OK! I admit, I'm not a boy, but I decided to ignore the implicit sexism in the title and read it anyway. It's basically a big book of boys adventures. What makes a hero - according to this book it is a combination of circumstances and example; without the heroes of the past there's nothing to live up to. The examples of herosim in this book aren't always the obvious ones and are from around the world. They make it perfectly plain how over used the word "hero" is. The media describe a footballer as a hero for kicking a ball into a net; that's not the heroism of this book. In here heroes are ordinary men who find that, when the situation calls for it, that they are capable of performing something extrordinary. They are, in various degrees, moving. All of them ask you to think if you would have or could have done the same thing. As the tales make plain, there is nothing in a hero to show that they will become a hero - it's not always about being the biggest, strongest or boldest, sometimes it is simply about being one of a band of brothers. Some of them are similar, an outnumbered group of soldiers fight to the last man. But somehow it's never entirely pointless, and it echoes down the ages. It slightly looses the thread towards the end and there is no rounding off chapter to match the intial opening, which means that it feels open ended - in a way, I suppose, it should do, there will always be occasions that call for heroes - we can only hope that they will be there if they are ever called for."