As a reader, you can’t help but feel an instant affinity to the main character in this story. At once you sense the pain and loneliness of a young boy with a kind heart. Owen’s comfort comes from talking to a stone statue of a soldier, who rests in the memorial garden at the park. However, when he finds out the statue is due to be removed, Owen has to be brave and step outside of his solitary world to make a difference and protect the statue.
This is a lovely book for children of all ages in the upper junior years. The topic and discussions around what is seemingly a simple story mean that all ages can get lots from this book. The language is simple, but the story is multi-layered with opportunities for rich discussion. It is a great book to model ‘think-aloud’ and demonstrate good reading habits to those who are embarking on a more independent reading journey and beginning to step into chapter books. The unpatronising simplicity and connection with the protagonist have made it a favourite quick read in my class.
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