THE BUBBLE BOY
by STEWART FOSTER
Reviewed by Ms. F
STAR RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
RECOMMENDED YEAR GROUP: 5/6
INTERESTS: realistic fiction, friendships, humour, medicine
THEMES: loneliness, coping with illness, relationships, loss, hope, bravery
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU’LL LOVE:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
This is the story of Joe, who hasn’t known anything but the inside of his ‘bubble’, a hospital room in which he must live due to his lack of an immune system. We soon learn that his parents have died and he is left with his sister Beth, who is trying to build a life for herself whilst still being there for Joe, and his friend Henry who lives in a similar bubble in America. His life changes when he meets a nurse named Amir.
I found this book to be rather slow-moving, although I did enjoy the build-up of a relationship with Amir and the experiences which he provides for Joe. I do think that my enjoyment was ruined by the cynic in me who found the story unrealistic! I’m sure that this would be a much more powerful read for children as they would believe the heartbreakingly sad situation Joe is in, and the way that Amir provides some happiness for Joe and enables him to hang onto hope.
Despite my cynicism, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to children to help them to learn to develop characters and the relationships between them.