By Natalie Gordon
Today I have a review to close this virtual book tour of a children’s book that was long-listed in the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition – Mr Nobody. For those who don’t know, Chicken House is a publishing company specialising in great children’s books. Mr Nobody is an immersive read for children aged 9 plus, where they will gain a family to care about for the length of the book and will prompt inquisitive minds to ask questions and will have them exude in empathy and sympathy as this book has the subject of Alzheimer’s in a child friendly plot. There is also humour and friendship through the pages too.
When nine-year-old Katie’s gran comes to live with the family, Katie is forced to share a room with her moody big sister, Lou. They soon discover that Gran has an imaginary, mischievous friend, Mr. Nobody. Before long, stockings are found cooking in the oven and Gran is found wandering the streets in her nightie, singing along to Elvis. As Gran’s actions become even more peculiar, Katie begins to wonder if Mr. Nobody might actually be real. And why do her new friends, Margaret and Hugo, always appear just when she needs help?
Mr Nobody is a friend of gran’s. Children aren’t the only people to have an imaginary friend, sometimes older people, such as gran’s can too. The gran in the book does because she has Alzheimer’s Disease. This book is immersive and has humour as it shows children this all too real disease and the impact it has. Natalie Gordon has tackled the subject well and in a way that is sure to not only pique children’s interest, but also have a little insight, all whilst being entertained with the characters within this family and friend based story.
Young readers follow Katie in this powerful plotted book and she brings great joy to the sadness that her gran brings. Children who have a relative with Alzheimer’s will particularly identify with this book and even if they don’t, they’ll gain a deeper insight.
Running alongside the story about gran are themes of bullying and modern culture too and there is humour to be found along the way.
All the characters are relatable one way or another. It’s a book that many children are sure to connect with.