For the last 3 years, I’ve really loved New Year as it has meant a new release from the fab author, Lisa Thompson.  She’s the sort of author I would have loved to have read when I was younger, as she focuses on real-life, often gritty, issues.  The Day I was Erased is no exception…

Maxwell is a secondary school-aged boy who is more often than not in trouble, both at home and at school.  He does have a soft side, but only Monster, his rescue beagle, and his elderly neighbour, Reg, see it.  One day – after getting in the most trouble ever – he finds himself looking through Reg’s curiosity cabinet and accidently finds himself erased from his life.  At first, he rather enjoys not being yelled at, but after a while he misses his old life and thus embarks on an adventure to return…

This is another smasher of a book, which has the underpinning message of life is what you make it.  As ever, Lisa has not shied away from introducing some punchy real-life themes: marital breakdown, dementia and the social difficulties encountered during secondary school years, which is done in a way that is totally relatable to the reader.  I liked the fact that Maxwell accepts responsibility for the mistakes he has made at school and understands the need for consequences.  I particularly loved his relationship with Reg, an old neighbour suffering from Alzheimers, and also his friendship with Charlie, whom Maxwell initially sees as a nerd, but finally sees for the true friend that he is.

The book will appeal to readers aged 8/9 and up, particularly those who like real-life type stories with a sprinkle of magic thrown in.  And if this book hits the spot, then don’t hesitate to look at Lisa’s other 2 books: The Goldfish Boy and The Light Jar, all published by Scholastic (warning – if you are an adult reading The Light Jar, then make sure you have your tissues with you!).  Finally, I was intrigued by mention of recordings of the sun’s sounds a couple of times in the story and yes, after a quick bit of googling, I have actually listened to the recordings too – who knew?!

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