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The Hero's Guidebook: Creating Your Own Hero's Journey by Zachary Hamby

The Hero's Guidebook


Fafnir the Dragon

Have you ever wondered why people love hero stories so much? The Hero's Guidebook will tell you the secret reason we find heroes so exciting and inspirational! Humorously illustrated with over 40 cartoons by the author, this book takes readers through the stages of the Hero's Journey using examples from books, films, and even video games. Example stories include The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Batman, Spider-Man, Super Mario Bros.--not to mention popular stories from myth and legend. Important archetypes like the Hero, the Mentor, the Shadow, the Ally, the Trickster, and the Threshold Guardian appear as well. Each stage of the Hero's Journey also features writing tips for aspiring writers and a character education "Your Journey" section, which applies hero-story lessons to real life.

Reading Level:  Grades 4-8

Pages:  113 pages

This book is perfect for young people who are interested in:

  • Hero stories from myth and legend and modern books, movies, and video games
  • Writing their own hero stories
  • Learning more about the journey of life!




Hercules Holding Up the Sky

Have you ever wondered what makes heroic stories so epic? The Hero's Guidebook: Creating Your Own Hero's Journey, written and illustrated by Zachary Hamby, breaks down exactly what ingredients you need to cook up a thrilling heroic tale. Drawing heavily on The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Hamby's book incorporates examples from modern movies, books, and video games to provide an updated way to introduce youth to Campbell's famous work; and shows readers how much influence the Hero's Journey still has on today's society. Each chapter focuses on a different step in the Hero's Journey, gives examples of recurring tropes from well-known works, and discusses the different ways to approach each heroic archetype or stage of the Hero's Journey.  The chapters end with prompts that urge the reader to think of more examples of these archetypal story devices; as well as writing tips to encourage the reader to play with these literary elements in their own writing.

The text itself is broken up by the author's own hand-drawn illustrations in black-and-white cartoon style. To encourage further interest in heroic stories, there is a list of references and recommended hero stories included In the back of the book. Youth who are aspiring writers or enjoy heroic tales may be interested in learning about what connections they can find in their favorite works or their own creations. Educators may find this book extremely useful as the prompts at the end of each chapter would likely lend well to classroom or small group discussions. Recommended.

Paige Harp, Coordinator of the Children's and Young Adult Book Review Board of Missouri

About the Author

Zachary Hamby is a teacher of English in rural Missouri, where he has taught English for many years. He sees a need for students to understand and enjoy classic literature. For this reason he has created the Searching for America textbook series that focuses specifically on American Literature, the Adventures in Literature series that focuses on World Literature, and the Reaching Olympus series that focuses on world mythology. He is also a professional illustrator. He resides in the Ozarks with his wife, Rachel (also an English teacher), and their two children.

Where to Buy the Book

Promotional Materials

FREE PRINTABLE BOOKMARKS  Perfect for coloring, these bookmarks feature illustrations from The Hero's Journey. 

BOOK FLYER  Printable flyer with information about The Hero's Guidebook book for teachers, students, and booksellers.