By Author / Illustrator
Little Tiger Press Group
Paperback / softback
It's tough fitting in when you're born to stick out! From the moment Stick Boy and his family move to Little Town, there is way more to worry about than being the new kid. There's a mysterious plot involving Baron Ben's new Mega Mall, pop star Jonny Vidwire and the highly suspicious HomeBots that are infiltrating every home in town. Can Stick Boy and his friends uncover the evil plan behind it all before it's too late?
An incredibly exciting and extremely funny new world for middle grade readers and fans of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, TOM GATES and TIMMY FAILURE.
Stick Boy, the new book by Paul Coomey is an exciting and humorous adventure story. It is set in a 3D world that contrasts significantly with the main character, Stick. This story is about a boy who has had a turbulent past because of how he looks, yet his determination to overcome the challenges he faces as well as solve a mystery, becomes a thrilling adventure story.
Stick is no ordinary boy; he and his family have moved to Little Town to embark in a new life. However, being the new kid is not always easy and Stick finds that history is repeating itself when he is approached by a new set of bullies. He has clearly had a traumatic time with bullies because of the effect that Gretchen and Sam have on him. The only shining light is Ekam, who quickly becomes his best friend; something that Stick has never had before because he has always been the outcast.
As the story unfolds, we are introduced to 'Homebots', the clever new devices invented by Baron Ben who is opening a new Mega Mall in Little Town. These mini robots are not what they seem and when they start infiltrating the town, Stick and his friends start to question whether Baron Ben's new Mega Mall and Jonny Vidwire are plotting an evil plan. Suspicious things keep happening in and out of school, and it all leads back to - Baron Ben and the Mega Mall.
Although we do not know why stick is the way he is, this book highlights how some people are treated for being different. There are many extracts that could be used in PSHE to highlight bullying and how people are treated for being different. It would also help to show the implications of bullying on the victim. If you were to use this book for English, then the mystery adventure theme would be good. The sequence of crimes that take place and the characters who are involved in them would be excellent case studies and models for developing good narrative writing.
I would definitely recommend this book for a class story because the illustrations that Paul Coomey has given us are brilliant and they will help to further embed the story itself.
251 pages / Age 9+ / Reviewed by Hayley Summerfield, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+
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
Suggested Reading Age 9+