Review Blog

Oct 28 2009

The loblolly boy by James Norcliffe

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2009. ISBN 9781742371160.
(Ages 9+)Recommended. What would you do if you were desperately unhappy and were given the opportunity to soar away using beautiful green wings? The loblolly boy can fly wherever he wants and has eternal youth. He also has the power to Exchange - to swap places with others who are Sensitive and can see him. But why would he want to change identities with children who are often very miserable? These children soon discover that there is danger flying above the earth and that there are many things they miss from their old lives.
A unique and original fantasy, complete with adventure, magic and appealing characters, this is a tale that was hard to put down. The first chapter sucked me in with its grim portrayal of a young boy who has lost his mother and has to deal with a very unpleasant stepmother, and went on to tantalise me with the story of Michael who had been left in a home for abandoned children.
The descriptions, particularly of flying, are beautiful and will fire the imagination of the reader. Thought provoking and often scary themes of identity, freedom, immortality and whether the grass is greener on the other side of the fence are challenging and the action driven plot engrossing.
Pat Pledger

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