74 Children's Books About Heroes

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
This Is the Firefighter book
#1
This Is the Firefighter
Written by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Julian Hector
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The fire alarm sounds. The firefighter jumps in the truck and races to a daring rescue! Get ready for an adventure as Laura Godwin and Julian Hector celebrate one of our bravest everyday heroes in this board-book edition for little hands. Praise for This is the Firefighter (hardcover edition) "With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the 'community helpers' unit." -The Horn Book

Supertruck book
#2
Supertruck
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done? Find out in this snowy tale about a little truck with a very big job, the second of Steve Savage's vehicle-based picturebooks.

The Wall book
#3
The Wall
Written by Eve Bunting
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

Superhero Instruction Manual book
#4
Superhero Instruction Manual
Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Mark Fearing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Anyone can be a superhero and this guidebook will show you how! Just follow six easy steps and you’ll be saving the world in no time. Join an aspiring hero as he selects a secret identity, chooses a power, and much, much more. But be warned: it isn’t easy being super. And sometimes the greatest acts of heroism need a helping hand to get off the ground. Kristy Dempsey’s rollicking text, coupled with Mark Fearing’s expressive, cartoon-style illustrations will have readers laughing all the way to infinity and beyond!

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero book
#5
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
Written and illustrated by Deb Pilutti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An instruction manual for aspiring superheroes that follows the adventures of action-figure Captain Magma and his sidekick/owner Lava Boy as they outsmart a villainous dinosaur, evade a bee, and save a worm from certain destruction.

Courage book
#6
Courage
Written and illustrated by Bernard Waber
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

There are many kinds of courage. Big acts of courage and the everyday kinds that normal, ordinary people exhibit all the time, like "being the first to make up after an argument," or "going to bed without a nightlight." Bernard Waber explores the many varied kinds of courage and celebrates the moments, big and small, that bring out the hero in each of us. Now a lap board book. There are many kinds of courage. Big acts of courage and the everyday kinds that normal, ordinary people exhibit all the time, like "being the first to make up after an argument" or "going to bed without a night-light." Bernard Waber explores the many varied kinds of courage and celebrates the moments, big and small, that bring out the hero in each of us. Now a lap board book.

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party book
#7
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
Written by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate. Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

Silly Goose's Big Story book
#8
Silly Goose's Big Story
Written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Friends and imagination save the day Goose’s friends love the stories he makes up when they’re playing. Except one thing – Goose is always the hero. And when they ask to take turns leading the fun, Goose doesn’t agree. While they argue about it, no one notices the hungry wolf sneaking up on them until he shouts, “Hello, Lunch!” This real-life danger shows Goose how silly he’s been and that his friends make terrific heroes! Always a surefire hit on laps or at storytime, Keiko Kasza’s latest shows how imagination can come in handy in an unexpected way.

The Brave Cyclist book
#9
The Brave Cyclist
Written by Amalia Hoffman and illustrated by Chiara Fedele
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Once a skinny and weak child, Gino Bartali rose to become a Tour de France champion and one of cycling's greatest stars. But all that seemed unimportant when his country came under the grip of a brutal dictator and entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. Bartali might have appeared a mere bystander to the harassment and hatred directed toward Italy's Jewish people, but secretly he accepted a role in a dangerous plan to help them. Putting his own life at risk, Bartali used his speed and endurance on a bike to deliver documents Jewish people needed to escape harm. His inspiring story reveals how one person could make a difference against violence and prejudice during the time of the Holocaust.

Jack book
#10
Jack
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Beloved author-illustrator Tomie dePaola’s take on traditional “Jack tales”—in which a young hero ventures out to seek his fortune and gains it through luck or pluck—is perfect for preschoolers. His hero’s reward is a wealth of animal friends who increase in number—and volume—as the story progresses. When Jack sets out to see the world and find a place of his own, he’s surprised to attract a following of enthusiastic animal friends eager to join him on his quest. Jack and his entourage all have high hopes that they will find just what they are looking for as they travel on their merry way. Children will delight in the cumulative chorus of animal sounds as the pages get more and more crowded with the residents of this delightful kingdom.

Flashlight Night book
#11
Flashlight Night
Written by Matt Forrest Esenwine and illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.

Navajo Code Talkers book
#12
Navajo Code Talkers
Written by Blake Hoena
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-14

During World War II U.S. forces had to keep battle plans and other top secret information out of the enemy's hands. Coded messages were often used, but secret codes could be broken. To solve this problem, the U.S. military turned to an unexpected source to create an unbreakable code. The Navajo people spoke a complex language that few outsiders knew how to speak. Several Navajo soldiers were recruited to develop a code based on the Navajo language. The result was a complex code that could not be solved by the enemy. Learn all about the brave Navajo Code Talkers and how their unbreakable code helped defeat the enemy and win the war.

Zeus's Eagle book
#13
Zeus's Eagle
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Will Demon's latest quest bring down the wrath of Zeus? Demon's life on Mount Olympus has never been busier. Thanks to the awful heroes down on Earth, he has a whole slew of injured beasts to care for. And worse still, the goddess Psyche wants Demon to "borrow" Zeus's prized eagle for an urgent mission. But is her task worth the risk of offending the king of the gods?

The Unicorn Emergency book
#14
The Unicorn Emergency
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When he returns to Olympus from Asgard, Demon must calm a groggy volcano monster while figuring out what is wrong with the unicorns.

Jason and the Argonauts book
#15
Jason and the Argonauts
Written and illustrated by Robert Byrd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A beautifully illustrated account of the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts with informative details from the award-winning author of Electric Ben The story of Jason and the Argonauts is one of the earliest recorded Greek myths. Here, master artist Robert Byrd has created a striking telling of the legend for a new generation of readers. Complete with explanatory notes and illustrated back matter, Jason and the Argonauts traces each step of our hero’s journey, from the Golden Fleece’s origin story and Jason’s childhood to his triumphant return with the prize and eventual death. Deftly designed to accommodate glorious large pictures and captioned insets, the book is not only a great story, but a wealth of information about ancient Greece.

The Princess in Black book
#16
The Princess in Black
Written by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hiding her secret identity as a monster-fighting superhero, Princess Magnolia interrupts her fancy tea with the unsuspecting Duchess Wigtower to stop a big blue monster from endangering her kingdom's goats. By the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy.

Zack Delacruz book
#17
Zack Delacruz
Written by Jeff Anderson and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school--and that's just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school's biggest bully! If they don't sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade. Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates' hopes on the line, can he save the day?

Who Was Harriet Tubman? book
#18
Who Was Harriet Tubman?
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone’s property; she was whipped by owners and almost killed by an overseer. It was from other field hands that she first heard about the Underground Railroad which she travelled by herself north to Philadelphia. Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do.

Miriam and Pharoah's Daughter book
#19
Miriam and Pharoah's Daughter
Written by W C Bauers and illustrated by Marta Costa
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Tiny Bible Tales, a series of board books, shares the stories of the Bible’s bravest heroes with gentle, rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations. To save baby Moses, Miriam and her mother place him in a basket and set him adrift on the river. As Miriam watches from the reeds, she hopes that someone will find and rescue him. And someone does–Pharaoh’s daughter! This board book combines quiet, rhyming text with simple and colorful art to tell one of the Bible’s most treasured stories.

I Am Fartacus book
#20
I Am Fartacus
Written by Mark Maciejewski
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Chub leads his cadre of middle school misfits in an effort to bring down the evil empire led by his nemesis Arch, he inadvertently becomes the school hero.

Dragon's Green book
#21
Dragon's Green
Written and illustrated by Scarlett Thomas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

"The first book in a middle grade series about three young heroes who go on a quest to save a collection of magical books from an evil villain who plans to dominate the world"--

Soldier for Equality book
#22
Soldier for Equality
Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to life the story of a Mexican-American war hero Jos. de la Luz S.enz (1888-1953)--or Luz--believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn't receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz's diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz's later years, an author's note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.

Draw-It-Yourself Adventures: Superhero Saga book
#23
Draw-It-Yourself Adventures: Superhero Saga
Written by Andrew Judge and illustrated by Chris Judge
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Welcome to Doodletown, where readers create the story! Team up with Doodletown's Hiro Itazuragaki (which means "doodle" in Japanese) as he takes over the duties of a missing superhero and has to stop an evil villain from destroying the town's supply of drawing paper! Young readers can sketch, doodle, and draw their way through the story with different options for arriving at the conclusion. And when they're finished, it's easy to go back to the beginning and create a whole new superhero saga. From author Andrew Judge and his brother Chris Judge, illustrator of Danger is Everywhere, comes a brand-new hybrid chapter book series full of fun prompts and silly jokes that are sure to entertain kids and have them reaching for the next book!

Gods of the North book
#24
Gods of the North
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Odin, the ruler of the Asgardians, has an important mission for Demon. Goldbristle, the gods' prized shining boar, is losing his light. Now Demon must travel to Asgard in the North to search this cold, snowy land for anything that might cure this beast.

Dragon Healer book
#25
Dragon Healer
Written by Lucy Coats and illustrated by Brett Bean
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

When the god of war leaves his smelly, unhappy battle dragon with Demon, he must figure out a way to cure the beast without his magic medicine box.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!