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Dolly Parton, Mr. Rogers heroes added to local author's latest book | Entertainment

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Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. are all names in the 60 American Heroes book, I think, but John Herrington, Katherine Johnson, Marian Wright Edelman how is?

These last three names may not be as familiar to some readers as the first three, but they are a newly revised and expanded version of 50 American Heroes Every Child Should Meet. The published edition is now titled “60 American Heroes Every Child Should Meet”. Dennis Denenberg and Lorraine Roscoe, authors based on

Herrington is an astronaut and engineer who became the first Native American in space in 2002. Johnson was a math genius working for NASA. Wright Edelman is a lawyer, activist, author, and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Herrington, Johnson, and Wright Edelman are three of ten new heroes added to the book expansion.

more heroes

The Heroes include Vice President Kamala Harris, President Anthony Fauci’s Chief Medical Advisor, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, poet Amanda Gorman, and the late football star and humanitarian Walter Payton. , the late children’s TV host Fred Rogers is added to “Heroes.” Singer-songwriter and philanthropist Dolly Parton.

Denenberg says he’s particularly excited about the surname on the list.

“The number one new addition that Lori and I have added is Dolly Parton,” says Lancaster’s Dennenberg. “Not only has she made a name for herself in music, but she is a true humanitarian and never forgets where she comes from. She is a beautiful human being.”

The newly revised and expanded list includes heroes from different disciplines, backgrounds and eras, from explorers to architects to athletes.

“Every athlete in this book has given back,” Dennenberg says. “I would say Roberto Clemente is number one. He was a great humanitarian. He gave his life for people he didn’t know.”

How does Dennenberg define a hero?

“We define hero very broadly,” says Dennenberg, 75. “A hero is someone who makes the world a better place.”


According to Denenberg, the original “50 Heroes Every Child Should Meet” was published in 2001 and has sold over 100,000 copies. In 2016, a revised version was released with 10 removed from the list and 10 new heroes added. The latest edition was published by Millport Press, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, on August 2nd.

“I call it the book that never dies,” says Dennenberg.

In 2021, Dennenberg and Roscoe pitched the idea of ​​a new edition of the book featuring a special tribute to health care workers, and Lerner Publishing Group suggested choosing 10 new heroes from the list they provided. .

While the list is diverse and comprehensive, Dennenberg says there wasn’t always a focus when choosing new heroes.

“We set out to achieve,” says Dennenberg. “Are there enough writers? Are there enough scientists?

One name that wasn’t on the list provided by the publisher but was ultimately cut is Fred Rogers.

“We fought for Mr. Rogers,” says Dennenberg. “He wasn’t on the first list of 15 people sent to him by the publisher, so he thought, no, we need Mr. Rogers, and why he’s still important to kids.” In my defense, no one embodies love for children like Mr. Rogers.”

Dennenberg, who taught an elementary school class on how to teach history at Millersville College, says it’s important to re-evaluate historical figures when making lists like this.

For example, due to recent scandals surrounding his personal life, Bill Gates will not appear in the latest edition of Heroes. Madame CJ Walker, a 20th-century businesswoman and the first black woman to become a self-made millionaire, was included in his place. Comedian Bill Cosby and Civil War general Robert E. Lee, who were the subject of numerous sexual assault allegations, were delisted in 2016.

“We put Lee in the book because of his courage to surrender,” Dennenberg says. “That was the whole focus. But as history revisited Lee and the Civil War era, we didn’t even feel like he deserved to be in the book.

Denenberg says no one on the list is perfect.

“No hero is perfect. All 60 of them are flawed. Take local hero Milton Hershey. He literally gave up all his wealth. Was he prejudiced? Absolutely. Orphanages were for white boys only,” says Dennenberg. (Milton-Hershey School was founded in his 1910 and initially catered only to white male orphans, but expanded to include girls and racial minorities in the 1960s and his 1970s.) Now everyone is welcome and can support with Hershey money. ”

Hershey remains on the list. And so are Dennenberg’s favorite heroes. He admits it’s not without its flaws.

“My number one hero will always be Thomas Jefferson,” says Dennenberg. “I went to William and Mary, where Thomas Jefferson used to go. He was probably the finest American that ever lived, but he had a fatal flaw. They were the creators of his wealth, and it’s very hard in my mind to accept the fact that after he died, he didn’t free the slaves like Washington did.

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Dr. Dennis Dennenberg plays Thomas Jefferson in Hooray for Heroes, a dream launch production at Ware Center.

Although the latest edition of this book is aimed at middle school students, it is intended for readers of all ages and is a great learning tool. The book includes images, short introductory biographical segments, quotes, and the opportunity to learn more about each hero by reading more about each hero on recommended websites or books.

“It’s been criticized for not digging deep enough, but that’s not what this book is about. It’s about getting to know these heroes, and I hope you’ll explore more on your own.”

The new book not only encourages readers to familiarize themselves with lesser-known heroes, but also to expand the definition of what a hero is. Dennenberg says that artists have a tremendous impact on people’s lives, as Dennenberg says, “It’s going to be number 61 on my list.”

“Too many people think of heroes only on the battlefield,” says Dennenberg. “But Rosa Parks is a hero. She was heroic in what she did.”