Monday, 20 June 2016

#ReviewMonday with KM Lockwood: Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho - Yen

When you wish that a Saturday was actually a Monday, you know there is something seriously wrong.
I look at the ceiling. At the spot of flaky paint and the stain that looks like a wobbly circle and at the swaying, wispy spider’s web and I think of all those cold, grey Mondays when I had to make myself get up for school. I would have to force my legs from the mattress and I’d dress in a daze, unwilling to believe it was time to be upright again.
I wish I could wake up to another Monday like that.
Those days are gone now that the Bluchers are here.

Republished by Corgi Childrens in January 2015
Pages - 336
Cover by Daniel Davies

Summary from Publisher’s website
When they first arrived, they came quietly and stealthily as if they tip-toed into the world when we were all looking the other way.
Ade loves living at the top of a tower block. From his window, he feels like he can see the whole world stretching out beneath him.
His mum doesn't really like looking outside – but it's going outside that she hates.
She's happier sleeping all day inside their tower, where it's safe.
But one day, other tower blocks on the estate start falling down around them and strange, menacing plants begin to appear.
Now their tower isn't safe anymore. Ade and his mum are trapped and there's no way out...
***
How this one got away from me, I can’t imagine. I loved it. I told people about it. I recommended it for their kids. But did I remember to write it down?
No.
What a nelly.
So now I get the chance thanks to Viv -and I can do some good for an entire school, perhaps. (You’ll have to read the review to the end to find out how!)
As you can see from the cracking artwork, this isn’t set in anywhere rural or medieval. Right in town, right now. With people like the ones you know, most likely. It’s utterly convincing – and I should warn you, pretty scary at times. 
Yet this science fiction adventure with menacing triffid-like plants has lots of heart, friendship and courage running through like the steel rods inside a concrete high-rise. They’re the strength of the whole story. Ade – who tells the story – is a boy I grew to love and admire. But then there’s Dory and Ben and Gaia and Obi and Mum – I don’t want to leave any of them out. 
Warning – keep a tissue handy if you’re anything like as soft-hearted as me.
I rate Boy in the Tower highly for reasonably confident readers of say 9 and over. It’s not hard to understand, but there are some frightening and sad moments. Now here’s the bit for your school: Polly’s next book ‘Where Monsters Lie’ comes out on 7th July. (hooray). There’s a wonderful competition to win a school visit on Polly’s website. It will be judged by her artist husband – who did both covers. See the new one here.
Good luck with your entry!

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed and breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You'd be welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter

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