The 1,000 year old boy by Ross Welford
Harper Collins, 2017. ISBN 9780008256944
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Youth; History-fiction; Friendship; Adventure. What if you never got old? What would you do if you were stuck as an 11 year old for 1000 years? For Alfie this is his life! The stories passed down through the ages of the people who do not age, who seem to live forever, is it possible that there is a truth behind the legends? For Alfie, surviving through history as the result of an almost impossible elixir that prevents him from aging, but not from dying, comes with a whole array of problems - not the least of which is that everyone that he might be friends with will get old and leave him where he is. The uncertainty of this kind of existence comes to the fore when disaster strikes. Two new potential friends discover his secret and the need to protect Alfie from outside influences takes them into unknown territory. What follows is a magnificent tale, with action, adventure and wonderful characters, told in an exhilarating and yet compassionate way. Friendship proves to be a powerful inspiration for change.
Ross Welford has written a book that is compelling and slightly fanciful, but in a convincing way (suspending disbelief is necessary, but plausibility is not necessary for enjoyment). This will be a book that young readers aged 10-14 will certainly enjoy and they will love the character Alfie, his quirky friends Aidan and Roxy, and the complexities of life if you are perpetually 11 years old. I could not put this book down, so expect to lose young readers while they are engrossed in the adventure of agelessness.