BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster

All The Things That Could Go Wrong: a gripping and emotive story of struggle and ultimately acceptance

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Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he’s taking it out on the nearest and weakest target: Alex.
Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan and his gang are waiting for him at school…
When the two boys’ mums arrange for them to meet out of school and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother, it seems like the end of the world. But could it be the start of an unlikely friendship?”

I’d seen this floating around on Twitter from my teacher pals, and was curious about it so the lovely publishers kindly sent me a review copy. 

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew it was going to be good. I knew it would make an impression on me, but I was not expecting it to have SUCH a big impression on me. This book is important. This book should be in EVERY classroom. For kids in KS2, upwards, this is a MUST have. 

There’s something very gripping about this book. The character perspectives are my favourite things. You learn so much about both boys throughout the book from their chapters. The book is split into dual perspectives – you get a chapter from Dan and then a chapter from Alex. Their stories are very different but they’re both looking for the same things – acceptance, happiness, friendship.
Dan: the bully, dealing with an upheaval in his home life, acting out at school.
Alex: the bullied, lacking in friends, suffering from OCD, struggling to tell anyone about the bullying, dealing with his parents’ views of his OCD.
I found Dan REALLY hard to like in the beginning – his actions made him unlikeable for me. I couldn’t get round to this idea of liking the school bully. Him and his cronies just made me cross. However, as the book goes on, there’s glimmers of him (the real him) coming out and that’s when I realised that there’s more to Dan than meets the eye. I liked Alex from the beginning. I think that’s what’s expected. I think you’re meant to like him and feel a bit of empathy for him. That doesn’t mean that his character doesn’t go through an incredible arc because he does. There’s moments where he forgets all of his concerns because there’s more important things – those moments of growth were incredible. 

The message this book delivers is SO important. It delivers an incredibly powerful message of friendship; the perils of being a bully; acceptance of people for who they are; showing compassion; being the person you’re meant to be, not the person your “friends” want you to be. (Side note: I hate calling books important, I think all books are important because they all tell a story and give a perspective)

Stories are necessary. Stories teach children about all sorts. This is a book I will be completely and utterly using to discuss empathy, compassion and doing what’s right. Children need to be given the language of empathy. Children need to hear stories of all kinds of people. This one is special. I am so glad I came across it. 

I genuinely can not praise this book enough. I will for sure be keeping an eye on Stewart Foster books. I think he’s brilliant. 

Have you read All The Things That Could Go Wrong?
Do you have a favourite story to use when discussing empathy?

Once again a massive thank you to the publisher for sending me this book. It is an incredible book. 

S x

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