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Heroes Next Door Hornet 24 Review by Lori Hooten

Chris Peluso

The Vietnam War was filled with heroes but one of the saddest stories of the Vietnam War is how many of those heroes are not known. Their stories remain untold and their deeds of bravery, courage, and strength go unknown. Christ Peluso’s historical military novel titled Heroes Next Door Hornet 24 tells the story of Mr. Ed, his helicopter, and the other men he served alongside. Based on a true story, this engaging story is one that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go until Mr. Ed’s story closes with him coming home.

Matt and Ellie have lived next door to Mr. Ed for quite some time when Mr. Ed brings home a helicopter in order to restore it. Begging to see the helicopter, Matt and Ellie make Mr. Ed’s acquaintance and learn that he used to fly helicopters. This, for the kids, is the coolest thing ever. They beg to know more. Mr. Ed enjoys telling stories and so he begins to tell Matt and Ellie about his time in the military, serving during the Vietnam War as a helicopter pilot.

While Mr. Ed tells them about his time in Vietnam, he has them helping restore the helicopter so that he can take it to air shows and display it. They enjoy helping him, especially when it means they get another story about his life and time in Vietnam. Day after day, they work alongside Mr. Ed while he tells them of hardship and danger in Vietnam. Teamwork, leadership, and obedience are just some of the lessons shared. Even more, he tells them of bravery, courage, and lots of men who were doing the job they were called to do amid tragic and difficult situations.

This is a historical novel that is well worth the read. Even if you are not a fan of military stories, this book gives you a personal view of the Vietnam War and some of the people that served there. The story is very well told, hinting at many of the difficult circumstances the men fighting the war had to endure but not giving too many details. The telling is gentle enough for Heroes Next Door Hornet 24 to be a family story and engaging enough that a middle school student would enjoy reading it for class. Chris Peluso did a fantastic job with this story of Mr. Ed’s tour of duty in Vietnam.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018