Review Blog

Jun 20 2013

The universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

cover image

Hodder & Stoughton, 2013. ISBN 9781444764611.
(Ages: 15+) Highly recommended. This book tells the story of Alex Woods from the time he is ten until he is nearly eighteen and it is a truly extraordinary story.
At age ten Alex is hit by a meteorite and seriously injured. After spending a considerable time in hospital and therapy he is able to resume a somewhat normal life, hampered by the fact that he has epilepsy, a quite noticeable scar and a mother who is a clairvoyant. Being different, he is bullied at school and this leads to his meeting and subsequent friendship with the reclusive Mr Peterson, a widowed American Vietnam veteran. This proves to be a mutually rewarding friendship that evolves into Alex virtually becoming his carer as Mr Peterson's health deteriorates.
This is a wonderful story, Alex is very intelligent and pedantic but an exceptionally interesting character, as is Mr Peterson. The writing is assured and carries the story along to its satisfying conclusion. To reveal the ending would be doing a disservice.
I would highly recommend this book to upper secondary students as it deals with confronting issues sensitively but with humour and above all humanity.
David Rayner

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates