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Stick Boy

Stick Boy

Paul Coomey
Stripes Publishing
ISBN: 9781788952309

Stick Boy by Paul Coomey is a great read. An ideal 'hook book' for those young readers that have yet to discover the pleasures of independent reading.

Stick Boy and his family have recently moved to Little Town and it soon becomes clear that they have moved looking for a new start after bad experiences at Stick's previous school. 'He had hoped it would be different this time. A school without the old problems. A new start.'

However, Stick is different and being different makes him target for the less desirable types, sadly found in many schools. Unusually though in this very readable book, the bullies are female; Sam and Gretchen set on Stick Boy as soon as they first meet him. It's a young boy called Ekam who comes to Stick's rescue, proving to him that perhaps this isn't the same as the other schools and that not everyone at this new school is bad. Ekam soon introduces Stick Boy to Nic and Milo, who all soon become firm friends.

When Stick gets home after his first day he is understandably cagey about his day with his parents, so he is eager to redirect the focus of the discussion. Dad's new purchase of a huge TV from Baron Ben's Bargain Binz with it's free HomeBot, is a great topic of distraction, particularly since Stick Boy is certain the HomeBot is following him around the house.

While Stick develops a good bunch of friends in Ekam, Nic and Milo, things are not quite right. Something odd is going on and the friends begin to believe that the HomeBots - that now seem to be in every household - are at the bottom of it all. Stick and his friends are determined to discover the connection between the increasingly odd behaviour of the HomeBots and the grand opening of the Mega Mall...

This is most definitely a great book, and I am sure that it would appeal to many young readers. Its comic book style and colourful illustrations are a great addition and ensure that new readers are not put off by pages and pages of text, while the clear, slightly larger text and child friendly language make it even more readable.

Stick Boy will no doubt make for a super independent, fast paced read; touching on sensitive topics of family and friendship and the less appealing topics of bullying and internet security, it will also make a great book to share and discuss in any lower Key Stage 2 classroom. My only niggle with this super story is, how on earth do you explain a stick drawing character in a 'real life' situation?

251 pages / Age 9+ / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher


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