Greek mythology.

How you could use it in your classroom: I teach Year 3 at the moment and we spend half a term looking at Greek myths in English and the Ancient Greeks in history. It is always brilliant and the children really enjoy the myths, particularly the monsters and the battles. I'm planning to read this aloud as one of our class readers at the end of each day and I think it will be perfect because it is relatively short, has engaging illustrations and painlessly introduces some facts about Ancient Greek mythology. I am also planning to read the next in the series, 'Who let the Gods out? by Maz Evans as well as reading several myths every day from my trusty 'Atticus the storyteller's 100 Greek myths'
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I loved this book, and am really looking forward to more in this series.  Tim, is having a pretty rough time of it.  His father is dead, his mother (a frustrated writer) is working all hours to keep them afloat, relying on Tim to do all the housework, and he is being bullied at school.  Then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, he manages to break the one valuable item in his house, whose sale could get him and his mother out of their financial despair.  There may be a bright side to the breakage though, when suddenly the Greek demi-god Hercules appears and offers to help Tim.  Hercules may be a strong, well-muscled hero of ancient times, but he is not particularly bright.  His “help” creates much more havoc than the original problems, mainly because he keeps applying the solutions that enabled him to complete his 12 Labours, to modern day housekeeping.  Diverting rivers might have cleaned out the Augean Stables, but small residential houses in suburbia are not improved (or cleaned) by flooding.  Hercules is always well-meaning, and with him around, Tim’s life lurches from one hilarious disaster to the next.  No one believes Tim’s explanations – not even his mother or best friend – since nobody but Tim can see Hercules.
Apart from being a great story in itself, this book is a very good introduction to Greek myths and legends, albeit with a Herculean bias.  The illustrations are excellent.  While the pictures of Tim and anything from the real modern-day world are normal line drawings, Hercules is always drawn in ancient Greek vase style – complete with heroic poses, regardless of what he is doing (even making pancakes!).  
The book ends all too soon – but with a promise of more to come.
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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