No Cape Required: 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero
by Kristen Parrish
As a mom, I’m always on the hunt for ways to emphasize character education with a Biblical foundation for my kids, so Kristen Parrish’s book, No Cape Required, caught my attention. She uses 52 examples from literature, film, and comic books to teach about Godly character. None of the ‘heroes’ are perfect, but each exemplifies one particular character trait that she covers in this devotional.
The variety of examples she covers is impressive. Since I’m more of a classic literature/classic film fan, I loved that she included examples from The Chronicles of Narnia, Gone With the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre and the like. Other readers might be more excited that she included Spider-Man, Superman, Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk, Rocky Balboa, or examples from movies like Avatar, The Hunger Games, and Gladiator. In some cases, she chose to write about the movie instead of the original book (like in the case of The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and I’d prefer to use the actual book rather than a film adaptation, but that’s a personal preference and something small to quibble over.
It’s pretty difficult to summarize complicated plots in a few short paragraphs so that anyone who picks up this devotional can enjoy the entry without ever having seen the movie or read that particular book. Parrish does a great job with this and I easily followed her points even when I didn’t know the plot in advance. One benefit from reading this particular book might even be stirring up interest in reading some of these classics or watching the movies in their entirety.
At the end of each entry, she includes a short prayer with some ideas on how to apply the lesson learned, which include things like thanking emergency responders for their service to our community, smile at as many people as you can today, or to study a particular Scripture passage in more depth.
Overall, the spiritual lessons are brief and fairly superficial, so it really wouldn’t be a devotional I would use myself. Instead, I would probably use this book as a starting place for encouraging my kids to do their own personal devotions. It is well-suited for students in middle school on up, both girls and boys. In fact, for homeschooling parents or families wanting to do devotions together, this book could really work well to guide character education. Families could watch some of these movies together or read some of the books and then use this devotional to guide family discussions about them.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”