The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Maggie O’Farrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Boy Who Lost His Spark.
This hardback book measures 22.5cm x 26cm – i.e., about the size of the old comic book annuals, and is a children’s story. Although the recommended reading age is 5-8 years old, a few of the words and concepts may need explaining to the younger readers. I would say it is more of a book for adults to read to or with children as there are lots of words and pages to get through.
The story is about a boy called Jem who is sad and struggles with some of his school lessons. He is also feeling lonely after a recent move to the countryside from the city. His younger sister has been told a tale about a creature called a ‘nouka’, a mischief maker who lives in the hill behind their house. When strange events occur in their house Jem gets angry and refuses to believe in the nouka, until the day that everything changes.
The book is beautifully illustrated in colour on every page which helps to bring the story to life. It is a lovely tale with a folklore touch and I’m sure that readers will fall in love with the little nouka when they read all about it.
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The new children’s book from multi-award-winning author of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, paired once more with Daniela Terrazzini’s stunning illustrations.
When Jem and his family move to the countryside, he doesn’t like his new home one bit. It’s an old cottage on the side of a hill, where strange things keep happening: shoes are filled up with conkers, the stairs become tangled in a woollen maze. Jem’s sister Verity is certain it is the work of a “nouka”, an ancient creature from local folklore that lives deep down inside the hill. Jem, however, is adamant that there is no such thing.
But this small mythical creature, so attuned to the hearts and minds of others, does exist. And, what’s more, it is determined, through mischief and mayhem, to help Jem reignite the spark within himself once more.