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Steve Barlow [real name: Steve Lowe] , Steve Skidmore , Andrew Tunney [aka 2hands]

EDGE: I HERO: Legends (Series, Book 3): Hercules

YEAR: 2018

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

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Title of the work

EDGE: I HERO: Legends (Series, Book 3): Hercules

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2018

First Edition Details

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules, London: Franklin Watts (an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group), 2018, 64 pp.

ISBN

978-1-4451-5228-8

Genre

Action and adventure fiction
Choose-your-own stories

Target Audience

Children (7 years and up)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Steve Barlow [real name: Steve Lowe] (Author)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules: “the 2Steves [Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore] are Britain’s most popular writing double act for young people.” The couple specializes in adventure stories involving comedy. They have written more than 160 books together.

Steve Barlow (real name Steve Lowe) was born in Crewe in England in the UK. He has had a varied career in teaching acting and more.


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)

Profile at panmacmillan.co.za (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Male portrait

Steve Skidmore (Author)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules: “the 2Steves [Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore] are Britain’s most popular writing double act for young people.” The couple specializes in adventure stories involving comedy. They have written more than 160 books together.

Steve Skidmore was born in Bristol, England. He is a trained teacher of drama, English and Film.


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Male portrait

Andrew Tunney [aka 2hands] (Illustrator)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules : “Andrew (aka 2hands) is an English freelance artist and writer. He can draw with both of his hands. His work is inspired by film, comics and animation.”


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

In this choose-your-own-path book, the reader is Hercules. Hercules joins the voyage of the Argo and needs to help Jason makes decision and later find his lost friend, Hylas while facing various adventures and overcoming obstacles.

Analysis

In the preface of the book, the authors declare that “throughout the ages, great men and women have performed deeds so mighty that even though history has forgotten them, their names have passed into legend. You could be one of them.” The reader thus automatically gets to share the legend with the mythical heroes in the series. However, the focus is not just on fighting but more on thinking, having wisdom and, especially, learning from one’s mistakes. The main moral of this kind of book is to make wise choices based on a correct analysis of the situation and on considered thought, rather than simply acting impulsively. The authors encourage the readers: “are you ready to be a Hero? Have you got what it takes to become a legend?”. This gives the message that everyone can potentially become a hero; what is needed is not excessive strength but good judgment. This is a message children can relate to, and understand that a hero is not just someone who fights, but who also helps his friends in need.

There are a variety of adventures and choices awaiting our hero. There are no clear adaptations of the ancient myth, but the authors have added adventures out of their own creation. The majority of the adventures involve mysterious creatures and monsters (as befits the title “hero – Hercules”). The authors used the variety of mythological monsters, even though most of them are not connected with the mythological tales of Hercules (for example, Keto, the sea monster; Arachne; harpies). Perhaps they wished to add to Hercules’ lore and adventures and not repeat the well-known stories, thus adding more drama and action to the story. One can even detect moral guidance by the author for the reader-hero: “you should not have been so bloodthirsty!” (p. 15); “That was not the stuff of legend!” (p. 15). These remarks focus the reader on the correct path, which is of course guided by the authors; the path which involves thinking, friendship and compassion. 

The ultimate reward for our hero is that, “people through the ages will remember your mighty deeds. This story, like you, will go down in legend!.” (p. 50). While this is the ultimate reward of the hero, the story also combines moral lessons, especially about friendship. It is true that Hercules is a hero for vanquishing all kinds of monsters, yet his main act of heroism is looking for his lost friend and saving him despite the dangers. It is a known fact that Hercules’ name became renowned more than any other hero, and the authors are aware of it. Yet Hercules’ acts were of behalf of his friend and not simply an attempt to gain glory by killing monsters. Therefore it could be argued (even though the authors do not specify this) that Hercules’ mighty deeds are also his devotion to his friends. This important characteristic of his will be celebrated no less than his fighting skills.


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

EDGE: I HERO: Legends (Series, Book 3): Hercules

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2018

First Edition Details

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules, London: Franklin Watts (an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group), 2018, 64 pp.

ISBN

978-1-4451-5228-8

Genre

Action and adventure fiction
Choose-your-own stories

Target Audience

Children (7 years and up)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Steve Barlow [real name: Steve Lowe] (Author)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules: “the 2Steves [Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore] are Britain’s most popular writing double act for young people.” The couple specializes in adventure stories involving comedy. They have written more than 160 books together.

Steve Barlow (real name Steve Lowe) was born in Crewe in England in the UK. He has had a varied career in teaching acting and more.


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)

Profile at panmacmillan.co.za (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Male portrait

Steve Skidmore (Author)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules: “the 2Steves [Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore] are Britain’s most popular writing double act for young people.” The couple specializes in adventure stories involving comedy. They have written more than 160 books together.

Steve Skidmore was born in Bristol, England. He is a trained teacher of drama, English and Film.


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Male portrait

Andrew Tunney [aka 2hands] (Illustrator)

From the book EDGE: I HERO: Legends: Hercules : “Andrew (aka 2hands) is an English freelance artist and writer. He can draw with both of his hands. His work is inspired by film, comics and animation.”


Official website (accessed: February 18, 2019)


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

In this choose-your-own-path book, the reader is Hercules. Hercules joins the voyage of the Argo and needs to help Jason makes decision and later find his lost friend, Hylas while facing various adventures and overcoming obstacles.

Analysis

In the preface of the book, the authors declare that “throughout the ages, great men and women have performed deeds so mighty that even though history has forgotten them, their names have passed into legend. You could be one of them.” The reader thus automatically gets to share the legend with the mythical heroes in the series. However, the focus is not just on fighting but more on thinking, having wisdom and, especially, learning from one’s mistakes. The main moral of this kind of book is to make wise choices based on a correct analysis of the situation and on considered thought, rather than simply acting impulsively. The authors encourage the readers: “are you ready to be a Hero? Have you got what it takes to become a legend?”. This gives the message that everyone can potentially become a hero; what is needed is not excessive strength but good judgment. This is a message children can relate to, and understand that a hero is not just someone who fights, but who also helps his friends in need.

There are a variety of adventures and choices awaiting our hero. There are no clear adaptations of the ancient myth, but the authors have added adventures out of their own creation. The majority of the adventures involve mysterious creatures and monsters (as befits the title “hero – Hercules”). The authors used the variety of mythological monsters, even though most of them are not connected with the mythological tales of Hercules (for example, Keto, the sea monster; Arachne; harpies). Perhaps they wished to add to Hercules’ lore and adventures and not repeat the well-known stories, thus adding more drama and action to the story. One can even detect moral guidance by the author for the reader-hero: “you should not have been so bloodthirsty!” (p. 15); “That was not the stuff of legend!” (p. 15). These remarks focus the reader on the correct path, which is of course guided by the authors; the path which involves thinking, friendship and compassion. 

The ultimate reward for our hero is that, “people through the ages will remember your mighty deeds. This story, like you, will go down in legend!.” (p. 50). While this is the ultimate reward of the hero, the story also combines moral lessons, especially about friendship. It is true that Hercules is a hero for vanquishing all kinds of monsters, yet his main act of heroism is looking for his lost friend and saving him despite the dangers. It is a known fact that Hercules’ name became renowned more than any other hero, and the authors are aware of it. Yet Hercules’ acts were of behalf of his friend and not simply an attempt to gain glory by killing monsters. Therefore it could be argued (even though the authors do not specify this) that Hercules’ mighty deeds are also his devotion to his friends. This important characteristic of his will be celebrated no less than his fighting skills.


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