Hernandez, who was a 20-year-old intern for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords when she was shot by a gunman in January 2011, was thrust into the media spotlight and praised for his actions during the assault. His tense, moment-by-moment recounting of the shooting spree is gripping; from there, Hernandez, working with Rubin (Music Was IT), describes the ensuing torrent of media interviews, then backtracks to provide a detailed account of his school years, when he mastered English, thrived academically, and resisted peer pressure despite bullying over his size, sexuality, and Mexican-American background. Throughout, Hernandez strikes a tone that is humble, earnest, and impassioned ("I felt shy about accepting the title of ‘hero,' but I was beginning to learn how to take the compliments," he writes), and his story is inspiring not only for his bravery during the shooting, but also for his commitment to education advocacy and public service, including his appointment to Tucson's Commission on LGBT issues and election to the local school board. Photos of Hernandez with family, friends, colleagues, and political figures are included. Ages 12-up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Feb.)¦[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Gr 7 Up--Hernandez, an ambitious intern for Gabby Giffords, was the first to reach her when she was shot on January 8, 2011. Having had some medical training as a phlebotomist, he knew to elevate her head and put pressure on her wounds until the paramedics arrived. He then rode with her in the ambulance and called her friends to report the shooting. Hernandez recounts his life as a gay Hispanic man growing up in the Arizona school system. He loved school and learned English quickly once the bilingual program was banned. A driven kid, he was bullied in middle school for being so focused on his schoolwork and for his large size. In high school, he took courses to be a nursing assistant and phlebotomist and campaigned for Hillary Rodham Clinton. After graduating, Hernandez attended the University of Arizona, had a job as a phlebotomist during the day and began working as an intern for Giffords in the evenings. His memoir is clear and organized, if a bit boring when he describes his focused early life. The heroic young man's story will be appreciated by politically minded youths as well as those looking for a role model.--Kathy Lyday, South Caldwell High School, NC[Page 150]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.