Alex Wheatle knows how to write about black 12-year-old boys; especially the ones who are secretly in love with the prettiest girl in school, hoping that she will see past all their awkwardness and lack of experience.
Welton finally picks up the courage to ask Carmella out, only to find his day, possibly his whole life, collapsing into a pile of unfortunate mishaps, one after the other. And with a dead mobile phone, how can he contact her? (There’s obviously the actual speaking to her at school, but apart from that.)
It’s slapstick with realism; vomiting over a girl at school (no, not that girl), being threatened by the dangerous boy, running into a brick wall, wondering what to do when your mother’s new boyfriend looks so old he won’t last longer than 15 years.
This is all very general, proving that we are mostly the same on the inside. It’s a book that will show boys that everyone else isn’t necessarily that much better off in the social stakes. You just think that others have no problems. Although, not running into brick walls would obviously be a start.
But what is it with sowing the idea that dentists live in virtual palaces? Better off, yeah. But palaces, not so much.
Still, a great book for boys and girls, with and without dyslexia.