Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Wylde Scott
Illustrator: Hannah K Shuping
Publisher: Wylde Press, IBPA
Published: October 1st, 2015
What an engaging adventure! Children will easily empathise with many of the characters and be enthralled by the events which unfold. In the coastal town of Seaside all the boys dream of being one of Blackbeard’s Boys and ten year old Robert Grace O’Malley is no different. In this story read how he tries to complete challenges to enable him to become on of Blackbeard’s Boys, meets up with Walter, a young octopus, and Pucello the Pelican and has an adventure with them which changes their lives and the attitudes of most inhabitants of Seaside.
This is the sort of story I used to love sharing with my daughter when she was younger or with my class. It is well written with plenty of adventure, great characters, humorous moments, a little romance and an inspirational story. The chapters make it easy to stop at key points and the story shows how unexpected friends can help change each others lives for the better by working together. For children who are moving on to reading their first novels, this would also be a delightful book. The illustrations are cute and really bring the story to life, enhancing the whole experience of sharing the book. In class the story could be used to stimulate work on friendships, coping with peer pressure, caring for the environment, ecology, art, craftwork and so much more as well as so many aspects of writing! Children could create their own newspaper reports about key events, write character or setting descriptions based on the book or devise their own further adventures for some of the characters, hottest characters and discuss the moral/citizenship implications of certain key events – the list is endless because the story is superb.
I cannot praise highly enough the first book by this author that I read – “The Possible Police” – a rhyming, beautifully illustrated and inspiring story that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing with children. When I was invited to read this latest book I was intrigued as the target audience is older, it is a chapter book and prose rather than rhyme so I wondered if I’d like it as much – and I’m very pleased to say that I do!
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
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