Review Blog

Oct 23 2017

The Starman and me by Sharon Cohen

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Quercus Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781786540089
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Adventure, Origins, Science Fiction, Communication/Mind-reading. The title suggests something out of this world! To a certain extent this is a book about things outside of the normal realm - about where we come from, and what we can become. Kofi is the young protagonist - a thoughtful, sometimes-bullied young student whose perception of a strange apparition on the local roundabout leads him to an adventure of mind-blowing proportions. The 'apparition' is more than a magical moment, it has a name (Rorty Thrutch) and an unusual identity. Rorty Thrutch communicates with Kofi in strange ways and with a captivating grasp of English, and then leads him into a rescue mission that requires additional support. Cue his friend Janie and some unexpected helpers. With school discussions highlighting personal origins and DNA and a father that has a scientific project that involves thought-control, the direction of the narrative is quickly high-jacked and taken on its own helix of twists and turns that are warm and uplifting, but also exciting and unexpected . . . and a little bit dangerous as well. There is action that is impossible to comprehend, characters that behave in ways that are cruel, and scientific, cutting-edge moments akin to magic.
This is not your average school-based adventure, and it will appeal to a wide range of ages. The relationships and adventurous action suggest a high-school base, but Primary school readers will also be impressed by the warmth of Rorty Thrutch, and his endearing and naive dialogue adds touches of humour throughout the parts of the story that are quite serious.
Carolyn Hull

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