Zero The Hero

Have you seen this new release?  Zero The Hero by Joan Holub, the clever newcomer that caught my eye at Barnes & Noble today, will likely be my book of choice for Math Night next year. Here's the animated trailer I found on You Tube:

Illustrated by Wisconsin artist Tom Lichtenheld, this treasure finds Zero's friends questioning his worth. In fact, he's unable to convince his friends that he has any value at all, so he leaves them behind to go and figure things out. And when they get into trouble with the Roman Numerals, Zero comes back to save the day.

Check out this book; it'd be a great launch into a hero study. Ask students questions like these: What is a hero? Who is your hero?  What makes that person hero-worthy? Whose hero are you? Why? 

At Westwood, our second graders research a hero, write a paper, then become that hero for the annual Wax Museum, usually around Open House time. They dress like that hero and come alive from their statuesque stance when a Museum-goer pushes their button.  Our son Jacob got to study and play the role of Chuck Yeager; Joshua was a short but very cute honest Abe. (I'll never forget that one because I actually knit a black beard for him to wear!)  This book has a innumerable extension possibilities and will be a value-able addition to your library.  I especially love it when Zero doubles as a letter to help spell out the word:  jOy!  (Kim, this one's got your name on it!!)


  1. love this! Our kindergarten teachers actually do Zero the Hero for any day of the month that ends in zero. They have a staff member dress up in a superhero costume, bring a treat with zeros (fruit loops or lifesavers) and talk to the kids about how great it is to be zero. The kids go crazy.

  2. Hey! I think my comments vanished into cyberspace!
    I'll try and remember what I said... and re-type it again later.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. I'll add this book to my never ending wish list!

    Thanks for the sweet message you left checking up on me. I really appreciate it!

    Quench Your First

  4. Hi Barbara,

    How fun to find Zero the Hero on your blog. (I saw your note on my blog and hopped over here.) I always love it when I hear another idea for tying any book into curriculum. A lead-in to hero studies is a great one for Zero the Hero.

    Jo, another great idea!

    I'll be sure to pass these on to other educators as I talk about the book out and about.

    BTW, there's a free teaching activity guide for Zero the Hero at http://www.joanholub.com/ZeroTheHero.html

    Barbara, thank you again so much for blogging about the book! xox

    ~ Joan


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