Review – The Impossible Boy by Ben Brooks
This book is all manner of delightful – the writing, the characters, the themes are great. What it says about friendship is very special. You will love Oleg and Emma who are best friends, and the cast of characters who inhabit their school and families.
Yet beneath this energetic middle grade story where the most improbable and impossible things happen, is an accurate reflection of modern day life. These kids have hard lives, who deal courageously with debt, poverty, food insecurity, grief, disappointment, bullying, gender stereotypes, the list goes on. Nevertheless, these themes do not overwhelm, rather they add nuance to the story and ground the more fantastical elements.
We were wondering how much you might know about things that don’t make sense,’ she said.
As per the title, this book is about an impossible boy, someone created out of imagination, materialised into the lives of two school children. Oleg and Emma are best friends who miss the dynamic of when they were a trio and leap at the idea of filling that gap with a worthy replacement. Their wish and hard work come true, but with it come a rollercoaster ride of oddness that would be disturbing if it wasn’t also funny beyond belief.
Sebastian?’ asked Emma. ‘You don’t know any snowmen, do you?’ Oleg had no idea what she was talking about. ‘Not currently,’ answered Sebastian Cole. ‘All the snowmen I’ve ever known are puddles now.
The ideas are fab, the writing is brilliant. The descriptions were so clear that it hit you in the heart or made you laugh up a storm.
Oleg missed his old dad and was afraid of the new dad that had taken his place. The new dad was a snoring monster. The scariest thing about the monster was how much it looked like his old dad..
I’m right here,’ said Elissa Goober, through her tears. ‘I can hear you.’ She blew her nose. It sounded like a bowl of soup being thrown at a wall.
We get a real view of parents, great observations of people in general and accurate truisms
Feeling bad doesn’t help the other person. Feeling bad just proves you knew you shouldn’t have done it in the first place.
Why I would read this book again
I really liked this book. There is so much in it, that it’s difficult to pin down themes to a few but I’ll do my best. Friendship, Family and Resilience. It’s about standing up for what you believe in and not giving up even when it’s very hard and would be easier to do so. And doing this whilst you are a kid and shouldn’t have to and don’t have the experience or tools to address these issues easily.
The Impossible Boy is sweet, tender, and very, very funny
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a digital copy of this book in exchange for a candid review
4 Stars – Really Liked It