Today dear readers I am on the blog tour for The Boy Who Couldn’t (Published 13 Jun. 2019) By Rachel Coverdale. A big thank you to the publishers Willow Breeze Publishing for a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the lovely Anne for the invite, you make being a part of this community wonderful.
The Boy Who Couldn’t
The school bully is the only one who can save them.
James’ life has been turned upside down and now the local bully has made him a target. So why would his mother insist he should invite him over? Especially when they’re hiding a secret badger clan at the bottom of the garden.
Now the badgers are under threat from a gang with fighting dogs and the badgers aren’t the only ones in peril.
Danger is approaching and it will make the most unlikely of heroes.
A story about becoming the person you can be, not the person you are expected to be.
About The Author
Rachel Coverdale was born and bred in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in North East England. Raised with copious amounts of animals but without the distraction of a modern TV set, she turned to books and her own imagination for entertainment. Animals were and still are a huge part of her life and inevitably they made their way into her stories. Believing strongly in fresh air, nature and outdoor play to give children a sense of fun and freedom, Rachel uses her books to encourage children to connect with nature and venture into the countryside.
Having taught as an English teacher for many years and now settled happily into the role of school librarian, Rachel ensures all her books are not only creative, imaginative and exciting, but also of great educational benefit. Teaching resources and a scheme of work are available for “The Boy Who Couldn’t”.
Rachel is regularly featured on BBC Radio Tees Book Hour with Bob Fischer and Shack discussing and reviewing her latest reads. She also travels her native North East England paying visits to Primary and Secondary schools, giving talks on her books and about the importance of nature and the environment they live in.
In this action adventure story aimed for 8 to 12 years we follow two very different boys, James and Greg who stumble into each others’ lives. They are forced to work together to save the badgers from the evil clutches of a badger baiting plot. Filled with heart-stopping moments you will be left wondering how two boys who despise each other can save a family of badgers. You will be left in suspense, gnawing at your nails in anticipation.
The narrative is told in first person from both James and Greg. It was interesting to follow both boys and be able to see inside their heads. Both characters are vastly different. James comes from a loving home whereas Greg’s home is extremely destructive. His father is in and out of prison while his mother is constantly sad.
James talks about how a lot has changed recently in his family. His Dad lost his job and became a stay at home dad looking after James’ younger sister Rosie. Then the bullying started. The worst being from Grotty Greg who is two years older than him. Greg makes fun of his Dad and James becomes embarrassed by him. James doesn’t tell his Dad about the bullying as he doesn’t want to upset him. He does admire his Dad (although not his home cooking) as he knows a lot about nature. He builds a treehouse for James and his friend Ahmed to watch the badgers that he found in the woods. His Dad tells him that the badger sett they found must stay a secret as there are people who would capture them and put them in dog fights. People like Greg’s Dad.
Greg talks sightly different to James. He uses ‘Me’ a lot and has a mixture of emotions that confuse him. He feels left out and has a lot of anger building up inside of him which in turn forces him to hit out. He always feels guilty after hitting someone but by then it’s too late. Greg has always been big for his age which makes him feel tough. His reputation is enough to frighten anyone and he keeps falling into trouble at school. I loved how Coverdale subtly writes comparisons of Greg to the badgers. Both are extremely misunderstood, deep down they are peaceful and will only fight in self-defence. It breaks your heart whenever you read Greg’s narrative. He has it rough and even takes to sleeping in the woods because his home life becomes that bad. No one notices him missing and he wishes that someone would care.
The more time James and Greg spend together, the more they begin to understand one another. James starts to see how Greg’s home life affects him and that he must be lonely. Greg admires how brave James is when the badgers are in danger. They both learn from each other and start to realise that they are not that different after all. Coverdale has written a beautiful story about an unlikely friendship that is bound together by the love for nature and badgers.
I enjoyed the illustrations throughout the story. They brought even more life and beauty from Coverdale’s words, allowing the reader to immerse themselves ever further into the story.
I was surrounded by nature throughout. I could hear the gentle rustle of the trees in the wind, the sniffles of hungry creatures nearby looking for worms and the comforting sense that this was a safe place. Much like Greg I felt calm, at peace. It was atmospheric and I didn’t want to leave those woods. Pure bliss.
I give The Boy Who Couldn’t By Rachel Coverdale a Four out of Five paw rating.
A story about overcoming your fears and being true to who you are. Having the strength and courage to be the person you are, not the person everyone expects you to be.
I learned a lot about badgers and enjoyed doing the little quiz at the back of the book. There is lots to learn, not just for kids but for adults too.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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