BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster

The Bubble Boy – a touching story about friendship and helping others

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“Eleven-year-old Joe can’t remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his ‘bubble’. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever”

The Bubble Boy tells the story of Joe (the Bubble Boy in question) and his life. He’s cooped up in his hospital room because he has a condition which means he can’t leave; he can’t go out into the world; he can’t socialise like you and me; he can’t feel fresh cut grass or wander around the park like the rest of us. He’d bed bound, or rather he’s room bound. However, Joe is this extraordinary character who takes all of that in his stride, he accepts that that’s his life and he’s making a life for himself from his hospital bed – he’s amazing

Joe has this amazing spirit and joy about him that’s evident from the beginning. He knows no other, so being in his hospital room is what he makes of it. He has brilliant nurses (shout out here to Greg – the good egg nurse in the story) who look after him; an older sister who stands by him through everything and a brilliant friend, who lives on the other side of the world, who he talks to through Skype. I loved Joe’s soul and his character – he’s so likeable and wonderful. You definitely feel for him, but without pity. I wanted to help look after him.

However things start to change when a new nurse comes along and tells Joe that he can in fact go out into the world and that things around Joe are going to start changing. Initially, I was NOT OK with this, why would a nurse come and tell him that? Were the doctors lying to Joe? Who was this new nurse? What was going to happen? A lot changes in Joe’s life when this new nurse comes along and once they start changing they snowball out of control. 

This new nurse brings some fun into Joe’s life that he didn’t have before. He also brings a strangeness, an awkwardness, a silence. I’m still on the fence about this new nurse and I think I will be forever. I won’t give away the story (although, you can probably guess what this new nurse wants to do, sorry about that) because I think everyone should read this book and make a decision for themselves. I’d love to talk about your thoughts on the new nurse.

There’s friendship and love.
There’s compassion and heartache.
There’s laughter and sadness.
Comparisons of the world and Joe’s very sterile hospital room. 

Reading this book really made me think, “I’m glad I get to go out and enjoy the world because being cooped up wouldn’t make me very happy”. A few of the children who have read this book have expressed very similar thought patterns commenting on the fact that living in one room for the rest of their life “wouldn’t be very fun, especially if you’re too poorly to even talk some days”. 

I loved this story. It made me laugh, it made me cry. This is a special story that kids, especially kids in Upper Key Stage 2/3 need to read. I’ve had nothing but positive reviews about it! Stewart Foster is quickly becoming a firm favourite at school… we need more books!

Have you read Bubble Boy?
Would you like to be kept in one room for the rest of your life?
Can you recommend me any books similar to this?

Let’s talk! I want to know what your thoughts are!

S x

4 thoughts on “BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster

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