The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce is one of those authors whose books I always look forward to.  His books are always unique and surprising. I’ve loved his writing since I read his first book, Millions.  Since then he’s written Framed, Cosmic and several Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stories.  Frank’s latest book, The Astounding Broccoli Boy, is another memorable story, with humour, adventure and super heroes.

Rory Rooney likes to be prepared for all eventualities. His favourite book is Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared, and he has memorized every page of it. He could even survive a hippo attack. He knows that just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen . . .

But Rory isn’t prepared when he suddenly and inexplicably turns green.

Stuck in an isolation ward in a hospital far from home with two other remarkably green children, Rory’s as confused by his new condition as the medics seem to be.

But what if it’s not in their genes, or a virus, or something they ate? What if turning green actually means you’ve turned into a superhero?

Rory can’t wait to make it past hospital security and discover exactly what his superpower might be . . .

‘Every story has a hero. All you have to do is make sure it’s you.’ From this very first line Frank Cottrell Boyce draws you in to this wonder filled story of Rory, an ordinary boy who becomes extraordinary when he mysteriously turns green.  Rory has been bullied most of his school life by Grim Komissky but when they both find himself in the same situation (green and seemingly no reason for it) they must band together and discover how they can put their green-ness to use.  After all, the Incredible Hulk, Green Lantern and Swamp Thing are all green and superheroes so why can’t they be?

I think the strength of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s stories are his characters and their relationships and this is certainly the case in The Astounding Broccoli Boy.  Rory is a great character that kids will be able to relate to and I loved his voice.  Grim Komissky was my favourite character.  He’s like the kid that on first meeting him you decide you don’t like him but once you get to know him you realise he’s actually pretty cool.  I loved the way that Rory and Grim’s relationship grew throughout the story.

The Astounding Broccoli Boy is a book that makes you laugh, makes you think and makes you wish that you had a friend like Rory.  Ultimately it shows readers that you don’t need to turn green to be astounding and do extraordinary things.

Recommended for 9+

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