Brand New Boy

By David Almond

Illustrated by Marta Altés

A warm and thought-provoking story from a master storyteller, winner of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and author of the Carnegie Medal-winning Skellig.

“Mam, did you think George was,” I say, “a bit … weird?” “Weird? Yes, I suppose so. But you kids are all a bit weird if you ask me. And to tell the truth, it’d be weird if you weren’t.” When a new boy 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?

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 9+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406358087
  • Published: 05 Nov 2020
  • Price: £10.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 320

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Customer reviews


'Almond takes a thought-provoking look at AI, and what it means to be human, in an illustrated story set in the north-east of England.' The Bookseller

'Cleverly disguised as a heist, Almond ’s moving page-turner ponders nothing less than humanity and free will, and how to have a great time in the woods.' The Observer (The New Review)

'It would be a pity to spoil the ending of Brand New Boy, particularly as Almond balances suspense and reveal so delicately in this page-turning laugh-aloud book. Still, a young reader paying close attention might just guess - and will congratulate themselves for their cleverness.' The Irish Times

'David Almond tackles deep philosophical themes with an invisibly light touch in this funny story about George, a new boy at school.' The Daily Mail, The Irish Daily Mail & The Scottish Daily Mail

'Like so many of David Almond’s books, this ends up being a celebration of humanity and wonder, and of what it feels like to be young.' The Times & The Irish Times

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

'Intriguing, slightly creepy and ultimately rather profound, this will encourage its young readers to ponder what life is really for, and what their future might hold. Wonderful stuff.' The Big Issue

'This is a story that will make readers think about what it is to be human, about how to live life to the fullest, and about the importance of love. Marta Altes’ fine illustration style is full of emotion - you'll find yourself poring over her drawings again and again. Whilst this is a funny and easy to read book, it's also sad and rather profound in places, ending on a beautiful uplifting note. Fans of David Almond have come to expect great things from his stories, and this is no exception, showcasing children’s fiction at its best. It may also be a great gateway book to his classics Skellig and My Name is Mina.' BookTrust

'The story of their glorious day in the woods with George is told with great tenderness and delight, both in the natural world and the free play of primary.' The School Librarian

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