The Starman and Me

The Starman and Me - blog post image

E.T. meets Stig of the Dump in a page-turning adventure for fans of Frank Cottrell Boyce and David Almond

'A proper adventure story for all curious middle graders ... heartily recommended' The Bookbag

He wasn't an alien, I was sure of that. It was more like he'd walked in through an ancient door from the past ... except he was here, in my bedroom and his misty forest was somewhere real on Planet Earth.

Twelve-year-old Kofi first spots the prehistoric human on a supermarket roundabout. He is small and dark and curled into a tight ball. His name is Rorty Thrutch and he has zero memory of how he ended up in the unexceptional village of Bradborough, or why he's being hunted...

Kofi soon finds out that Rorty can do amazing things. He can copy, paste and delete objects, using only the power of his mind. This is the discovery of the century and mad, greedy scientists will stop at nothing to track him down.

Kofi and best friend Janie are on a mission. Not only must they protect Rorty, but they have to find his missing girlfriend Pogsy Blue, too. Our prehistoric ancestors have crashed headlong into the 21st century and time is running out to save them...

My Thoughts

The fact that this novel has been compared to Clive King's Stig of The Dump was more than enough motivation for me to order it from my local bookshop. Stig was both my childhood best friend and the person I looked for in the hedgerows as I mooched about the countryside as a child. So the stakes were high when I turned the first page on Sharon Cohen's debut novel and hit the ground running, or in fact driving with twelve year old Kofi, around a roundabout with more than a council planted geraniums in the middle.

I am an active reader, ie I write notes as I go along. Half way through chapter two I scribbled in the margin 'already love it'. I was hooked.

The book is narrated Kofi who has a distinct, strong and clear voice and tells a great story. It moves along at a marching pace with some quirky side plots but a firm hold on the main mystery.

Rorty's dialogue reminds me a little of the BFG's but this is not a bad thing at all. He is quirky enough to be charming but sensible enough to be a) understandable and b) to carry the story himself. No mean feat when inventing a character from another world.

The Starman and me is whacky, techie, diverse and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can imagine that, instead of asking 'are we there yet' children who have read this lovely novel will be asking their parents if they can go around the roundabout one more time. You never know what might be lurking in its midst!


(My copy of The Starman and Me will now go a local school library as part of the fabulous BookBuddy initiative. If you are a teacher, or a prolific reader with books to spare, do check it out and help to share the joy of reading.)

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The Phantom Lollipop Man! - blog post image

The Phantom Lollipop Man!

Review to follow (busy week!) but, as you can see, I adored this hence its position as the March Book of the Month!  



Igniting Writing is a creative writing club hosted at Wokingham Library and completely free to attend. The club provides a fun, relaxed atmosphere where 11-18 year-olds can develop their storytelling and writing skills. Writing can be a bit of a solitary activity, so this provides a great opportunity for teens to come together and write as a group, share their imaginative story ideas with others and build friendships with other young aspiring writers. Sessions are held on Saturday mornings, 10:30am to 12noon, and focus on a different aspect of writing every week, from creating characters and settings to exploring genres like sci-fi, fantasy and beyond. Roughly once a month Igniting Writing also hosts 'guest speaker' sessions, where local authors, poets, journalists and other people experienced in the world of writing come and share their knowledge and advice – it's a chance to get the inside scoop from the pros!