Some of the Story

8th grader Jessie reads comic books, likes science, and loves writing. Along with her friends Audrey and Cade she rises to the challenges of a year-long school project. In socials they are asked to consider the events of 9/11, what makes a hero, and why are we so interested in superheroes? To get answers to her questions and to tackle her nemesis Dylan in the Superhero Slam, Jessie consults friends, teachers, and interviews experts for all her ‘need-to-knows’. 

Jessie’s journey—both through her school project and in her private life—is told through illustrated entries in her diary.

To complete her journey Jessie has to confront her greatest fears and deepest insecurities. It’s a test beyond anything she has ever experienced and makes Jessie reconsider everything. Along the way Jessie learns what really does make a hero.

Some of Jessie’s experts:

  • Mike Bruen, retired NYPD Sergeant on duty at Ground Zero for 9/11 
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick, comic book writer for Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble
  • Clara Hughes, Canadian 6-time Winter & Summer Olympic medalist in speed skating & cycling and mental health spokesperson
  • Bryan Q. Miller, comic book writer for Batgirl and Smallville
  • Christie Nicholson, Contributing Editor, Scientific American & SmartPlanet
  • Yuriko Romer, film maker (“Mrs. Judo—Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful”) who documented the life of Keiko Fukuda—the highest ranking woman in Judo history
  • Nicole Stott, NASA astronaut who spent more than 3 months on the International Space Station and has been in space 6 times
  • Jessica Watson, author of True Spirit: The True Story of a 16-Year-Old Australian Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop, and Unassisted Around the World
  • Hayley Wickenheiser, 4 time Olympic medalist in ice hockey and community advocate


- Copyright E. Paul Zehr ©2018