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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
The Night I Became a Hero is the first children’s book in the Story Keeping series, written and illustrated by A.R. Marshall. Whilst visiting with his grandfather one summer, Riles and his siblings, Sissie and Finn, are tucked into bed before being read a bedtime story from a magical book. Each time the hero of the story, Drift Elwick, finds himself in jeopardy, Riles, Sissie and Finn strongly react, which in turn causes something rather odd to happen inside the story being read to the children. Mid-way through the action-packed tale, Riles is pulled into the book, and quickly finds himself having to think fast in order to keep both himself and his co-star safe from the story’s villains. With careful decision-making, and a helping hand from his siblings, Riles and Drift manage to escape death, whilst forging a magical friendship along the way.
One of the most unusual, yet exciting books I have ever read, The Night I Became a Hero is an incredible start to this children’s book series. It is written in a style which is almost akin to the ‘choose your own adventure’ stories of the 1980’s, where the reader determines the fate of the characters involved. With a combination of suspense, action, comedy and more, A.R. Marshall’s book is extremely well-written, pushing children’s fiction to its absolute limits, whilst creating a unique interactive-style tale which can easily be enjoyed by all ages. After reading The Night I Became a Hero, I found myself wanting to read more from this author, whose penmanship is quite extraordinary. I recommend The Night I Became a Hero to young readers aged 4-12 years, who have ever wanted to be the hero in their own action-adventure.