Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon

The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon by David Almond, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Walker Books)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781406354331
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

David Almond’s work always carries strong, thought-provoking messages. Here, his delightful yet complex story of the lonely, shy child Paul carries mixed themes and a great deal of optimism and hope.

Young Paul’s world is dull. People at school think he’s strange. He lives in the basement flat of a high apartment building with his mum and dad. On a day when he can’t face school and is alone with his sadness, he decides to go the top of the building and touch the sky.

Leaving his apartment takes courage. But he meets Harry the Harrier, Mabel who is Molly, Clara, and Clarence her dog, and Molly’s brother, Benjamin who due to his shyness, spent many years with a paper bag over his head. The strangeness of these strangers makes Paul feel very comfortable. He embarks on an adventure with these curious, mixed-up people, to prove his strange theory that the moon is really a hole in the sky.

A profound exploration of happiness, and how beautiful it can be when you’re different, this story touches on human feelings and how others see you. It also explores fear that can be as debilitating as silence, finding courage to do what seems impossible, being brave, and learning that helping others also helps you.

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