Reviews /

Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs?

Authored by Simon Packham
Published by Firefly Press

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Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs?: Archie Ebbs seems to have everything. Friends and great teacher in school, a cool older sister and a home which he loves. However, soon things change and it seems that Archie is starting to become invisible.

Archie has lived in the same house for a long time with his Mum, his sister and their cat Dinger. He has the perfect bedroom and is close to his school, where he had friends and the best teacher ever, Mr Blott. But one day his Mum tells him that the rented house they live in is being sold, and when they can’t find anywhere to rent that the family can afford, they find themselves being moved to B&B accommodation. Archie has to leave the house he loves, his bedroom and even Dinger the cat and move over two bus rides from his school to a damp-filled and cramped room 102 in Manton House.

At the B&B he meets Zofia, a girl who claims she is in his class at school, but he doesn’t remember seeing her since she first joined the school, even though she says she sits behind him every day. Gradually as he finds out what it is like to be ‘statutorily homeless’. Living such a long way from school and his friends, the worry, the long nights with little undisturbed sleep and having no access to Wi-Fi, soon start to impact on all areas of his life. Archie finds that like Zofia, he is becoming invisible. How can he make everyone see him again as well as solve the mystery of the missing Leavers’ Party money?

I highly recommend this book as a read-aloud to a class as it highlights the issue of homelessness and reminds us all to pay attention to people around us. As well as being a well-written story, it gently introduces the idea that any of us can find ourselves feeling like we are invisible and would stimulate some great discussions. I will be adding it to my class reading list.

Empathy Collection 2023

This collection is available from our bookselling partner Best Books for Schools