Cover image for My brother's hero
My brother's hero
Fogelin, Adrian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Atlanta : Peachtree, [2002]

Physical Description:
200 pages ; 23 cm.
Thirteen-year-old Ben is annoyed by an eleven-year-old, know-it-all girl who threaten's the fun of his family's vacation in the Florida Keys, but he has other worries, especially anxiety about his friend's reaction when she opens the necklace he gave her for Christmas.
Reading Level:
620 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.8 9.0 62756.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.2 15 Quiz: 39008 Guided reading level: R.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This poignant coming-of-age story is set against the verdant landscape and sultry atmosphere of the Florida Keys.

Ben Floyd has a lot on his mind. In only eighteen months he will be old enough to get a learner's permit to drive, but that seems a lifetime away. Ben enjoys the close-knit group of friends in his small neighborhood, but lately he has been longing for a taste of adventure. Keeping an eye on his younger brother Cody is getting to be a big responsibility. And he is confused by complicated feelings he has for his lifelong friend, Cass.

An unexpected turn of events finds the Floyd family in the Florida Keys over Christmas vacation and offers Ben a welcome opportunity to escape the neighborhood routine. Here he meets Mica, an independent, strong-willed girl who lives a nomadic life aboard a boat with her marine biologist father. Mica teaches Ben and Cody to fish, sail, and snorkel, and together they explore the interior canals and coastal waterways. But Ben soon realizes that adventure sometimes brings danger, and that at the center of Mica's seemingly charmed life lies a mysterious loneliness.

Young readers will relate to Ben's conflicting feelings and growing restlessness as they experience this realistic, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous portrait of adolescence by award-winning author Adrian Fogelin.

Author Notes

Adrian Fogelin is the award-winning author of the novels Crossing Jordan and Anna Casey's Place in the World. She lived in the Florida Keys for fifteen years -- six of them aboard a leaky cruiser called the Ever So Discreet. Docked at a marina very much like the one in My Brother's Hero, the author, her husband, and their young daughter fished off the bow of their floating home, snorkeled under it, and awoke one Christmas morning to discover that the ship was going down. With the help of marina neighbors the Ever So was saved, and a merry Christmas was had by all. Now a resident of Tallahassee, Florida, Fogelin has not forgotten the salty, sunny years lived at the water's edge

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Thirteen-year-old Ben Floyd and his seven-year-old brother, Cody, can't wait to spend Christmas in the Florida Keys as their parents watch over a family-run marina. Ben knows he'll have to keep an eye on Cody, who can't swim, but he's not prepared when a marine biologist and his 11-year-old daughter, Mica, dock and settle in for the holidays: "My big vacation began to fold up small." Initially, Ben envies Mica's freedom (correspondence school, island hopping, and helping her father collect specimens), and he resents how easily his parents embrace her. Gradually, however, he realizes that Mica, with her distant, hard-drinking father, yearns for a loving family like his own. As in Fogelin's previous novels, Crossing Jordan (2000) and Anna Casey's Place in the World (2001), this story has plenty of action, but it's the emotional drama, revealed in funny, realistic dialogue and spot-on descriptions, that distinguish the novel. Readers just leaping into adolescence will easily connect with Ben, who is both sharply observant of and bewildered by the adult world and his own place in it. Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ben, Cass's childhood friend from Crossing Jordan, narrates as the two develop romantic feelings for one another. On vacation in the Keys, Ben and his younger brother go on many adventures, yet Ben's thoughts return to Cass. Ages 8-12. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Ben, mentioned in Crossing Jordan (Peachtree, 2000) as Cass's childhood friend, narrates this story. Here, the two are developing romantic feelings for one another, although Cass makes but a brief appearance. Ben goes with his family to the Florida Keys for Christmas to mind his uncle's marina. He meets bold and brassy Mica, 11, who lives on a boat with her alcoholic, inattentive father, a marine biologist; her mother is supposedly a famous ballerina "on The Continent." She takes over the family's holiday. She knows the Latin name for seemingly every species of ocean life, motors around the mangroves in a Zodiac, and takes Ben and his younger brother on myriad adventures, including the inevitable one where they almost get lost at sea. He continues to think of Cass, back home in Tallahassee, and the special present he left for her. Longer and slower than the earlier title, and not as compelling, this book has trouble finding a focus as it is partly about child neglect, sibling rivalry, and oceanography, and is also a coming-of-age story.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Pecans for Cashp. 1
2 Asteroids and Aliensp. 8
3 Customizing Mr. Frostyp. 14
4 The Dumbest Words Ever Spokenp. 18
5 Mr. Frosty Heads Southp. 23
6 Welcome to Bert's Marinap. 28
7 Micap. 36
8 Island Collectingp. 44
9 Slip-In-Easyp. 50
10 The Secret Tunnelp. 60
11 A One-Way Trip to the Bottomp. 70
12 Tools or Treasure?p. 77
13 Deck the Boatp. 83
14 Snorkeling with Jacquesp. 91
15 The True Seap. 97
16 That Cass Personp. 105
17 Cass's Giftp. 110
18 The Battle Scarp. 119
19 The Bottom of the Food Chainp. 126
20 A Ride with Mr. Troublep. 132
21 Chicken Fightersp. 141
22 The Human Lightbulbp. 147
23 Key Weirdp. 155
24 The Last Sunsetp. 162
25 Adriftp. 175
26 If We Never Get Rescuedp. 182
27 We Ride!p. 188