I always get a little bit excited when the postie delivers my new Lisa Thompson book every January – there’s something about her stories that makes me want to drop what I’m doing and just dive straight in. Unfortunately, this year the kids went back to school later than usual so I had to bide my time, but last night was the night, and as per usual, I read it in one sitting.

Cole doesn’t really fit in at school, and at home his parents are struggling financially. When a painting of his is spotted and sold by a famous artist, it generates sufficient funds to help his family with the basic necessities of heat and clothing. However, under significant pressure to produce another masterpiece and help his family even more, Cole makes a huge mistake and tells a little white lie…

This is the fifth Lisa Thompson story I’ve read and while each one is completely original, all are written with heart and wisdom and are utterly compelling. She has a real knack for creating interesting storylines that explore domestic/life situations in a way that resonates with both adults and children – the messages she imparts though her stories are subtly incorporated rather than hammered home. In this particular story, which is suitable for readers aged 9 and above and is full of relatable characters, Cole learns that it’s both ok to make mistakes and important to remain true to yourself. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a read, highlighting financial vulnerability and the complex emotions surrounding truth and lies; as such, it would work really well as a class read as it would provide a number of thought-provoking discussion opportunities.

While I don’t have a stand-out favourite of Lisa’s 5 books (I love them all equally, albeit for different reasons), I have to say that I think this is Mike Lowery’s best cover yet. If you like his style, follow him on Instagram – @mikelowerystudio – as his content is excellent.

The Boy Who Fooled The World
Author: Lisa Thompson
Cover Art: Mike Lowery
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407185132
Paperback: 320 pages

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