Book Review: Looking for Heroes by Brianna White
Book cover, looking for heros

Looking for Heros by Aidan Colvin with Liisa Ogburn

Looking For Heroes is written by Aidan Colvin, a high school student with dyslexia, and his mother, Liisa Ogburn. The book received the 2016 Remy Johnston Certificate of Merit. It is the summer before Colvin's tenth-grade year; he is preparing for a new school and all the changes that go along with it. That summer, he decides to do things differently. Colvin decides that he will discover famous and well-known individuals who have dyslexia, such as Jay Leno and Tim Tebow. He plans to write each of them a letter asking them how they made it, despite the fact that they have dyslexia. For example, he longs to know how Jay Leno became a well-known, successful comedian even though he is dyslexic. Colvin sends out 100 letters to various individuals and waits. Although he keeps his expectations low, he is quite surprised by the responses he receives. He is answered by many, including an explorer, poet, and surgeon. Not only is he surprised by who responds, but also by their responses. When I began reading the book, I was instantly hooked. While it is an easy and enjoyable read, the book also makes one think. The main focus is on dyslexia and how, if at all possible, one can overcome this diagnosis. However, it is important to note that the encouragement provided can be beneficial for individuals of all abilities to read. Diane Swonk, an economist and one of the individuals who wrote back to Colvin, said "Embrace who you are. Never run from it" (Colvin 71). At face value, Swonk is referring to the idea that Colvin should embrace who he is despite the fact that he is dyslexic. However, when I look deeper into what Swonk is saying, I realize that this advice is not limited to just those with dyslexia. Anyone can take this advice to heart. We all have challenges we must overcome and we have to come to terms with who we are. Throughout the book, Colvin provides tips from himself and his mother. These tips vary. Most are suggestions on how to use different technologies, such as a speech recognition software, to make activities, like writing a paper, easier. The tips Colvin presents are beneficial and may bring resources to light that one is not yet aware of. By having dyslexia, Colvin has to be creative and do certain tasks differently. Most of the tips are geared more towards those who are also dyslexic; however, can be used by others, too. This book is bound to bring a smile to your face, tears to your eyes, and encouragement to your heart. Colvin provides entertainment through interactions with his family members. At the same time, he is able to be honest about the trials he went through by switching schools many times, having to make new friends, and finding his strengths despite having dyslexia. By the end of the book, it seems that Colvin has found a place where he belongs. Dyslexia didn't interfere with him being in charge of a boat on a rowing team. Colvin yelled out directions to his teammates and they were successful. He found an enjoyable activity, ran with it, and succeeded. It is important to keep in mind that this was not the first activity that Colvin had tried. While success doesn't look the same for everyone, each individual can find success. It is important to find something enjoyable and go with it. If one does not succeed with that, move on to a new activity. However long it takes does not matter; what does matter is that one does not stop until they succeed. Source: Looking for Heros on Amazon


The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina's efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology. Visit our website at
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