We Can Be Heroes – Kyrie McCauley

We Can Be Heroes – Kyrie McCauley, Katherine Tegen Books/ Harper Collins, 2021. 9780062885050

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Cassie, Vivian and Beck have been a trio from childhood, spending all their free time together, especially summers. Vivian and Beck are devastated when Cassie is murdered by her former boyfriend, Nico Bell, the son of a father who owns Bell Firearms, the biggest and main employer in Bell. Though the boyfriend also kills himself (ready access to guns), the incident is called a “romance gone bad”, a Romeo and Juliet saga.  Cassie is an afterthought.  Beck and Vivian decide to avenge Cassie by painting huge murals of Cassie, depicted as different goddesses, around the town. They are aided by Cassie’s ghost who is unable to rest until justice is served.  She accompanies her two friends by living in Beck’s car.  As their billboards garner support in the town, Bell Senior and the sheriff are determined to catch and prosecute those creating the billboards.

This is such a powerful story of friendship, justice and women.  All three girls are fully developed and realized, very different from each other.  Everyone presents as White.

Anything you did not like about the book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is such a timely topic, being a part of the MeToo movement.  It is believable and strong and would be well-used as required high school reading.

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries, women’s shelters

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: October 2, 2021

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