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Herbert I Am—
Think Safety First
Outskirts Press, Inc.
The children who read Herbert I am—I Can by Sam Brown will enjoy the storyline which is entertaining and portrays reality when it comes to children teasing and making fun of other children. In this story Herbert is victimized by fourteen-year-old Roscoe and other neighborhood boys who are determined to make Herbert miserable. Roscoe is two years older than Herbert but in the same grade since he had been held back. To make matters worse, the two boys live in the same apartment building, two floors apart.
Readers will immediately identify with Herbert who is a great kid with much ambition. His father had been a fireman who died when saving the lives of an entire family while fighting an apartment fire. Yes, his father was a hero, and Herbert was very proud of him. Until he was old enough to become a firefighter himself, he decided it would be cool to be a Boy Scout. Ultimately, this goal becomes a reality, and he joins the scouts, attending meetings at a church a mile away. He had to walk to the meetings and would do his best to ignore Roscoe and the other boys who made fun of him and his uniform.
Being in the Boy Scouts was exciting; Herbert learned the meaning of the motto, “Be prepared.” They cooked over open flames and were taught how to tie special knots. Though typing knots was difficult for him, he kept practicing. He and the other scouts learned how to give first aid and the importance of fire safety.
Readers will learn how an old oak tree that shaded the front of Herbert’s apartment building, his scouting skills, and his bravery all helped him become a hero just like his father. He saved another child’s life which earned him respect from the boys who had previously given him such a difficult time. Can you guess the name of the boy he saved?
This story is excellently paced with a climatic ending. The story itself is educational; in addition the latter section entitled “Fire Safety Tips” provides life-saving information. It is my opinion that parents, caregivers, and libraries should have this book available for children to read. I know I learned and relearned many safety tips that will help me prevent accidents that could be devastating. I give this book my highest recommendation and thank the author for writing it.
Bettie Corbin Tucker
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers