A Boy Called Hope – made me cry in the very best way.
(oh, hello Waterstones Newcastle, you’re looking very pretty there!)
“I’m Dan Hope and deep inside my head I keep a list of things I want to come true. For example, I want my sister, Ninja Grace, to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year. I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a zombie mystery, all the more exciting. I want to be the first eleven-year-old to land on the moon. I want my dog to stop eating the planets and throwing them up on the carpet. And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my dad to love me.”
I had heard so many brilliant things about this book via the tweachers in my life that I knew I needed to get on it as soon as I could. I was very lucky that the lovely Stevie over at Usborne offered to send me a copy! Thanks Stevie! I took Dan Hope in his book into Newcastle for a bit of reading in the sunshine and it was an experience!
A Boy Called Hope tells the story of Dan and his roller coaster relationship with father figures. He wants his dad back. His dad left to go be with another woman and all of a sudden his dad is on TV and Dan thinks that now is his chance to have his dad back in his life. All of this is happening and Dan is having to deal with his best friend insisting on him trusting her relic of a saint and his other best friend falling out with him. Dan has an incredible big sister, Grace. She meddles in his grand plan and wants Dan to have nothing to do with their estranged father.
While all of this happens – Dan trying to get on with school, combatting his emotions with seeing his dad on TV, getting on with his sister – Dan’s mum has a new friend (Big Dave) and Grace does not trust him. They end up meddling and getting the wrong end of the stick in a big way. Dan gets from Big Dave what he doesn’t from his dad. Their relationship made me cry the most. I absolutely loved it.
(shout out to the lovely rockets on the chapter pages!)
It’s funny watching the world unravel through the eyes of a child and Lara has done it perfectly here. There were bits that made me laugh. Parts that made me cry. Unexpected twists. Brilliant friendships portrayed. Tough emotions dealt with. This book touches on some sensitive issues but deals with them so brilliantly. They’re definitely looked after well.
I would totally recommend this book for KS2 classes. It would be a brilliant class reader too. It would create some brilliant talking points. I absolutely loved it. Can’t wait to read more books by Lara Williamson now… if they’re anything like this one, then I may have found another “must buy” author!
Have you read A Boy Called Hope?
What did you think of Big Dave?
Can you recommend any other kids books you loved this summer?
Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! I will take all of the recommendations!