Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Ben Brooks has followed suit with ‘Stories for boys who dare to be different’ in terms of enthralling reading. Oleg and Emma, two close friends, lost their friend who moved away. In order to fill the void, they created a fictional friend ‘Sebastian Cole’.
Sebastian, however, does not stay a figment of their imaginations and enters their world with gusto, excitement, a huge heart, and generosity of spirit. The story itself is a metaphor of one of the underlying messages of the book that nothing is impossible, especially in stories. There is a pulse and a rhythm to this narrative that keeps the reader hooked. Strange characters are encountered throughout the book who intrigue and provoke questions.
Sebastian entering their worlds takes Emma and Oleg to exciting and risky places. Both characters are launched out of their comfort zones and learn huge lessons about who they really are in the process. The reader cares for Oleg and Emma, they have trials and tribulations to overcome and in the grim reality of their truths, Sebastian’s gives them a porthole to suspend their disbelief and escape into an adventure, an adventure that calls on their families, friends and the strange school premises manager!
A true gift for a reader and any KS2 classroom. There is much discussion in the teacher world at the moment about children developing character and resilience. This book is a perfect accompaniment to this idea. I for one will be investing in this book for our KS2 classrooms and, of course, for my nieces and nephews. Sebastian’s positivity, joie de vivre and adventurous spirit are infectious and much needed: like he said ‘to be alive is a wonderful adventure, make every second count.
Copyright: Just Imagine Story Centre Ltd 2012-2019. All rights reserved.
These notes may be printed freely for use in classrooms but may not be reproduced in any other format without the permission of the author.