A wrenching and hilarious story about embracing life’s weirdness and surviving an unthinkable diagnosis, based on the author’s own experience with a rare eye cancer.
Twelve-year-old Ross Maloy just wants to be normal. Not to have a rare eye cancer, not to lose his hair, not to have to wear a weird hat or have a goopy eye full of ointment. Just normal. But with a sudden and horrifying diagnosis, Ross can’t help standing out. His new life is medical treatments that feel straight out of a video game, vision loss in one eye, disappearing friends who don’t know what to say to “the cancer kid,” cruel bullying, and ultimately, friendships new and old that rise above everything.
Just when Ross starts to feel like he’s losing his footing, he discovers how music, art, and true friends can change everything. Filled with Rob Harrell’s comic panels (Batpig for the win!) and spot art, this novel brings effortless humor and hope to an unforgettable, uplifting story of survival.
Thank you to Hot Key Books and Readers First for a review copy of this book – my thoughts are my own.
Originally after reading this book I gave a review of 4.5 stars. However after enthusiastically telling friends, family and students about the book, I’ve realised that it deserves 5 stars.
This is a book that deals with some difficult topics with empathy and uses just the right amount of humour. As a mum of teenagers and a learning mentor to 30+ other teenagers, they do want to be ‘normal’ and blend in.
Rob Harrell has produced a book that should be compulsory reading in secondary schools (and for teaching staff). The book examines how we struggle to deal with illness in others, whether they are family, friends or part of our community. Thought provoking and could be used as a conversation starter in English Literature or PSHE classes.
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