Dolly Parton, Mister Rogers among heroes added to local authors’ updated book

Posted by on Apr 4, 2023 in Cobblestone Articles |

Lancaster Newspapers April 4, 2023 MIKE ANDRELCZYK | Staff Writer Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. are all names you’d expect to find in a book of 60 American heroes, but what about John Herrington, Katherine Johnson or Marian Wright Edelman? While these last three names may not be as familiar to some readers as the first three, in a newly revised and expanded edition of “50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet,” now titled “60 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet,” Lancaster County-based authors Dennis Denenberg and Lorraine Roscoe make the case that they should be. Herrington is an astronaut and engineer who, in 2002, became the first Native American to go to space. Johnson was a mathematical genius who worked for NASA. And Wright Edelman is a lawyer, activist and author who founded the Children’s Defense Fund. Herrington, Johnson and Wright Edelman are three of 10 new heroes added to the expanded version of the book. More heroes Other additions to “Heroes” include Vice President Kamala Harris, Chief Medical Advisor to the President Anthony Fauci, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, poet Amanda Gorman, the late football star and humanitarian Walter Payton, the late children’s TV host Fred Rogers and singer/songwriter and philanthropist Dolly Parton. Denenberg says he’s especially excited about that last name on the list. “The No. 1 new person that Lori and I added that we’re so thrilled with is Dolly Parton,” says Denenberg, of Lancaster. “This is an individual who not just made her fame in music, but she is a true humanitarian and she’s never forgotten where she came from. She’s a beautiful human being.” The newly revised and expanded list features heroes from a wide range of fields of endeavors, backgrounds and time periods, from explorers to architects to athletes. “Every athlete in the book gave back,” Denenberg says. “I think No. 1 is Roberto Clemente. He was a great humanitarian. He gave his life for people he didn’t know.” How does Denenberg define a hero? “We define hero very broadly,” Denenberg, 75, says. “A hero is a person who makes the world a better place.” Revisions The original “50 Heroes Every Kid Should Meet” came out in 2001 and has sold more than 100,000 copies, Denenberg says. A revised edition, in which 10 people were dropped from the list and 10 new heroes were added, was released in 2016. The latest version was published by Millport Press, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, on Aug. 2. “I call it the book that will never die,” Denenberg says. In 2021, Denenberg and Roscoe pitched the idea of a new edition of the book featuring a special tribute to health care workers, and Lerner Publishing Group suggested they choose 10 new heroes from a list they supplied. The list is diverse and inclusive, but Denenberg says that...

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