‘Swan Boy’ by Nikki Sheehan

Johnny has a lot to deal with: he and his little brother, Mojo, are still struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of their father; he’s had to move to a new house in a new neighbourhood; and the school bully just can’t seem to leave him alone.

After a strange encounter with a swan and the local bullies at the park, things start to happen to Johnny.  Unusual things.  Things he can’t tell anyone else about.

Help finally comes from a very unexpected source and Johnny begins to find the strength and self-belief to stand up to those who doubt him.

It’s an uplifting novel about bullying, childhood bereavement and, ultimately, learning to be yourself.

This beautifully written novel, covers a lot of important issues in a realistic but sensitive way.  Sometimes, authors can shy away from difficult topics like childhood bereavement or bullying but Nikki Sheehan deals with these themes carefully and without being condescending to her readers.

The book reminded me a little of the brilliant film, Billy Elliot, with the ballet ‘Swan Lake’ playing a central role in both.  Both stories also both take the lead characters on a voyage of self-discovery.

I would recommend this to mature year 5/6 readers or older. Extracts could also be well-used in PSHE lessons on bullying or bereavement.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s