Teenage Charlie has always hero-worshipped his grandfather, who was one of the Battle of Britain pilots. But when he starts tracking down his grandfather's old wartime chums, he discovers that his hero belonged to the fascist Blackshirts before the war - and there are photos to prove it.
His grandfather at first denies it, but Charlie is determined to get him to face the truth, though it nearly breaks their relationship. And Charlie has to come to terms with the fact that even heroes can make mistakes. He learns this again when a friend of his becomes pregnant, together with the fact that however much you want to be a hero, sometimes there's nothing you can do to help.
You can gain a full scheme of work for The Hero Game and an interview with Pete Johnson at www.harcourt.co.uk/literature or call 01865 888080. The Hero Game is available from Puffin and also in the New Windmills Series (Heinemann) with a full range of follow-up activities.
"Pete Johnson is already highly regarded as a writer for teenagers and The Hero Game will cement his reputation . . . . [It] tackles such prickly subjects as rascism and fascism without resorting to soap-box tactics and is one of the best issue-based novels we've come across in a while." The Journal
"A fast-paced read, and a good story full of drama and adventure. Recommended." BOOKFEST 2005-2006
"From the start, it makes you want to read it to find out what was being kept a secret, you want to keep reading to find out if his grandson will forgive him." Bradley Mansolf
"It had a powerful message at the end. It was good when he found out the secret." Liam Jones Teenagers' comments – Lancashire Children's Book of the Year.
"This is a fast moving and provocative novel. There is a lot of action and some surprises to keep the reader interested whilst leaving plenty of room for the emotions of the key characters to be explored. Although the Blackshirts are associated with the past, there are considerable parallels to be explored which relate to our current society and extremist groups. The book poses many questions relating to our perceptions of those we choose to place on pedestals. Can loving someone entail accepting imperfection? Are people always what they seem? How do we deal with realising we too are only human? Pete Johnson has written a great book for individuals which is worthy of group discussion and further exploration." Write Away!