#58 The Impossible Boy by Ben Brooks

Oleg and Emma entered their den to find a cardboard spaceship standing exactly where they usually sat. Slowly, the front door opened and out stepped a boy. ‘My name’s Sebastian Cole,’ he said. ‘But you already know that.’
When Oleg and Emma invent a new classmate called Sebastian, they are amazed when he appears – very much real – in their secret den.

Sebastian isn’t like the rest of their classmates. He’s never eaten pizza, he’s not sure what goose bumps are, and he has a satchel that seems to hold an endless supply of hot ice cream.

But as the trio begin their adventures, more impossible things keep happening, from a runaway goat appearing at school to a sighting of some snowwomen walking down the road. Things soon take a turn for the dangerous when the three friends are pursued by the mysterious Institute of Unreality, who want to capture and erase Sebastian, restoring order to the world.

With the help of a cowboy gardener, an imprisoned scientist, and the rest of their class, can Emma and Oleg protect their new friend and keep the magic of the impossible alive, just in time for Christmas?

Paperback | 279 pages

Publisher: Quercus Children’s Books; 01 edition (31 Oct. 2019)

Read: 3rd August

Target Audience: 9-11 years

Another impulse buy from Waterstones, I was excited to read this because the premise sounded so much fun and I always enjoy the magical and slightly impossible children’s books.

This was easy to read and easy to follow with vibrant characters and a good narrative.

Emma was the more confident and outgoing of the pair. She was the one pushing the friendship with Oleg forward. Emma had a difficult life, but it wasn’t any more difficult than Oleg’s and they managed to make a friendship between themselves that kept them both strong and positive.

In this story, it would be easy to get distracted by Emma and Oleg’s home lives, but their friendship was so powerful that it made those home lives look more positive than they were.

Sebastian was just chaotic! Honestly, everything about him shone like the brightest star in the sky and his presence definitely turned Emma and Oleg’s lives upside down but Sebastian brought great joy into their lives and fully embodied the role of ‘the impossible boy’. It was a great adventure that went on between the three children and it brought with it, much humour, warmth and such strong vibes of friendship.

This was easy to visualise and see within my mind. Some parts were blurry and not defined but I think that stems more from the fact I couldn’t quite connect to things rather than it being the fault of the story.

I didn’t get into this as much as I wanted. I found it difficult to connect to the story and to immerse myself in the narrative. I’m not sure whether that is down to my age or whether I just didn’t get on with the story quite so well. It wasn’t a good that I had a need to read. I picked it up and put it down several times before I actually finished it. I think there was a great idea in this story, but I think that it got somehow lost in all the finishing’s and extras that made up the main storyline.

It is, however, definitely a book I’d recommend to my almost 8-year-old nephew. I think it is a book that he’d love reading.

I enjoyed this to an extent. I mean, I didn’t feel like I’d wasted time reading it when I came to the end, but I didn’t feel like I’d read something fabulous either. It was sort of middle ground for me. A great idea that didn’t extend that far for me.

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