Tim Baker's mom has to work two jobs, so he has to help out at home. He does some of the housework and helps in the garden and does what he can until his mother sells her stories and becomes a published writer. But when he accidentally breaks her antique Greek vase, his whole life gets turned upside down.
The broken vase released Hercules, who had been trapped there by Hera. He was so grateful to Tim for releasing him that he offers to help out with the chores. With Hercules to help, those household chores will get done in no time! Only, following directions isn't really his thing. So once the garden has been destroyed and then set on fire, once the tiger rug has been ripped almost in two, once Tim has lost all patience with his new hero friend, he decides that Hercules maybe doesn't need to help him with the chores any more.
Through the next few days, Hercules "helps" Tim with his school bully, steals all of his classmates' snacks, sweeps the house, and cleans the kitchen after making a huge mess of pancakes, and Tim isn't sure how to survive his friendship with Herc. He's in trouble with his mom for what happened to the garden. He's in trouble at school. His bully is extra mad at him and promising revenge. And worst of all, Tim's mom's story got rejected again.
Tim notices that there is some writing on the vase, once he glued it back together. He can't read it because it's in Greek, and Hercules refuses to read it to him. Herc's depressed because he just wants to go home to his wife and daughter. But Tim keeps thinking that it's important, and if he could just figure out what it says, he could find a way to turn everything around. Can he do it?
Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules! is a charming early chapter book for kids around 7-9. Not only is it a fun story with modern themes like dealing with bullies and helping out single parents who have to work a lot, it's also a good introduction to the ancient Greek and Roman gods and the myths that surround them. Stella Tarakson has written an entertaining story that is also educational, and it's just the first in the series. An excellent book for kids!
I found Here Comes Hercules! to be delightful, with realistic characters (the modern ones, anyway) and lots of honest emotion. It also has a really good amount of humor and an engaging story, This book is lots of fun!
Galleys for Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules! were provided by Sweet Cherry Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.