Book H00t #17 The Loblolly Boy

Loblolly: a non-professional assistant to a ship's surgeon
Loblolly: a medicinal porridge sometimes containing meat

What do these definitions have to do with this book? Nothing, as far as I can make out. But what an odd word!

This loblolly boy is able to fly, doesn't need to eat and is invisible to others. Some people, the Sensitives and the frightening Collectors are able to see him and this drives the plot. Exchanges take place, bodies are swapped and children escape from one existence to another.

James Norcliffe's fantasy novel has a touch of the Peter Pans about it. It intrigued me! And I usually don't like fantasy.

There were also some beautiful passages of writing, like:
He did let me touch the wings once. The feathers were long and soft and glittered in the dapled sunlight with a speckle and an emerald shine. They were beautiful. When he flexed his shoulders they lifted and stretched and I gasped at the lovely symmetry of them.
The message is certainly not a clear one. The children want to exchange with the boy to escape their lot in life, but they quickly find out that jumping from the frying pan into the fire isn't all it's cracked up to be. Perhaps readers might sympathise with these kids, but shouldn't wanting to improve your lot in life be positive? And there's a theme about single parenting happening in there too which I have mixed feelings about.

All in all, this is an entertaining ride which will certainly raise questions!

Happy tales,
Barking Owl


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