I have to admit that I haven’t read Sharon M. Draper’s previous novels in this series: November Blues and The Battle of Jericho. My students absolutely love those books; they are always tattered, taped together, in need of being replaced, and are almost always checked out of the library.
Just Another Hero can stand on its own. Draper tells the story of several days in the lives of Douglass High School’s seniors, culminating in a hostage-situation shooting. I always enjoy when chapters are told from the points of view of multiple characters. As the climactic shooting is no surprise, even from the cover, she chooses to build suspicions that it could be any character that snaps. The suspense of who the shooter would be kept me reading.
On the other hand, I felt like there were too many characters. Had I read the other books, maybe I wouldn’t feel this way. But it seemed like there were many characters that participated in the dialogue but had no bearing on the story. I did not feel motivated enough to read the other books in the series, but will be able to discuss them more knowledgably now.