Kid’s Book Review: Brand New Boy

Kid’s Book Review: Brand New Boy

About the Book and Author

Brand New Boy is a charming, warm and witty tale set in school in the North East. It is told by master storyteller (winner of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and Carnegie Medal), a literary hero of the North East – David Almond. The book is illustrated by Marte Altés and has been published in a lovely compact hardback edition by Walker Books.

When new boy George joins the class, everyone thinks he’s a bit strange, but he’s brilliant at football and loves crisps, and that’s all that matters to Dan and Maxie. However, the truth about George is stranger than anyone could have imagined … and more sinister, too.

Can his new pals help him to become truly free?

Brand New Boy cover
David Almond

It is difficult to know where to start to describe David Almond so we are going to keep it simple and then let him introduce himself. His writing is original and fresh and he understands people and their feelings. He has written A LOT of brilliant books for children and young adults, not least the modern children’s classic Skellig.

“I live in Newcastle.  I’m Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. I’m fascinated by the nature of creativity, by the writing process, by education. I work with artists, musicians, actors, teachers, directors, dancers. I work with, and write for, children and adults. I’m astounded by this amazing world, by the universe in which we live. I love beaches, light, music, Italy, skylarks, garlic, pasta, theatre, sardines, chilli, cinema, books. Every story that we write or read or act or sing or dance is an act of optimism, a move against the destructive forces that want to stifle us. I keep on writing.”

You can read more about David on his profile page and/or on his website.

Book Review

I really liked the plot of this book as I couldn’t guess what George’s secret was until it was revealed half way through

This story is told by a schoolboy called Daniel and it’s about what happens when a mysterious new boy starts at his school. The new boy, George, is good at maths and football, but for some reason he can’t sing. He sings with a flat, normal voice with no tune. Daniel and his friends Louise, Maxie and Billy find out George’s secret. What George needs from the them is their help.

David Almond sets this story in the North East where he lives. His characters speak like they are from Newcastle so I learned a few new words when I read this. If I am in Newcastle, I know to say ‘Aye’ for ‘Yes’.

I really liked the plot of this book as I couldn’t guess what George’s secret was until it was revealed half way through. Then the story gets really exciting as the friends try to save their strange new friend.

My favourite character was Billy Dodds because he takes command when George needs his help.

If you like exciting books that are told by the child themselves, I think you will like this book.

See if you can guess what George’s secret is before I did!


If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from an independent book shop. If you don’t know where your closest shop is you can search here

Find Bookshop

You won’t need persuading that indie bookshops are unique, integral to your community and refuges for readers to browse and enjoy making new discoveries inside. Please support your high street and shop local.

Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian, if you cannot find the book on its shelves.

Either way, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Young Reviewer Ted
  • Name: Ted
  • Age: 9 years
  • Likes: reading, amphibians and body-boarding
  • Dislikes: peas and going to bed early
  • Favourite Book: Beast Quest by Adam Blade
  • Favourite Film: Venom
  • Favourite Song: Bubbles by Tokyo Machine