Kid’s Book Review: The Small Things

Kid’s Book Review: The Small Things

About the Book and Author

Inspired by a true story, a groundbreaking robot helps friendship to blossom in this heart-warming story from bestselling author Lisa Thompson. It is published by Barrington Stoke and printed so that it is accessible for dyslexic readers to enjoy too.

Anna’s anxious when she’s picked to befriend the new girl in her class. For a start, Ellie is ill and can’t come to school herself. So Anna has to communicate with her through a new kind of robot. But Anna is also worried that her life’s too small and boring to be of interest to her new friend. Compared to the other girls, she doesn’t have anything exciting to talk about and so when Ellie asks her a question, a little white lie pops out. Then another and another. When Ellie finds out the truth, can their friendship survive …?

The Small Things

Lisa Thompson author

Lisa Thompson is a children’s novelist and the author of the best-selling The Goldfish Boy, The Light Jar and The Day I Was Erased. Lisa’s novels have been nominated for several prestigious awards including the Carnegie Medal, the Branford Boase Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.You can read more about Lisa and her other books on her website.

Book Review

Friendship is a big thing and a small thing and it is what really matters

Even though I usually read fact books or stories that are very fictional and adventurous, I liked reading this book because it is about friendship. Ellie teaches Anna that small things like sunbeams and birds are much more important than big things like trampolining and ice skating. Friendship is a big thing and a small thing and it is what really matters.

This is a story about real life. It is set in a school which feels like any school we go to, but this school has got a robot. The interesting thing about the robot is that it is controlled by a real girl named Ellie who is too ill to come to school. The robot helps her because it is attached to her computer at home and she can operate it to see around her class. The eyes of the robot show how Ellie is feeling and she can move it to show she wants to ask a question. For her classmates, it feels like she is really there.

The story is told by Anna who seems to be too poor to do very much other than go to school. She doesn’t like this because all of her classmates do really interesting hobbies like street dance, horse riding and piano and she is a bit jealous of them. In fact, she is so jealous that she makes her own hobby up and tells Ellie that she goes ice-skating.

Ellie finds out that this is a lie and she is upset because she thought Anna was her friend and wouldn’t lie to her.
Anna feels disappointed with herself that she lied but it is worrying because she might not get the chance to say sorry. The next day, Ellie’s robot is not switched on in class and Anna thinks that Ellie’s treatment hasn’t worked. Will she get the chance to say sorry?


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Reviewer Profile

Junior Reviewer Jonathan
  • Name: Jonathan
  • Age: 7 years
  • Likes: dinosaurs, sports and jokes
  • Dislikes: rice pudding and spiders
  • Favourite Book: Sea Voyage by Gerard Lo Monaco
  • Favourite Film: Peter Rabbit, The Movie
  • Favourite Song: Crocodile Rock by Elton John